Monday, May 28, 2012

God-panic

If you're going to have a God-panic the last time you want it is at 11.30 at night.


I was in bed listing the people I wanted God to bless, be with, help etc, and it occurred to me that there were a lot of them. 'How can you do all of this?' I said, meaning it as a joke but then the ridiculousness of it struck. How can God be everywhere and know everything? It's rubbish.


Now every so often I get these thoughts and they usually pass quickly but last night they struck with a stomach-grippingness. 'Do I really believe this? How can I? It's impossible.' The last time I felt this bad was very shortly after I became a Christian and I remember the struggle, and the conversation I had with a wise man at the time. I tried to do again what he had suggested: bring God down to size, that is, think of Jesus the man. When I think of him it's easy. Usually. Last night that trick didn't work so well.


I considered the impact of what it would mean if I lost my faith. Most of what I do would become meaningless; I'd have to stop. And, yes, much of my self-worth/ego is derived from who I am as a Christian; if I lost that I would lose far more than somewhere to go of a Sunday. I want to believe; I don't want to lose my support, foundation - or crutch if you prefer.


I once chose to believe, to believe the stories of Jesus are true, to believe he died and rose again. And it's that decision I hang on to sometimes when my brain says it's nonsense. It's what I'm clinging to now.


It's nothing to do with Baz's death or anything in particular I'm sure and I still choose to believe in spite of doubts and uncertainties. I'm not an emotional person; I don't expect to feel anything. Sometimes I wish I could feel more. I see others moved by what they see or hear and freely expressing that emotion and I envy them but I have to tell myself that feelings don't last. And feelings can be deceptive.


My faith is both rational, in that it's a decision I've made, and irrational, in that I can see the nonsensical side of it. 


This must sound like a confused post and it is I suppose but it's okay, nothing's changed. Just a little wobble. Nothing God can't deal with.

6 comments:

katney said...

Mark 9:24

Sometimes faith is hard.

I've chosen faith, too, but sometimes sometimes, it is hard.

Sometimes, even after years with the habit of faith--can you call it a habit?--you have to keep on choosing it over and over again.

And then I think, "What would I do without it?"

Leslie: said...

I agree with Katney. When I became a Christian, I had so many questions but my pastor said it's sometimes harder than not believing. Even though I don't attend church, my faith is strong. If I ever get those feelings/thoughts like you've been having, I just believe that God is smarter and stronger than I am, so leave it with Him. Hope that helps a bit, Liz.

Liz said...

Thanks, both. x

Furtheron said...

let go and let God as they say...

I don't have a faith like you - Jesus was to me just a man, a very good man, a clever man, but no more the son of God as you or I and the risen from the death bit and virgin births... sorry I'm convinced embellishment in the first few years of a stuttering religion esp one that needed Romes blessing in the time of the empire...

However faith is just that faith - it can't die, you might just lose focus on it a bit and need to re-focus but if you have that faith that faith will remain you have to figure out if it is still no your path or not

best wishes

Rose said...

I think every Christian faces these times of self-doubt now and then. That's why I have trouble with people who interpret the Bible so literally--some of it, esp. the Old Testament, just doesn't make sense today. But I think Jesus' teachings always apply. I'm sure your faith is still there, Liz; just keep on following your heart.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Without the occasional doubt it wouldn't be faith , just blind acceptance .