I feel I should explain the titles of these posts. They will be named after classic songs by Frank Sinatra. Mainly because he's one of my idols, if you will. We all need senseis. He had the three S's: soul, suits, and swagger. Not to be confused with the "swagger" so commonly used by teenage facebookers and internet memes. "Swagger" as in the privilege you attain for speaking the truth, being who you are, and not letting other people's criticism stop you from doing what you love to do.
I am a Christian. It's not often that I get into deep religious...for lack of a better word, debates, with people. Especially people I'm close to. Not that such conversations often lead nowhere, far from it. I think talking about religion and sharing one's own perspectives, while at the same time respecting each other's right to see it in that way is very healthy and natural. It's being one-sided and not willing to listen that spurs hate and prejudice. Also, note there is a difference between "willing to listen" and "accepting their belief." You don't have to accept their belief. You can simply acknowledge that they believe something different, you can give them your perspective, and be done with it. Let bygones be bygones, you've said what you needed to say.
So had this conversation with a co-manager of mine. Kind of a stoner, but very intelligent guy. Does his research and has legitimate reasons for believing what he does; much better compared to those who just spout off random crap or take the easy route of falling in with the crowd.
He had a religious background, growing up going to Catholic school. But now in his late 20's has somewhat lost his faith in God and religion as a whole. He claimed God has made a beautiful world, but the pathway to achieving faith and accepting God into your life was a bloody one. People in history have been known to manipulate religion for their own gain, or preached religion through pride and vanity. Agreed. It has happened. No doubt that religion, not just Christianity or Catholicism, has been the foundation of much war and bloodshed for certain peoples. Even current day. Still happens, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Though what he was asking for was "a glimpse of the truth," just so in the end he wouldn't be caught off guard. Nothing big, just something as small as a bird, anything. Now, word that as you may, what you're asking for is certainty, or proof. And I explained to him, through my Christian background, that he shouldn't hold his breath. A bird would be too easy. God doesn't want you to come to him because of a bird; you need to confess and accept Him in.
John 20:25-29 New International Version
25 So the other disciples told Thomas, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
You can't just tell people, ya know, "Get faith now." It's not something you can find half-off at Target.
My grandma, one of the people I will always look up to the rest of my life, fantastic woman, put it well. It takes baby steps. You peak in, open up a little, research some, open up a little more, try this and that, start praying, open up a little more. You can't expect anyone to go from having no faith to faith just like that.
Acts 16:29-31 New International Version
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved —you and your household.”
God will never give you so much in your life that you can't handle it. You can look back on your entire life. Yes, admittedly, you've likely had some tough times. Had to make hard decisions. Had to get this much done in this amount of time. But you've always overcome it.
John 3:16 New International Version
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Point being, it's just been on my mind the last day or so. I don't talk about religion in-depth THAT often, but once I get into it, I can't seem to stop thinking about it.
I'll go to the fridge to get something to eat, but I can't think of what I'm hungry for because I have all this other crap in running through my head! Gah!
So, yep. Just needed to get that down in writing. For my own sanity.