Finding The “O!” in God…
I was raised by Christian parents, as was my husband. My father was a pastor, as is my husband’s. So, many of our extended family members, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, etc. call themselves “Christian”. We are then labeled as “black sheep”, “prodigals”, or just “heathen” by being just plainly, who we are. Because we aren’t members of a local church, we drink, dance, smoke, and lived together before we were married. This may have something to do with the fact that there was a moment, in my early twenties (ironically, the same for my husband, although we were not in communication at that time), when I had an “O!” moment.
John and I met at Bible College. We were deemed as the “troublemakers”, “bad kids”, “there for the wrong reasons”, etc. It is all true. His reason for going? You will have to ask him. My reason for going? I was nineteen, a college dropout, longing for change, and my family was living in Memphis, Tennessee. Did I mention this Bible College was located in upstate New York? It was a no-brainer. Go.
The first inklings of my “O!” moment was there in the Adirondacks. “You mean, we CAN’T go to the movies?!” “Even though it is -16 degrees outside, I HAVE to wear a skirt to class?” Now, don’t get me wrong, I did choose this school. Found it, picked it out, packed my own bags and was out the door before I could think twice about it. But seriously, a skirt in the middle of winter in upstate New York? If I wore pants, did that mean I would spend a lifetime of eternal condemnation? Going to the movies was really going to affect my “crown” in Heaven?
This “O!” moment came mid-school year. I’m not talking about the delicious “O!” moment you get mid climax. No. This is an awakening moment. The moment when you sit back, relax, take a logical, realistic, and observant look at the artificial world of “church” and realize how everyone addicted to this lifestyle are really puppets of their own man-made universe.
Now you’re with me.
So what next? You have this “O!” moment and then what? You research. You ask questions. You engage in intellectually stimulating conversations that dabble in other religions and philosophies. Which then, in turn, cycles back into researching, asking questions, engaging in more conversations. An endless whirlwind of philosophical debates, investigations, and dialogue.
So far, I have found that those who ONLY know the “Christian” lifestyle, are either:
1. Oblivious to other people around them. These people have the mindset of “I am going to surround myself with other Christians, so I will not be tempted. I will not stray. I will not fall away from God’s grace. I will only read the bible (KJV, of course), and other ordained literature. I am a child of Christ!”
2. Openly deceiving themselves and others. Using their Christianity as a crutch. “I am a child of the king, so therefore, you must repent from your wicked ways in order to associate with me!”
Can we maybe try a little humility in all of this?
A recent stumble across a Wikipedia page (yes, I am addicted to Wikipedia) left me speechless. In a list of prominent figures, there are seven accounts of Buddhist men and women who have converted to Christianity. There are twenty accounts of world renowned men and women who have converted from Christianity to Buddhism. I am not saying that Buddhism is the way to go. I am not saying Christianity is not the way to go. I just found it a little strange that we are raised thinking that the only “real” religion is the way of the Christians. But, so it is for Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hindus, and Muslims. All these doctrines clearly define their religion as the only way to go. I may not be the brightest crayon in the box, but something is telling me that this cannot be true.
If you are complaining of a constant ache in your head, what do you do? You go see a doctor. Good job. What doctor do you see? Your primary care doctor? Maybe they will refer you to go see a chiropractor, a neurologist, a podiatrist or a dentist. Your chiropractor will find a disc that is out of place, your neurologist will tell you that your headaches are in reality migraines, the podiatrist will diagnose that awful ache in your head as a manifestation of bad arches in your feet, and the dentist tells you to stop grinding your teeth at night. In actuality, you have allergies. What do we learn from this little analogy?
That wherever you go, that’s what you will find.If you look for “signs, wonders, and miracles”, you will see “signs, wonders, and miracles”. If you only read the King James Bible, you will only know the King James Bible. Who is to say that the additional books in the Catholic Bible are not true accounts of history?
So, I leave you for the moment, hoping that if you have not already had that “O!” moment, you will.
I am a believer.
A believer of love, hope, respect, and growing within myself, my loved ones, my neighborhood, country, and world.