Jump to content

An Update On My Journey


Seeking
 Share

Recommended Posts

Here's a 6-month update:

 

In my attempt to read the Bible cover-to-cover (as outlined in my first post in this forum), I've only completed my study of Genesis through Judges. However, I have 16 full hand-written pages of notes on verses that I find either unbelievable, contradictory, or revelatory of God's fickle and cruel nature. I have been amazed at what I've found, especially considering that I've read it all before, but have never before seen any of these problems. How is that possible?

 

What I find most interesting, though, is that I prayed a very sincere, heart-felt prayer at the beginning of this undertaking. I said, "God, I am having such a hard time believing that you are real. I have neither seen nor felt evidence of you in my life. I am going to give the Bible one last try. If you are there, please help me understand it the way you intended it to be understood."

 

The result? Today, for the first time in my life, I spoke the following words out loud: I am agnostic.

 

A few nights ago I awoke in the middle of the night and that thought skittered through my brain unbidden. I cannot describe the sense of peace I felt, for the first time in my life. According to Christians, people who are experiencing spiritual turmoil will only find true peace when they turn to God. For me, apparently the opposite is true: I will only find peace when I finally give up on the idea of God.

 

(When I said it aloud, however, it made me kind of panicky! Just typing it makes my heart race. I've got a long way to go before I fully accept this, I think. Considering I've been on the inside for 35 years, I guess I can't expect to just instantly deprogram myself.)

 

One thing that bothers me about this whole journey is realizing how incredibly ignorant I am of the true workings of the world around me. Since I was home schooled by fundamental parents and attended a very conservative religious college, I have - literally - never learned a single thing about evolution, other than "It's a tool of the devil, used by God-hating scientists to explain our origins without God, so they can justify living their sinful, God-defying lives."

 

I have so many confusing, scary thoughts swirling about in my brain right now, but this post is already long enough. Thanks for reading.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator

That's a big step! Be proud of yourself. Yes it can be scary at times, but you're in good company -- us! Take your time and be sure to come here as often as you need for support and camaraderie. :grin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

... For me, apparently the opposite is true: I will only find peace when I finally give up on the idea of God.

 

(When I said it aloud, however, it made me kind of panicky! Just typing it makes my heart race. I've got a long way to go before I fully accept this, I think. Considering I've been on the inside for 35 years, I guess I can't expect to just instantly deprogram myself.)

 

 

That is exactly the way I felt last year when I came to the realization that I did not believe in god. Peaceful, yet panicky. Thankfully, for me, the peace is still there and I am no longer panicked. I hope you will be able to say the same thing some day.

 

My panic was based on my fear of telling my friends and family that I no longer believed. Over the last year, I have become pretty comfortable with it and I don’t usually hesitate to tell people when the subject comes up.

 

Congratulations! I hope your journey continues to bring you peace and that the panic lessens over time. Keep us posted!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you remember the scene in Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark where Sean Connery had to step out onto an apparent chasm that was actually a foot bridge painted to look like an abyss?

 

That feeling that you are stepping onto nothing is like losing the feeling that God was guiding your steps, protecting you. But there is solid footing, and however scary it may look, the physical world is, in fact, predictable and dependable.

 

When you look back and see the one set of footprints during the tough times? Those are your feet in the sand.

 

Want some more metaphors?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you remember the scene in Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark where Sean Connery had to step out onto an apparent chasm that was actually a foot bridge painted to look like an abyss?

 

That feeling that you are stepping onto nothing is like losing the feeling that God was guiding your steps, protecting you. But there is solid footing, and however scary it may look, the physical world is, in fact, predictable and dependable.

 

This scene? That is the perfect way to describe how it feels. Thank you for that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes baby-steps just aren't enough, are they? You have to dive in and learn to swim or drown.

 

You're doing great, I guarantee everything will be just fine...although it's going to seem like a long time getting to that "fine" area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is the perfect way to describe how it feels. Thank you for that!

Oops, it wasn't Sean Connery but Harrison Ford. Oh, well the scene is right.

 

Ironic that it is considered a "leap of faith." But it is the type of faith that relies not on that which we cannot know, but that which we know intellectually, but is unfamiliar to our common experience. Sort of like stepping out of an orbiting module to find that you don't "fall".

 

The feeling, though, is the same. Really scary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've taken a huge step in acknowledging out loud where you are. I don't remember the first time I said it, but I kinda eased into it by saying that my thinking fell more along Buddhist philosophies. Then, when I finally dropped the christian title and completely accepted that I was done with it, I, too, have had a great sense of peace - and of self confidence, which has only continued to grow! I really feel like I'm finally learning who I really am for the first time in my 30+ years.

 

Although I went to a secular college, as an art major I still have learned almost nothing about the sciences - I did take an upper division physics course (designed for us non-science/math majors), and a geology course. Between those two courses I could no longer accept the young earth theories that I grew up with. I'm still pretty ignorant about the other sides of evolution, but as far as the earth itself goes, pretty settled that it didn't happen "over night."

 

You might find taking the occasional science course at your local junior college to be helpful and insightful - and perhaps even enjoyable (I loved both of the ones I took, but I purposely avoided courses with too much boring memorization lol!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congrats to you. The panic will subside as you learn to live in the real world. I've never felt more free than when I shruggged off the guilt, fear, and shame of religion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a very exciting and scary thing, to cast off mental chains. I hope you feast upon books, and understand the real miracles of our world instead of the fairy tales.

 

In Christianity everything is so backwards, and that is why it is so successful. The culture attacks reason at every step because reason is it's enemy. To overcome it you have to realize you've been walking on the ceiling and not on solid ground the whole time.

 

The fact that you have taken the time to reflect on your beliefs and evaluate them honestly shows your integrity, so kudos to you friend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope you feast upon books, and understand the real miracles of our world instead of the fairy tales.

 

I certainly plan to. I want to read Dawkins' "God Delusion," for starters. Then I hope to find something along the lines of "Origins of the Universe for Dummies." Any suggestions?

 

The fact that you have taken the time to reflect on your beliefs and evaluate them honestly shows your integrity, so kudos to you friend.

 

Thanks. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might find taking the occasional science course at your local junior college to be helpful and insightful - and perhaps even enjoyable.

 

Good idea! I teach at a university, so I can take classes for cheap. I'll have to look into that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The God Delusion is and excellent book. I highly recommend it to anyone. I have only read through chapter 6 but plan to check it out from a library when/if I can find it there. What can be fun is reading a creationist book along side it. I read Why I don't have enough faith to be an atheist at the same time and you can really see the difference between logical reasoning based on evidence and... whatever it is that creationists do (lol).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I certainly plan to. I want to read Dawkins' "God Delusion," for starters. Then I hope to find something along the lines of "Origins of the Universe for Dummies." Any suggestions?

 

An excellent recent book on origins of the universe for the lay person is "Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution"

 

For understanding evolution I would recommend Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker and The Selfish Gene, both easily accessible to the typical lay person with no science background.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.