Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ON FUN ~ Here's Hoping He Doesn't Strike Us Down...

At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.

"Its OK to get angry with God. He can take it."

I'm not an extremely religious person. I don't generally discuss it here simply because I know there are lots of faiths and beliefs out there and I don't like having them preached to me so why should I do unto others what I would not want done to me? But for the sake of this discussion, I can give you some basic background.

Andy is Catholic. I am not. I was raised Protestant. Because we moved a lot we attended a variety of churches from several Protestant faiths since we would always join whatever one happened to be closest to our new home. The one that I spent the most time within in my formative years was a Presbyterian church. I liked it there. I enjoyed the congregation, the youth group activities and actually thought a lot of the aspects of the service were pretty interesting. But when we left that town, the church nearest to our new home was Episcopalian so that was the end of church for us. Too many churchy rules for my folks I guess.

I get the sense that Catholics are taught to fear God as well as love him. I'm not sure they feel comfortable being angry with him. That whole guilt thing creeps in. I asked Andy and he said he didn't really think it was OK to be angry with God. Then again, he doesn't like conflict in general. So I'm not sure how much of that response was based on his religious faith. I however do not feel guilty or uncomfortable about being able to be angry with God. Maybe because I do not feel bound by a specific religion's code, having kind of created my own. I don't go to church and I don't spend a lot of time reading my Bible. But I do think about life, and death from a faith perspective. I've been known to pray in my own way. I build my own relationship with the man upstairs.

But for all of the freedom I feel in this open relationship, I can't say that I have ever been angry with God. Not because it isn't my right to question or that I don't think he would take it, but because I am pretty sure it isn't going to get me anywhere. There are terrible things that my loved ones have endured. They are unfair. And it pisses me off. It makes me sad. But it never crosses my mind to yell at the head of my personal religion.

Maybe it is because I am not completely sure anyone is really there. Or that if they are, that they really have control over everything. I tend to believe that we are all created with a roadmap inside. A few sets of people that we are destined to meet in our lifetime that can put us in a position to do what our creator intends for us to accomplish. But in the end, we have free will and that often screws up the neat little roadmap. So sometimes we make things way more difficult to be put in motion than they should have been. And sometimes we just flat out cause things to not play out at all. That's why there are so many of us floating around out there - the hope is that eventually some of us will get it right.

So although I think it is OK to vent my anger at the God I have a relationship with, I also feel that it might be a bit counterproductive since they really can't fix all of the world's issues. But I bet it would feel good to let it out. To have someone to complain to, to question, to yell at. And then have them say "I know, I know. I am on your side. I want the same things you do. Trust me. We'll find a way through." Kind of like your BFF.


Sandy Nawrot said...

I am Catholic, but I came into the religion as an adult (and at the time, an adult angry with God, but instead of being struck down, I was called to Him). Before we had kids, I decided to convert so we could be a family united. I do feel alot of guilt in general but that's just me, not the Catholic thing. And in the religious company I keep, there is nothing wrong with getting angry. He loves everbody, even on a bad day!

Kathleen said...

I think God can take it for sure! I've never felt the need to rant and rave at God but I know people who have and lightning didn't strike them dead.