I am struggling to find something to write about this week. Perhaps it is because I’m lonely. My husband and son are away for a few days, and I am on my own. It suggests how important our loved ones are to our mental health.
So, I suppose I could write more about how important spirituality and community is to our overall well-being. Although, I do sometimes get questions about why I do not go to church if I think spirituality is important. I have some of my own personal reasons that I do not attend church.
My reasons mostly have to do with human hypocrisy in the church. It always bothered me that “Christians” could basically do whatever they want (lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, etc.), then ask for God’s forgiveness and all was smoothed over. Forgive and forget. I know. There are consequences to their actions, but the mentality that we are all sinners, and we fail sometimes, but God forgives all…it just doesn’t sit right with me.
Humans are fallible. Humans make mistakes and some do not appreciate it when they are brought to light. But learning from your mistakes, admitting your wrongs, and growing as a person is essential to the human experience. We are put on this earth to help other people. So, how are people being helped by a large ark museum in Kentucky or Oral Robert’s hand statue in Oklahoma? How are people being helped by mega-churches that want to spread the gospel, but do nothing to help the homeless in their midst? How are people being helped by ministers buying private jets?
I played along with church life for a while. I read my Bible verses and quoted them like daggers when it felt necessary. I sang and led the congregation on the worship team in seemingly endless choruses. I helped the money changers count and log the offering. I even helped to indoctrinate the young ones in Sunday School classes. I looked down my nose at “lesser” individuals that were not as “Christian” as I was. But then I started to question my own beliefs.
I started to look inward at my belief structure. I started to question everything I had been taught as a child. I started to ask who I was and what I really believed. It was then that realized I was not being true to myself. I didn’t like who I was. I didn’t like judging other people according to some arbitrary standard. I didn’t like how the church used the records of tithes to guilt the congregation into giving more. I didn’t like using the Bible like a weapon. I wanted to help people.
When I started asking questions of the church leaders, I was judged and told I was not being a good Christian. I was practically ostracized. But that was ok because that’s not where I find God anyway.
I find God by looking out at the vastness of our oceans and realizing how little we know about them. I find God by looking at the multitude of stars on a very dark night and realizing how small we really are. I find God by communing with nature (like I did at Devil’s Tower).
I find God…
…on the mountain tops.
…with the bird’s song.
…in the seed sprouting.
…among the wildflowers.
…in the twinkle of a child’s eyes.
I don’t see God reflected in the church (as a whole).
That’s not to say that there aren’t some good God-fearing Christians out there making a difference in people’s lives. That’s not to say that some churches are not like what I grew up with. But there are plenty of hypocrites out there, too.
So, I choose to find my community and my spiritual connections elsewhere. Some may disagree with my choices, but that is their choice to make. I choose to learn from the mistakes of my past so I can have a better future. I choose to learn from the mistakes of others, so that I am not doomed to repeat them.
I choose to PIVOT to health and wellness. How about you?