“Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God…”

lutheran church, sydney
lutheran church, sydney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The line rings in my head.  The internet gives me the artist’s name as “Dishwalla.”  The song doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but then again the whole religion thing can be very confusing.

I have a belief in God, and faith that there is a higher power running the show here.  In many ways that confidence keeps me sane.  I mean, what would be the purpose of it all?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that we are selected to suffer.  Not with cancer, tumors, genetic disorders, or anything of the sort.  I do however believe that God can give purpose and meaning to our lives.  If we seek it, we get confidence to endure the tough times, and purpose.  A “share your experiences,” be helpful in every way you can, “pay it forward” kind of purpose.

What I haven’t sorted out, even after all these years, is well, what are the rules?

I mean, I was raised Lutheran.  I was baptized, confirmed, married, and baptized my daughter in the same church.  I spent my youth in that church.  Survived high school with close friends there, and always enjoyed the connection with the people.  I believe in the theology I was raised with, and I love the people I worshipped with for so long.  But I no longer believe in that church.

The minister has been there for almost 2 years.  Long enough to know the people in the congregation he serves.  And yet, I have gone through one of the most emotionally tumultuous years of my life and he has never extended a hand.  We had a long talk about it.  It yielded nothing.  He doesn’t care.  So, I haven’t been to worship there for months.  I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt me.  It pains me deeply.  But to me worship has to be about God, and it has to be led by people of God. 

See, to me it doesn’t matter if you are catholic, Lutheran, or any other of the million religions out there.  I believe for the most part we all serve the same God.  What matters to me are the underlying values that go with being a person of faith.

Are you kind to others?  Are you tolerant, and understanding of differences?  Do you judge others, or do you leave the judging to God?  Do you extend a hand to a friend in need?  Do you lend an ear when someone needs to talk?  Do you hug your loved ones?  Do you value, truly value the gifts of your family, friends, and those you are yet to meet?

Those are the questions I ask myself as I interact with people each day.  And I ask those questions of ME, not them.  It is my role to be there, to be a person of faith, to share my love for others.  I don’t think it has as much to do with what building you walk into, as it does with how you live your life.

My brother-in-law is a Lutheran minister.  And, while I have at times not always agreed with him on everything (who does?)  he models what a Christian leader should be.  He has been there for me, as I try to sort out the many thoughts in my head, and his words have provided me some clarity on some tough issues.

So, I know I guess, what I need.  Now the question is where to find it?  I made a promise when I had my daughter baptized that I would teach her.  I do, but I would like so much to have a “home” base where she can be comfortable again.  This is all so confusing to her, and yet even as I watch, her faith grows.

We tried another Lutheran church.  I am just not feeling it.  We are floating right now – seeking.  But God has a plan.  Of this I am sure.

You see I am confident that the same God who sent the angels to watch over my daughter and I.  The one who blessed us with this Cowden’s Syndrome diagnosis (yes, you read “blessed” because as I see it, if she had not ever been diagnosed I would have died of the breast cancer that was hiding inside of me,) will stick by us, no matter where we travel.

I will continue to do my best to live the life of a woman of faith.  I previously sharply defined myself as Lutheran.  Now, maybe Christian is just a better term.

Forgive my ramblings, and I know this is a touchy topic.  But if you are reading this – drop a comment.  For lack of a better phrase,

“Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God…”  I really want to hear them.

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

4 thoughts on ““Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God…”

  1. Oh. Wow. It is quite interesting the roads of Cowdens that we are walking on! At times I feel you are a bit ahead of me since you’ve had both surgeries.

    However, my faith & religion is what has been my ROCK through this entire upheaval of my life (besides my family). If you’d like, at some point we can exchange emails about this topic in further detail. (Privately.)

    Thinking of you!

  2. I am struggling with this in my own way – so I will keep my comment at that! I am in the listening and processing stage but that is all I can offer up. You know the effects you and Megan have had on my life – you know how you have changed me – I am ALWAYS here for BOTH of you – even if others from that HOUSE are not!

  3. I have been a religion floater now for a couple years, ever since leaving for school, and while no place has the same liturgical feel of home as where I was raised, I have found things to hang on to in many places – Episcopalian churches where they immediately invited me to read or carry the Elements, non-denominational services that moved me deeply. But it’s a challenge. And I do see illness as a blessing, even if only in the Jobian sense, that God trusts it will not shake our faith and that we can use it to strengthen ourselves and others. But if it is a blessing like God gave to Job, it does in fact mean turning away from those who proclaim themselves believers but do not extend a hand in love and seeking inside ourselves and in God directly instead.

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