Thursday, January 07, 2010

Jesus and me.

I'm not in any doubt that there is a God of some sort keeping the Earth turning on its axis (also keeping the galaxies from bumping into each other, etc). I know that we can find strength and guidance and comfort by tapping into that force/power/God. I know that following the life of Jesus is a better way for us to live than pining for  wealth, power, beauty or fame. But I don't believe much the rest of what they teach at church. I'm not much for believing the water into wine and virgin births and resurrections. And God isn't a bearded king-type fellow running all our lives like a marionette's manipulator. I'm generally comfortable with my concept of the Divine and how it relates to life.

But here's the rub: I go to church. A lot. I sing in the choir. I serve as a deacon. I'm on the board. I take our kids to Sunday School so they can learn Bible stories. Several times a week I am assaulted by the glaring differences between what I know to be Truth and what others know to be Truth. Even in my very liberal denomination, I choke on words in the program nearly every week, not wanting to say things I don't believe. After all, no one wants to be a liar in church? That's tantamount to perjury, right?

But what's a girl to do? I love the community in my church. I think I'm an asset to the soprano section (the lyrics of most choral music make me cringe. yikes!). I'd miss it terribly if I didn't go. My family would miss our friends, too. So I put up with the gut-wrenching knowledge that I'm the almost the only one* in the room who fails to qualify as a Christian ("Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and do you accept him as your personal Savior?"). It's a painfully lonely place for me, there in that big beautiful room of believers. 

I am a little jealous of those who have all-powerful faith in a personal God who directs their lives through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I am not saying their lives are easier, of course, just that the whys and hows are not still questions at the end of the day. Those people get to sit down and just say "it's God's will" and be satisfied. They get to pull God's grace over them like thick woolen blanket and feel loved and cozy.

It's hard out here for an Agnostic. At least I think it is. I don't exactly qualify as one of those, either.

*I say "almost" because there's woman who has begun coming weekly with her husband, and I'm pretty sure she's even less Christian than I am. She's just a good wife who supports her husband.