Saturday, February 23, 2008

what I'd really love to know

is those people that are not Christians: does the last post sound like the rantings of a crazed, closed-minded fanatic? Or do you, too, ever get tired of the path you're on? What do you do about it? Is this a problem unique to close-minded Christians, or is this universal? I'd really love to know that.


Anna said...

Are you kidding? A crazed, closed-minded fanatic? No, your post was very familiar and enlightening.
I had always thought it would be easier to be a Christian (or devout whatever): You have your faith, your foundation, at the very least. You can change your practices, your church, your ways of praying, but there is always that something that you can come back to.
For me, on the other hand, it sometimes seems like trying to find some kind of meaningful practice is like building on sand.
I know it’s cliché, but it just seems so comforting to build on Jesus as the “rock.” I envy you. If I am honest with myself (and I have enough respect for religion to believe I owe it honesty at least) the Jesus as The One is one giant obstacle.
And as a non-Christian, I also have the same reaction to the “warm fuzzies.” I can’t believe that we are here solely to self-actualize or to learn to feel good about ourselves. It is tempting to try for that next level of enlightenment or whatever—finally something to DO! Something to ACHIEVE!
But maybe we are here to do the hard stuff—to give of ourselves, to turn the other cheek, to struggle into some kind of goodness, to wonder and question. And maybe the struggle is what it is about.
I take some comfort from the words of a priest and hope to spend my life “Utterly Humbled by Mystery”:

Does that answer your question?

(And on a side note, the self-indulgence of Eat, Pray, Love bothered me too. I was swept away by her journey and think she is a self-aware enough to make the book a success, but I didn’t think the “what’s next” part went without saying either. Here’s a male travel writer’s less spiritual take on the book: )

interplay said...

I guess there isn't really anything easy about authentic faith, no matter what persuasion it is. There definitely are many within "Christiandom" that have merely a cultural or religious assent. I'm sure this is true of any "religion".

Anna is right that a strong foundation is vital--yet know, that many in the US find that when confronted with struggle or hardship their faith too is built on sand.

I'm curious about the objection of exclusivity of the gospel. For adherents of other faiths I get this initially. For those others, I wonder what is behind it?

Having a supreme weakness for naval gazing myself, I agree that our main purpose isn't to self-actualize (although it is soooo much fun at times!). According to Christian belief it is to glorify God and ENJOY God forever. Interesting thought isn't it?

"The hard stuff" in life is definitely of great value in forming our character--indispensable for maturity.

Thanks for the link to "world hum", my kind of place. :)