Sitting on the fence.
I don’t know which way to go. On the one hand I would like to jump off the fence and make my position clear. Yet, there are doubts and deep regrets if I make the leap. What am I talking about? It is my Christian faith that is the point of discussion here. Having written an earlier blog last Christmas, my search for truth in the existence of God goes on. The truth, the real truth is I have absolutely no idea if there is a God, and hence a belief whether the version of biblical events concerning Christ, who has been my friend and companion for over 22 years is authentic and real. Strangely enough part of me not making the jump is I simply don’t want the concern, consternation and arguments from my Christian friends who will see this as, the ultimate demise, in an already fragile life in my personal relationships. I know they will pray and do everything they can to persuade me to jump right back over the other side of the fence; to faith, church attendance, looking to the bible for direction and prayers.
I have been going to church again now for six months. It has been ok but I confess, that the vast majority of church services that I have attended have been totally boring and repetitive. You go through the same ritual every week. To be honest, I would rather go and do something for God’s people than sit and have my mind for ever wandering when it comes down to the sermon. Being bad now, I find it hard to keep listening and float off into my little fantasy world where it is a whole lot more interesting.
Anyway, I am digressing. The whole point of this blog is to say that there was an important turning point for me the other week. My Christan friend talked about a sermon which had filled her with hope and excitement. The sermon was called “The God of Breakthrough” and the speaker focused on how God is the God of breakthrough in very difficult situations. He asked how many in the congregation who had been praying hard for a breakthrough in a very difficult situation, -say in a relationship or other problem, that was still a battle and had not been answered. He asked the congregation to stand if this was the case. Most of the congregation stood up. He then went on to say that God would answer and he was the God of breakthrough but it just had to me in God’s way and time. (well, something to that effect).
My christian friend was excited. She too was having a very, very hard time with no postive outcome or improvement. She believed that God, by the very nature of this sermon was already answering her prayers, telling her not to give up. She felt buoyed by the occasion and how other people were experiencing the same thing.
The fence gate hit me at this point. I was sceptical and I didn’t want to squash her spirits, so kept this feeling in my heart to share on here. My question to myself was and still is this. If there is a God who is all knowing, all meaning, all caring, all powerful, where he can do anything, then WHY leave a majority of a faithful congregation’s prayers and most pressing deep needs unanswered? The Pastor was not referring to minor problems we all have from day to day. He was meaning deep, deep seated hurts and pain. Why should God do this? I can not understand. I just don’t get it. Saying to God: “hey, mate I just don’t understand you. What is your purpose here? Why should people have to suffer in this way? Ok, I know we all stuff up and sin but come on give us a break for peats sake. You could sort it and quickly so why don’t you?”
When I had calmed down – after my inner questions to God, I nearly let go and jumped off the fence. This is it I thought to myself, I am going for it. At this point I have stopped going to church, ocassionaly say something to God in my day but finding the prayer side of things difficult. There must be someone out there who can help me on this.
Why has God left a whole congregation of people’s prayers unanswered? I am looking for answers. I will be continuing this discussion whilst sitting on the fence. At this point, my world has not collapsed around me for feeling this way. God has not struck any blow to me. The day is good and I am feeling good. My plans forge ahead and life has turned a corner in recent days and weeks to happier events. Now theoretically I should be entering a dark, uncertain day if God is not by my side, as my christian friends would have it. But the sun is shinning out there and the thoughts of not knowing where I am going after death, just seems like another journey to me and not so frightening after all.
The story continues!