Easter Week

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The Easter Haul a few years ago

Is it really time to do baskets, again? That’s all I can think about. Commercialism at its finest, I know.

Although I’m a good person, I suspect I might be a terrible Christian, headed to Hell in my very own handbasket for thinking of this first. Before really reflecting on Easter, and the days leading up to it. At least I’m honest though. And for what it’s worth, while in church this past Sunday, the thought did cross my mind that I should watch The Passion of the Christ again. Hmm.

Maybe what I am trying to say….admit, I suppose…is that I wasn’t really raised understanding the root of the religious holidays. Of course, I know the stories. The ones printed in simplistic language in children’s books, because I have read them to my girls. Ironically, we seemed to only attend church ON HOLIDAYS when I was growing up. Yes, I claim Christianity as my faith and basis for religious belief. But I have never read the Bible cover to cover, can’t quote scripture, and avoid discussions about religion, because…

I feel inadequate and lost talking about something I don’t really know a lot about. 

Dare I say, it makes me very uncomfortable.

“Why?” I ask.  I’m smart. I can learn, can’t I? And what’s more, I really believe there is something bigger than me, keeping watch. How else can I explain the little miracles I experience from time to time? Or the fact that whenever I attend this one specific church, I cry as soon as the music begins. Isn’t that me being “overcome by the spirit”? That being said, I have no explanation as to why, or what my idea about it is. My logical brain, geared for tangible thought, can’t wrap itself around the notion of a being, sitting up in the clouds, behind a set of pearly gates on a throne. Nor can I say I believe in a horned demon under the ground, wielding a pitchfork, keeping watch over the fiery pits of Hell.

To me, Heaven would be an endless Dave Matthews Band concert where I could lose myself in the music while dancing forever, surrounded by all my friends and family, who of course, love DMB as much as I do.  Now THAT’S Heaven!! And Hell? Lately, I would almost certainly tell you I’m going through it. Right here on Earth. But that is another blog. Just go back into the archives and read 🙂

So.

Where does that leave me? My ignorance traps me, and has for years. And I am hesitant to throw myself into the study of it all at the age of 40, for fear of being judged for not knowing already. A few years ago, I did try to take a class on religion. What I wanted was the HISTORY of religions. That was not what the class ended up being, so I dropped it, and was left at Square One. I believe it would make a world of difference in how I deal with things, respond to others, and certainly how I form friendships and nurture relationships. Oh…and parent. I wouldn’t feel like such a loser when my young daughters exhibit vast Biblical knowledge, they gained in Presbyterian school, rather than from me…their mother. There’s THAT.

I WANT to feel the presence of God in everyday life.

I WANT to feel Jesus’ arms around me, lifting me up and carrying me through when I don’t have the strength to walk on my own.

I WANT to know what I am talking about, believing in, and WHY I should. I need some irrefutable proof.

In my face.

What I am seeking…is it even possible? And how do I find it? I can’t be the first person who has asked for it. Where do I start? Point me in the right direction. All suggestions welcome.

Most of all though, I DON’T WANT to be a hypocrite, which is what I feel like when I talk about religion, or advise others to have blind faith. After all, who am I to testify to others in support of something that is clearly not working for me?

Help me, please.

I’m too old to worship the Easter Bunny, and I’m not fond of eggs.

xo,

N

Comments

  1. Erica Snipes says:

    Wow. This is actually such an important post, and I hope a billion people read it. I think there are a lot of Christians that share your story. And I have no problem with them identifying at “Christians” becasue wer’e not supposed to be perfect and all knowing–that’s God, not us. Christianity is “merely” the belief and acceptance that God sent his son, Jesus to earth in the form of a baby boy, born miraculously to a virgin, who grew up, challenged all the beliefs and customs around him, told us, I am the way, the truth, and the life, they who follow me shall not perish but have eternal life. He asked his disciples to drop everything and follow him, to trust, believe in, and expect miracles. Then he died and rose again, to save us from the sin that had come onto the earth through Adam and Eve, and should have made all humanity go to hell. Then Jesus came and gave heaven to believers. Of course there’s tons of other stuff in the Bible, stories of judgement, stories of exclusivity, stories that are twisted for various political and, yeah, religious purposes. However, I believe that the core of this book is Jesus, and our belief in him as our savior, and the New Testiment portions that support that. Also the Old Testiment prophets that spoke to the idea that a savior was coming–Isaiah in particular. The Psalms are great for just plain worship to God. You could read the whole thing cover to cover and it would be a very good thing, you’d gain a lot of knowledge, sure. What I would recommend, though, is to focus on the Gospels–particularly Luke, and Mark. Luke was a physician and a champion for those who struggled, and he writes that way. Mark is stark, harsh, matter of fact, and to the point. John and Matthew come out somewhere in the middle, I think. Also read Psalms and Isaiah. After that…you’re 40, so you are probably experienced and old enough to understand some of Paul’s letters to the various communities, ha ha! If you’re not wanting to do all of this, I’m going to recommend two books: Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” which is the Bible in contemporary language. Makes the stories far more accessible for today’s readers and speakers. Also, Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” which really focuses your Christianity study, and brings you through various biblical areas that talk about what it means to be a Christian. I hope thse helps–thank you for posting, I really enjoy reading what you have to say! I hope there are a lot more learned Christians that me who post for you here (I confess I have done what I tell you here, and have not read the Bible cover to cover myself!). But in doing what I have done, I feel like I have a good idea of what my faith is. Happy Easter!

    • Erica,
      Thank you so much for responding, and sharing your knowledge. When it comes to religion, I always feel like such a dumbass. As evidenced by my plea for enlightenment, I don’t want to feel that way anymore for a plethora of reasons. Your “cliff notes” guide to reading and understanding the Bible is very helpful. And I will definitely seek out the books you recommend 🙂

  2. I believe that God communicates to us in the best way we will understand. However he’s reaching you now is perfect for right now. If you’re sensing that it needs to change, it probably will because He knows what you need. It sounds to me like you’re on the right track in asking the questions!

    • Thank you Karen! I was almost afraid to make the post, for fear of being judged. How silly is that? I’m a determined one, so I have no plans to stop seeking until I find 🙂

  3. Jennifer Butler Basile says:

    What you seek is certainly possible. Seek and ye shall find, right?

    And I always find good stuff on your blog. That’s why I want to nominate you for The Versatile Blogger Award. Visit my blog if you’d like more info. Thanks!

Trackbacks

  1. […] compartment of my mommy mobile. The sermon was fantastic. In fact, it was as if Pastor Jim read my ‘Easter Week’ post and decided he should address me specifically. My logical mind says that’s not what […]

Give it to me straight. I can take it :-)

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