I believe the most sacred of all relationships is the intimate individual relationship that each of us has with our Divine Creator, God, Supreme Being, Deity, Allah, Buddha, Alpha and Omega, Jehovah (regardless of denomination, there exists a creator... the center and director of our existence). There is a deep emotional conviction in each of us that demonstrates the presence of a superior central being, revealed by an incomprehensible universe. Although complicated, even those who claim to be agnostic or atheist cannot escape the concept of Deity. Although plagued by insecurity and uncertainty, it's a classic illustration of a failure to embrace faith, hope, and optimism. It's demonstrative of an investment of thought on the matter. Unfortunately, faith and love are misdirected... concentrated on the impersonal aspects of God.
No matter how difficult life becomes, there is always someone with a greater challenge... a steeper mountain to climb... more dragons to slay... and more hurdles to leap. Humanity is limited by a temporal perspective, while God; knowing all things... seeing all things... and teaching all things... provides the necessary experience (perceived, both good and bad) for spiritual development. When faced with temporal, mortal challenges... some of life's greatest questions often creep into the heart and soul, "Why is my life such a burden while others are fortunate enough to experience the bliss of a carefree existence? What have I done to deserve this? Why me?" Then the MOST DANGEROUS OF ALL, "If there were a God... he wouldn't allow this to happen."
Inevitably, the four "D's" infiltrate the soul, consuming our thoughts and actions while eroding the very foundation of faith. They are the four major pitfalls to inner peace and tranquility. Actualized by trials and tribulations... Discouragement, Despair, Depression, and Despondency jeopardize our mortal experience with - yet - another "D"... spiritual DESTRUCTION. Albert Einstein once said, "Mortality is of the highest importance - but for us, not for God." It's a simple thought with profound significance. Mortality can be identified as a tangible, physical, intellectual experience. If mortality is insignificant to God, then what is eternally important? PERFECT FAITH... simply said; but a difficult concept to embrace, accept, and implement in life. It requires dedicated acceptance that His eternal perspective... purpose... wisdom... and plan is unequivocally perfect.
Several years ago I was in the city with my young son. We were standing at the crosswalk, waiting for the light to change that would signal safety in crossing the street. He became extremely bored (as most children do when forced to stand still with hustle-bustle all about). Within moments, he was trying to wriggle his tiny fingers from the security of my hand. When the attempt proved unsuccessful, he dropped to the ground, screaming to illustrate his defiance. What a perfect illustration of our relationship with God. A young, naive, innocent child wanted to be "set free" to roam about the city without any regard for the danger and consequence of such actions. My perspective was mature. I was all knowing and Omnipotent in the situation. My son refused to cooperate for the rest of the day... angry, and determined to demonstrate his rebellious independence. Did I deserve his tirade, and persistent demonstration of rebellion throughout the day? I love him, refused to let go of his hand, and in doing so, protected him from danger. Regardless of his tyranny, I understood that his understanding was limited and loved him nonetheless.
Consider, for a moment, the parallel of that situation to our relationship with the Lord. How do we react to God? Do we attempt to let go, drop to the ground in defiance determined to wriggle free from the safety of His hand? Do we get angry with a horrific display of defiance. Does a lack of understanding dictate our actions and attitude? Reacting to life, based on a temporal perspective, inevitably results in spiritual rebellion and defiance, and impedes the possibility for spiritual growth and development... the sole purpose of mortality.
This post is extremely theological in nature. Lately, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on my life... my spiritual journey... what I have learned... what I have yet to learn (which scares the hell out of me), and the hallmark question abounds, "Will the Lord ever be satisfied with what I have learned to offer respite from adversity?" I have come to realize that I will never comprehend the Lord's eternal purpose with clarity. I am trying to walk hand in hand with the Lord, abandon rebellion, and embrace faith.
Some things that life has taught me...
1. LIFE'S PURPOSE: I am here to make you feel normal. It's a service I provide free of charge... you're welcome!
2. TITHING: God knows my weakness for shopping... and He knows I am not good at managing money. We have agreed that he will keep His 10 percent up front, bless me with 90, and call it "payroll deduct"! No "collections".
3. PATIENCE: If God wanted me to have patience... He is the creator - why not include a little in the recipe? It's a very important ingredient! Patience is to life, what a bathroom is to a house. Who would build a house and forget to include the bathroom in the blueprint? It's a heck of a lot of work to "Go back to the drawing board" and reconstruct!!! In the beginning, most of the Lord's creations were idiots (practice makes perfect!). Once he mastered the skill, the rest of you came along! Because I lack patience... I trampled Peter, Paul, and ten other dudes - screaming, "Ladies first!" until I made it to the front of the production line!
4. PAID TIME OFF: I believe for every month we live a good life, we should accrue the benefit of spiritual vacation and sick-leave. When life becomes unbearable, I believe we should be able to submit a request for sick and/or vacation time... even implement P.S.L.A. (The Personal Spiritual Leave Act).
5. GOD HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR: The zoo is a curious place... instead of the zoo, it should be called, God's Amusement Park. Consider the Ostrich, for example... the most eccentric display of a wicked sense of humor. A huge bird with wings that cannot fly, and when it gets scared... it sticks its head in the dirt and thinks it's getting away! Zebra's... seriously... God's attempt at abstract art. Giraffes... enough said.
GOD IS GOOD... So no matter what comes our way, if we embrace opportunities to learn with enthusiasm. Wise people learn from experience, but a genius learns from the experiences of others. Avoid my rationalizations. No matter what the experience may be, life WILL be good too. Albert Einstein once said, "God doesn't play dice". Everything happens for a reason.... we need to accept it and embrace it. One of my favorite authors and theologists once said...
There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way."
Learn to say, "Thy will be done."
I find myself a little confused by this passage:ReplyDelete
"Although complicated, even those who claim to be agnostic or atheist cannot escape the concept of Deity. Although plagued by insecurity and uncertainty, it's a classic illustration of a failure to embrace faith, hope, and optimism."
I'm unclear on what "it" refers to - agnosticism and atheism? The concept of Deity? Something else?
I'm also puzzled as to why you would qualify the first sentence with "claim to be" - is it because you don't believe that agnostics and atheists are who they claim to be?
As an agnostic who fully embraces faith, hope and optimism, and is very secure in my agnosticism, I am troubled that you would see someone like myself as failing, and deny us the identity we claim for ourselves. I'm sure you didn't mean it that way but in the context of a blog where self-identification is such a big issue, this jumped out at me.
I fully respect your belief in a Creator, as well as the similar beliefs of many of my close friends, for whom those beliefs have been lifesavers. My hope would be for my own lack of belief to be similarly respected.
This blog has always been based on Christian concepts and principles. It always will be. My life has been greatly blessed by God, and I have a testimony that he lives and loves each of us, even those who deny His existence.ReplyDelete
This is a post based on my personal views and beliefs... my testimony of spiritual intimacy. What frustrates me most is the reality that many of those who face this challenge in life become very embittered by the judgement of a select few in a predominant Christian society that mistakenly claim to know the will of God, which is dangerous and spiritually toxic.
I have taught Cammie to love Christ and turn to God through her extremities. I have experienced His blessings in my life, especially through this experience. What many fail to realize is that every individual who comes in contact with someone different is presented with an interpersonal trial. They are faced with the challenge to exercise, and practice, their beliefs... reserving judgement. Being transgender is Cammie's trial... how others choose to react to the circumstances in her life, is theirs.
Without God, our family could never have survived, what has become my greatest blessing and a profound learning experience. He has guided each and every step along the way. Although we have experienced judgement and criticism, we have been loved, embraced, and supported by many, many more. We live in the heart of the "Bible Belt", and our experience has been positive. It has, not only strengthened my testimony of God, but it is a testament of the good in humanity. Those who have opened their hearts to understanding, have been blessed through enlightenment.
I do not sit in a pew on Sundays... and I do not walk the streets preaching or pretending to know God's will in the lives of others. My relationship with God is the foundation of my life, and it is sacred. I teach my children to love God... and, most importantly, to KNOW Him. I have taught them to "Look with their eyes, but see with their heart".
I believe that everyone is entitled to believe whatever they choose. There is a difference between disagreement and judgement. To answer your question... I have a testimony of these things... and I have always used this tiny corner of the internet to express them. A testimony is knowing something with absolute surety that something is true.
When someone "Identifies" as an atheist or agnostic, it is a rejection of deity. Just because something is not tangible does not mean that it doesn't exist, or that it is not real. I have never seen the world from a distance, but I know that it is round. I have never been to China, but I know that it exists. I have never seen God, but I know that He lives and loves His children. Truth will inevitably be revealed when we turn to the heart for answers... not the world.
I have been greatly blessed through profound challenges, and - although - I disagree with the agnostic / atheist beliefs (or lack thereof) does not mean that I cannot accept a human being for WHO they are and respect those differences. It is not realistic to believe that, because two people share a common experience in life, all other aspects of life will parallel.
You certainly have the right to disagree... to believe what you choose. Likewise, I have the right to share my testimony, experience, and beliefs. This is the the place where I have chosen to do that.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you said,"I have taught them to "Look with their eyes, but see with their heart"."ReplyDelete
To me this is the crux of Christianity. Christ died to set us free from the penalty of sin. Most importantly, he did it WILLINGLY.
God has given us free will for a very important reason...it is the only way we can reach the reality of that phrase you used..."see with their hearts."
As parents, we know that we cannot MAKE our children love us. When they are young, we can discipline them and make them behave, but we CANNOT make them love us. As they age, we are forced to accept the fact that their free will has finally overwhelmed our ability to discipline them...they are on their own, so to speak. As growing Christians, we also are forced to choose. Thankfully, we have God's Holy Spirit in us to guide our decisions and the will to implement them.
This begs the question...can God MAKE us love him? I don't think so...nor would he want to. His main purpose for giving us free will is to teach us to live lives based on personal motivation. For example, God is not nearly as interested in whether you tithe as he is in your motivation for forking over your hard earned money. That's the difference between tithing and giving...tithing is a requirement while giving is something done from the heart. God is not concerned with the amount, he's concerned with the attitude and motivation.
God wants us to learn to love him because we WANT to. Anything less is simply obedience to avoid some kind of punishment. What matters most to God is to see us learn to LOVE from motivation...that is the only true love...unconditional love.
What I have said is why it's ok for Cammie to be Cammie. It's why it's ok for me to be Suzi. God knows our hearts. The more I learn about God's love, the more I WANT to show him how much I love him. As a former member of a very legalistic church, I have learned what real freedom is...thus the name of my blog. I believe you truly understand the unconditional love God offers, and you are showing it to Cammie. God will bless you for that. Keep up the good work :) Suzi
Can an agnostic be spiritual? If I were an Agnostic or atheist I would not be reading a blog about sprituality or God, unless of coarse you can't escape the concept that there is more to life than just your non beliefs.ReplyDelete
Nice job Cammie's song, I get it...
First of all I would like to express that if the belief there is a God guiding you through life does help you, I'm happy it makes you feel good.ReplyDelete
But, because there is no evidence somthing does not exist, it does not imply it does exist.... And vice versa..
I do absolutely do not belief in a deity as per some scriptureswritten and compiled by people who did claim the Earthwas flat and the centre of the universe... Where it all was created some 6000 years ago and all of us have one common couple of ancesters Adam and Eve....
Where we all dave decended from incestuous relatinships and were adultry was common and normal and where some thought it was fully OK to have their far cousins as slaves and we still have religious people claiming this one root, but thinking it is OK to treat other human beings, again their far cousins, as lesser people because of who and what they are...
People who claim their belief in their deity is better than the belief of someone elses belif in their's....
Sorry, but the only reason why I can not escape the concept of a deity is because too many 'religious' people need to tell me how bad I am and how not goid I am because 'their God told them so'....
People who only pick and choose from the old testament to condamn people they don't like, fully ignoring other statements in that same old testament, claiming to love Jesus, fully ignoring that from their scriptures I can only conclude Jesus must have been one really pesky liberal, fully ignoring everything their scriptures say Jesus dis say in his sermon on the mount, that Jesus clearly did not think of any other people to be less, many to be extreme racist bigots while claiming their love for Jesus....
My idea is that the whole concept of religion in it's organised structure is just a result of that some people did find that the doubt many peoply have about the why and the reason of life could be exploited for their benefit in power and wealth...
Sorry foroffending anyone, but this is my belief!
And in my belief there is no deity as per other people's scriptures...
There is a lot we do not (yet) know, and some things we might never figure out how it works and came to be; get used to it!
Live your life and enjoy it, be curious, grow in wisdom and knowledge, treat others how you want to be treated yourself. Respect and accept others who are not, and do not like you, who are only minding their own business without harming anyone...
This World then would be a much better place.....