I’ve actually closed down for the night, and yet, there’s something bothering me. So with that, here I am. Sometimes people wonder about my religious beliefs. More accurately they wonder about my beliefs in Jesus and Christianity. Today I was asked if I believe in God. Well, I would like to tell you exactly what I believe and why it is my belief.
It’s easy to think that someone who refrains from adhering to a particular doctrine is anti-Christ. I am not. In fact, I feel Christ was one of the preeminent teachers of our time. I’ve also read the bible backwards and front, copiously. I’ve owned almost every version available, of which there are many, and at one time, had a Jesus fish on my car. This, after I gave my life to Christ at the age of twenty. Which was important as I struggled with drinking and needed direction at the time. As a humble gesture to this beautiful spirit to whom I felt so indebted, I did not drink alcohol during my twenty-first year of life. The first books ever written by me were Christian story books for children. So, you see, I am not one who frowns upon Christ.
I do frown upon hypocrisy. And as I grew into my soul, often that was what I saw. Unfortunately, that is often what I still see. If one is going to profess to follow a doctrine, all I ask is that they do so. Or, stop professing it. To me, there is no greater display of hypocrisy than the adulterer who sits without guilt in a church pew. Or one that talks of Jesus’s love and the need to treat others with honesty, then lies simply because they know they won’t get caught.
Regardless of where we sit, we know right from wrong. We know when we are being true to the greater part of ourselves and others, and when we are not. This is true if one is stranded on a remote island, this is true if sitting in a full congregation. But if the spoken guidance and camaraderie of a church is what works, then keep going. And keep working on honoring the God within. I would like to walk with even a thread of the integrity, in which the great teachers God sent our way had walked. If I even come close, I will be amazed. I do know this, I will not use someone. I will not harm them. I will treat them with as much love as I possess. I will do this because that is what dwells within me. At times I fail. But then I try again. I treat others as I would want to be treated. And when it doesn’t happen in return, I try to turn the other cheek. I try.
People need structure and so often they go to a church to find it. This is good. This is needed. The church says to love one another as you love yourself. And we know that deep down we would never intentionally hurt or lie to ourselves. So why then lie to another? Isn’t doing so blasphemous?
The Godliest amongst us are those that listen to their heart. And often the heart will guide us in the same ways as the fundamental rules of the church. There is no need for jealousy, gluttony, adultery or dishonesty. There is no need to harm another. We are all perfect. Accept one another. These are the tenants of the heart and of many churches. I merely say, let’s live them.
My mother once said something funny, yet quite profound. At least it was to me during my early years. I was taught that every day we were to pray and put on the armor of God; the breastplate of righteousness and so on. I asked my mother why she didn’t do this. She replied, “Because I never take it off.” And in many ways, that is the crux of my spirituality. I never stop praying, it is an internal dialogue that is constant within my heart and mind. I do not put a stop and a start to my spirituality. It just always – is.
As I make my way through this life, I do so not alone. God lives with me. This wondrous force that pulls the ocean waters gently to and fro, also moves me. And because of that close walk, I tend to pull away from people. Simply because I struggle with many of their actions. I do not feel God lives in a far off place. I feel God lives in every place. Like Santa, he knows when we are naughty and he knows when we are nice. I feel Jesus wanted nothing more than to teach people to trust and to love. I just wish I saw more people doing that. Whether they sit in a church or by a stream, I do not care, I just wish I saw more people doing that.
Even my novels incorporate God. The struggle people have in today’s world to fully trust God is palpable; its real. The feeling of being lost in a topsy-turvy world is all around us. For every one that is standing steady there are three that’ve gone astray. My novels often touch on that. Not because I doubt God, but because it’s what I see. I often joke that if I walked into a church, I’d melt. This is my odd humor poking fun at how others view my perception of God. My perception just happens to encompass all things – because to me, God is all things.
So with that, I will say good night to you and to all those great teachers that have tried to help us mere mortals excel in walking in love while living on earth; to find heaven a bit more, and hell a bit less.