Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Question of Faith

Faith is something I've been struggling with for a long time now. As I transitioned into adulthood, I became more accustomed to asking myself what I think about topics instead of what I think I should believe. That’s really the root of the following.

If someone asked me if I was a Christian and I were to be perfectly honest, I’d have to say no.

I've slowly come to terms with this. For a long time a lot of what I did or the decisions I made were based on what I thought I was “supposed to do.” One of those things was being a Christian. The best metaphor I can come up with is Santa Claus. When I was little, I believed in Santa because my parents told me he was real. As I got older I started to realize that some of the gifts from “Santa” I had seen in shopping bags or closets, but I still “believed” because I thought that if I didn't I wouldn't get as many presents. In the same way, my parents, friends, mentors, etc. told me that Jesus was God’s son and I believed it. Like so many other topics that I just assumed were true because others told me they were, I started to question it. Honestly, the doubt was there all the way back in high school when I was in Campus Life. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful organization and I don’t regret any of it. But every time someone shared their “moment they accepted Christ” story, I felt awkward. I didn't have that moment. I believed I was a Christian, but in reality, I had just never questioned it. For a long while now, I've known that I don’t really believe in Christ as the son of God. I think it’s just taken a while for me to come to terms with that.

I've also given a lot of thought to how I feel about Christianity in general. Specifically, I wanted to make sure that my beliefs weren't rooted in not wanting to be associated with certain "Christians." For example, I despise the Westboro Baptist Church. Those people are filled with so much hate towards everyone that I can't see how they even call themselves Christians. But, despite my feelings towards a group like that, it doesn't have an effect on my beliefs.

What do I believe in? I do believe in God or at least that there is a god. Some scientists will say that the Earth is just the place where the right random circumstances came to be to create life. I believe that there’s still something to life itself that science will never explain. Bodies are basically just machines. Wonderful, amazing, growing, self-repairing machines, but still just machines. That spark that makes something more than just a machine, the self-awareness that has no reason to be there and sometimes no reason to go is something entirely different.

Just because I’m not a Christian doesn't mean that I've lost all of my morals. There are two phrases that come to mind. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It doesn't get much simpler than that. They’re basically saying the same thing just in different ways. Do what you feel is right to make yourself happy, but don’t do something that takes away other people’s right to do the same. Obviously the world is not black and white, but that provides a pretty solid starting point.

My point? Please don’t take this as me saying that every Christian out there is wrong. That’s not what I’m saying at all. Basically I just wanted to share this with my friends and family because when topics of religion come up, I feel like I’m hiding or lying to them. That shouldn't be the case in the relationships that matter most in my life.

P.S. I've closed comments on this particular post because I don’t want this to become a place where my friends or family will have an argument. If anyone wants to have a reasonable discussion with me about any of the above, you are more than welcome to contact me about it. I always try to be open to new information challenging my views or the way I think.

Monday, March 16, 2015

It's the Final Countdown

Well, it feels like it's taken forever to get here, but we're in the final weeks of these awkward living arrangements. 17 days until my due date. Snickerdoodle can leave these cramped quarters behind, and I can get my body back. Even if Snickerdoodle comes late, the end is in sight. And that makes me very, very happy.

Of course, I've been so focused on getting to the end of the pregnancy that the idea of bringing home a baby is still rather abstract. I mean, we've been preparing for this. We know, in our heads, that it's going to happen. But at least for me, it still doesn't feel real... and probably won't until we're getting ready to leave the hospital.

You might think it would feel real once the baby's born... and who knows, maybe it will, I have no way of knowing. But I just have this feeling that as long as we're in the hospital, we're removed enough from our daily lives that it's still going to be a bit like a dream. (Not to mention the exhaustion of just having gone through labor. I doubt anything's going to feel real at that point.).