Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Well, boo.

When I started this blog, I thought I would fill it with witty and philosophical observations of the world and my life. I thought I would tell well-constructed stories that showcase my intelligence and insightfulness. For some reason I didn't want this to be a mom-blog. For some reason I didn't want it to be "what's going on in my life." I didn't want it to be "Dear Diary" for the world to see.

After a few entries I found myself uninspired. I have a million ideas to explain (some of them I shared in a recent-ish post). Evidently explanation wasn't enough to bring the inspiration roaring back.

I find that I have millions of questions of the world, of the universe and everyday I feel like I have less and less answers, and certainly nothing witty to say about it all. Also, last time I asked a question out loud in this medium, I got told to settle down and stop asking such questions. I've always been encouraged to be curious and inquisitive, but it certainly has led to it's fair share of "Paralysis by Analysis." So that's no fun for anyone to read and I don't want to write that which isn't any fun.

I also have been scared to share my biggest question, for fear of being called a fraud.

I'm over it.

Where is God? I'm not kidding, I'm so unsure of God's whereabouts I would be lying if I said I was certain of God's existence. The biggest trouble in all of this: this is not a crisis of faith, this is not a passing feeling. This is simply the first time I've admitted it. Hell, I'm a pastor's wife, I've earned a Master's degree from Seminary, I've worked as a youth worker in several churches, I've been a church-camp counselor, I've helped with more VBS's than I can count, I was on the Synod LYO board, I was the girl who brought her friends to church, I asked to be baptised at age 8 because I felt strongly about the sacrament. How does all of that add up to "Where is God?" Have I been faking it all these years? Holy Shit! I hope not.

I'm not sure what I've been believing in all these years. When I talk people through "Am I a Christian?" I start with the Apostle's Creed. Perhaps that is where I shall begin.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

I can't understand how anyone who has eyes and a brain can NOT believe in a creator. Biology, Chemistry and Physics explains how things in our world work, but not why. I have a long list of phenomenon that "prove" to me a creator's hand in our universe.

Where I loose the connection is God's benevolence and relational nature. Now that I read the line, I'm not sure why I've always thought benevolence is implied, but I've been taught that it is, I've taught that it is. We do not believe that God is a puppeteer and we do not believe God is a clock-maker who simply made the world, wound it up and pushed "Go!". Those ideas, to me, imply benevolence.

I have never felt a "relationship" with God. I see good things in the world and believe they are God's work, but I do not feel his presence in my own life. I cannot name one time when I have felt God guiding me or speaking to me (no stories of veering off the route home to buy some milk here). At this point I'd say I have more faith in coincidences and chance than God's guiding hand. I've never had a strong prayer life and I'm pretty sure I don't involve God in any decisions I make on a day to day basis. Pray for signs, forget it. I've tried to build a prayer practice with Lectio Divina by myself, devotions, journaling, name it, I've probably tried it...I'm sure that I "give up" each time because I feel/hear nothing...I feel like I'm just talking to my self. The theologian in me tells myself that I'm approaching it too selfishly, that I'm looking for it to be God-Down rather than me giving my self, my thoughts, worries, etc to God. Well, after 15 years, the one sided conversation doesn't do the trick anymore (I guess not that it ever has).

In my Christian life, my relationships have been with people. I have been held up in crisis by people. I have seen 1 set of footprints in the sand of another person. Sure, you say, God has acted through those people to give you a tangible sense of Himself. That's all fine and good, but people are still people and can't guide me the way God is supposed to. People are too weak for that, as well they should be. People give me conflicting answers/advice, as well they should. I want both...I want people and I want God....why is that so much to ask. Why are there people (even Lutherans) who walk around spouting "God's told me..."?? Are they lying, are they delusional, are they as lonely for God as I am but they are convincing themselves of God's voice?

I have put some big things out there for God's input and have made some big decisions on his (I now perceive to be lack of) guidance. If God demands us to cling to him, why the hell doesn't he give me anything when I'm hanging by my fingernails, why don't I ever feel at peace, why am I forced to feel like I just have to own up to my choices because I never have one damn clue what God thinks I should do?

Here I stand, I can do no other.


  1. Hey Erin, I hear you.

  2. Wow. Remember feeling that way when I was 16 or so and then just going off for years to 'feel' life regardless of what it meant or of knowing it's source. By now though, 40 years later (ya, momma is almost 56); the 'knowing' unfolded. For me it came through reading, study, listening. Something 'resonates' as true inside at sometime. Those resonances are there for you, I've witnessed them. They come in all the imaginable forms, happy, raged, sad, mad, glad, love, un-love, certainty, uncertainty...you know? Ummm, you're on your way girl, have been since before you were born, my first one. Just a bit more and you'll see it. Let's retreat together. It would be awesome, girly girl.