Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Really Quick One About God

So I started a blog post this morning that I thought was going to be about Dave Grohl and how I'm attracted to random people and then I got both confused and bored so I scrapped it. Perhaps I will come back to it later when I can think of a way to make it interesting to me.

Logically, instead of talking about the most beautiful rock star of all time, I will go ahead and talk about God.

Real quick-like, because I'm really sleepy and it's just about naptime.

I would really like to believe in God. Like, you have no idea how much. But I just don't. And I'm kinda pissed about it. It's odd, because it pisses me off but at the same time I feel perfectly normal about it.

I totally used to believe in God. I don't know when I first heard about Him, exactly, but I know that when I had the chance to go to vacation bible school at a neighbor's house and when the red and white church bus came around to pick up kids from Hilltop Green to go to the First Baptist Church of El Sobrante (El Sob #1) my brother and I were like, totally "all aboard" and whatnot.

I think I went to Sunday school for about three years or so... I can't remember why I stopped going, exactly, I just know that I did.

I spent from the age of 13 or 14 until I was 23 believing in God and saying prayers every night. And then Polly Klaas was abducted and killed. And then that was the end for me.

In an instant, it was all gone. I decided that God had to be a complete and utter sham because if there were a God, stuff like this wouldn't happen.

Now, right off the bat, those of you who believe will tell me I have it all wrong and that it's completely illogical and that there are reasons and a plan, etc. And I'm not questioning that idea at all. If it helps you to make sense of things, I'm all for it, and I would never judge it. It just doesn't work for me.

I just got to a point where I decided it made much more sense to me that all of us being here is about science. Obviously, I'm no scientist and I do believe that there could be a God involved with all this science-y stuff, I just don't happen to believe this is the case. At this moment.

In spite of the fact that I stopped believing, I started attending the El Sobrante United Methodist Church in 2001. I loved it, the pastor and the music were great. I left after Pastor Gaye's sermons feeling like I wanted to be a better person. Which is awesome and what I think church is supposed to be about. I might still be attending had I not moved and wound up working weird hours and weekends, because obviously, there is something to get from church even if you don't believe in God.

Did I mention that I'm agnostic and not an athiest? I do not have near enough conviction to be an atheist because hey, there could be a God, and if there is, well great.

Can I be agnostic and still hope that somehow, when I die, I will still be able to say, watch over Kayla? I hope so, because I am and I do.

It's about faith. I don't have any, not in someone who is above us or around us who has supreme power but chooses to sit back and watch all of this. And by this, I mean "the world," the good and the bad. Because as we know, there has been some really bad shit that has happened and I don't blame a supreme being for that, either.

When good stuff happens, I believe it's because we made it happen or we were super flipping lucky. I love the idea of being "blessed," but I don't believe in it. I am one of the luckiest people in the world. Had things gone slightly different at certain times in my life, I would not be sitting on my ass blogging write now. I might be sitting on my ass behind a liquor store passing around a can of beer in a brown bag to my friends. Seriously, some people would say, "there but for the grace of God go I" when they see someone less fortunate. And I say, thank goodness I have been so lucky to be where I am surrounded by those I am lucky enough to have in my life.

For those of you who are so fulfilled by your relationship with God, this is me saying, that is awesome. I sometimes wish I understood that and I had it and I'm not kidding, it's true. But at the same time, I truly believe you can be happy and fulfilled and a good (mostly) person because it's what you want to do and who you are. So don't feel badly for me because I don't have what you have. I'm just sharing what it looks like over here.

At the end of the day it's all about being nice to each other, no matter what your reason for doing that is. Whether you want to be like God or like Jesus or like Ganhdi or like Martin Luther King, Jr. or like your mom; whomever or whatever it is that inspires you to be a good person is a good thing.


Jennifer Moore-Skallerud said...

I would LOVE some comments on this. Even if the comment is, "Jen, you're a wingnut and a heathen!" Please, I'd love anything any of you have to say!

Kimberly Gallagher-Wright said...

Hey...I don't think you're a wingnut or a heathen...Why would I have chosen you to be Maya's godmother if I actually thought you were a heathen wingnut?! (I still love remembering when you thought you were going to burst into flames when you walked through the doors at her baptism). Dude...I don't know if there is a god either. I'm a science-based person I was glad to hear that the Catholics actually view that whole Adam and Eve shit as "a nice story". I can't buy into that whole lot of crap.

Is there a god...sure, maybe...I didn't lose my faith like you did. I still remember that about you and Polly Klaas... What I like about church...more often than not, I feel a greater sense of community (even if it is with other wingnut Catholics), I like leaving with a "Hey, a better fucking person...and forgive people bitch" feeling. It's just a reminder for me to be less selfish, think of others...and to take opportunities to do more for other people. It's also an hour of relection that I would otherwise not take.

That's the church part...I pray when shit gets bad, I pray for other people...and yes, I do look up and thank god on occasion...usually when I'm uber-relieved as in when my period used to come...and dear little teeny tiny baby jesus, thank god I wasn't pregnant. Those times.

I love that you are where you are, and it's all good. I love that I'm the token Catholic on girl's night..and you guys still talk to me. And I love you, chica.

Scott Allan Bolton said...

Ok Jenn, can I add a little and encourage you to keep seeking?

I've come a long way since DA. (Dons #1!) I've been a pastor (working with teens) for about 18 years. I haven't revealed much to DA alumni, maybe because I'm a little timid and I wasn't the best witness back then. (I could make excuses and say that I really wasn't a "true believer" until college. But I'll just admit to knowing enough about Faith to accept the label of Hypocrite with a "Capital H.")

So anyway... there is this really cool passage of Scripture in Acts 17. (So, um yeah, I'm a Christian so I kind of have to go with the Bible.) But basically... Paul traveled to Athens and wandered around the city. The people of Athens were incredibly spiritual which was reflected in the large number of idols scattered throughout the city. Those people were definitely searching for God. So much so, that they created an image to the "unknown god" just in case they left one out. Later Paul sat down with a group of city leaders and started talking about spirituality, philosophy, and even mixed in a little ancient poetry. (He really wanted to be "relevant" to his audience.) But basically, he just wanted to start a conversation. Near the end of the dialogue, he brought in the "unknown god" and explained that they could actually know Him. I don't really want to focus on that right now... However, there was one particular statement that has resonated within me since the first time I read it, "His (God's) purpose was for the nations to seek after Him and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him—though He is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’"

In context, he kind of left them there to think about things. But, the Scriptures say that he stuck around the city and continued the conversation with those who were interested in knowing more about his God. And, some did.

So, what I am saying is that I wholeheartedly believe that God will reveal Himself to those who truly seek Him. I think you're on the right path. I just want to encourage you to keep traveling.

If I can be of any resource or assistance on your journey, let me know. I know some would seriously consider me to be a "right-wing nut job", but it comes with the profession. Ha!

Jennifer Moore-Skallerud said...

@Spook, thank you for not thinking I'm a wingnut and for loving me unconditionally on account of it being in your job description as my BFF!!! @Scott, thank you SO MUCH for your post. This is exactly what I was looking for. I so appreciate the time and effort you put into this and so does my mom who says that she is still working on me and that I am a work in progress, after all!! I really like this: "So, what I am saying is that I wholeheartedly believe that God will reveal Himself to those who truly seek Him." I like the way it sounds and the idea of this very much, even though I wouldn't bet that I will be there one day, and by there I mean I just can't evision it at this moment, but I'm so glad I started this discussion. It's just part of my story and I dig sharing my story, especially when it makes others share with me. So again, many thanks to you!!

vanessa vichit-vadakan said...

"At the end of the day it's all about being nice to each other"

That's a fine mantra right there.

I'm not a believer in god or a higher power; I will, for the moment, spare you the details of how I got here. Like Scott, though, I still believe the idea that "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear" whether that teacher comes in the form of that big entity in the sky or nature or Buddha.

And yeah, you're a wingnut, but not because of your spiritual outlook. : )

Jennifer Moore-Skallerud said...

@Nessy Poo, LMAO, and thanks, darling!!! I am TOTALLY good with being a wingnut. I am pretty sure it's part of my charm! And I'm glad you mentioned Buddha since I forgot to mention Buddhism for Dummies is always in my bathroom (which means I read it from time to time). And yes, I think it's hard to go wrong if you decide to start each day *trying* to be nice to people. I don't always succeed. I don't always succeed A LOT. But I do try.

Tami (Teacher Goes Back to School) said...

i love the segue between dave grohl and god. makes perfect sense. have you ever seen the foo fighters play? pretty damn brilliant.

seeking is on the brain of all the ladies i love these days...

sarah von at yes and yes went to church recently.

amy at just a titch wrote about her struggle with faith.

i've posted on my religious thoughts.

oh my. i've been finding my spirit on my mat and have over the last few years thought about what is true for me and what will feed my soul. i've concluded kindness, compassion and community.

you may want to check out brene brown's ordinary courage blog. it brings me to tears - watch her ted talk.

Jennifer Moore-Skallerud said...

I will totally check those things out and I really dug Amy's post about faith that I might not have found had you not mentioned it the other day. Good stuff!!

I have NOT seen the Foo Fighters play... yet. That Dave. Hubba hubba.