Tag Archives: blogging

Tuned in: Testing God once again

There is an interesting blog titled “A Year Without God” which caught my attention a few months ago. It is a provocative blog that describes a former Adventist pastor deciding to live a year as if God did not exist .   He says in one of his posts titled “Where I stand: a six-month report” that he does not believe in God because of lack of empirical evidence.  These are his exact words :

I don’t see how there is any empirical, scientific evidence for God’s existence.I don’t see any evidence for any recognizable pattern of God’s interaction in the world. I don’t think the Bible records anything more than ancient people’s search for the divine.”  (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yearwithoutgod/)

This is a  powerful and bold statement regarding the possible existence or non-existence of an all powerful being.   Although I understand his point of view, I also tend to be cautious and vigilant about any conclusions I make about that which possibly created my mind in the first place.  I sometimes ask myself :  Can the cartoon character conclude that there is no cartoonist?  Can the painting prove that there is no such thing as a painter?  I cannot reach such a bold conclusion if I am not capable of fully understanding what the universe is all about and what other people are perceiving and experiencing.  It is true that we may not be able to “prove” the existence of God by using physical evidence that only our five senses can detect.  But do we have only five senses?

Having said this, I am currently in a position in my life where I felt the need to get on my knees and plead for an answer.  I have been evolving in my spiritual journey, from being a catholic, to a pentecostal fundamentalist, to a more liberal reflective Christian.    For the past two to three years, I have gradually distant myself from the traditional Christian faith.  I chose to liberate myself from living a fundamental religious lifestyle, and adopt a more liberal and inclusive approach.   I have learned a lot from other faiths and traditions in this journey of mine.  You can read more about this spiritual journey in the following posts:  Spiritual Roller coaster,  Is this all there is to Life?, Am I Losing Faith?, Embarrassed by the Church, How NOT to be a Good Christian,  Religiously Correct. 

I am not ashamed to say this, because I also believe that doubt and skepticism can be utilized to learn more about the true nature of my existence, and also about God, as I am capable of understanding Him.

To make a long story short, I recently encountered trouble in my immediate family and felt desperate about it.  More doubts came to my mind, but this time it was about the approach I have been taking in the last year.  I started wondering if this “God business” was actually a bad thing to walk away from.  The concept of hell, salvation through faith alone,  the “forgiveness” of sins, the Holy Trinity, and the divinity of Jesus Christ were a few of many questionable doctrines that simply became too mystical for me to accept and believe any longer.  But right now I am looking past these doubts and allowing God to work on me.  I still have my doubts, but my recent experience in life has been like a a bucket of ice water spilled on my face.  I needed to wake up.

 

So I started to pray, like I have not done in months.  I humbled myself against my rational and intellectual nature, and started to talk to this “invisible” and “distant” God out of desperation.  I often criticized the act of prayer as a manipulative way of getting God to do what I want, which you can read more in the post “Why pray?.”  But I felt like a vegetarian craving for a hamburger in the middle of a desert.

I also started posting and sharing messages in a Christian forum and started reading an inspirational Christian book as well.  As I read some of the pages, my rational mind kept saying to myself:  “be careful…. don’t fall into the religious trap…. you know it is just superstitious….. this is only religious fanaticism… fairy tales.”

But my personal family ordeal was pulling me away from my rational mind, and towards the “unknown” of spiritual life.  I craved for answers.  So I decided to give God another chance.  I blindly got to my knees and plead for my heart to be transformed.  Instead of blaming others and expecting circumstances to change, I accepted the challenge of opening my heart again and let “God” do whatever needed to be done.  I was basically “testing God.”  I remember praying : “you want my attention?…. you got it!”  I cried like a baby.   I remember saying, “I don’t have a lot of faith… but I am here pleading, just in case you are listening!”

I then came across this other wonderful blog titled “Isaiah 53:5 Project” where it has a recent post called “God is calling, Pick up the Phone” The author described a time when he decided to open up to the possibility of God’s call:

” Since I couldn’t escape thinking about the possibility of God or continue to ignore His constant calls I finally, and reluctantly, “answered the phone”.

 

This post helped me realize that God may be “calling me.”   I have asked God if He is listening.  This post asked me if I have been listening to God.  The answer is probably NO.  Like the prodigal son, who walked away from his father, but returned after he has been starving to death.    I still have my doubts.  But that is ok.  I don’t believe God expects me to know everything for certain in order to grow spiritually.   Christianity may still not have all the answers, but I am willing to learn.  I am willing to listen.

I am tuned in.


Thanks to my Blog Visitors!: 2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.  Please click below to see a complete report of my blog.  Thanks to all of you who visited, liked, and commented on my blog.  May this New Year be full of blessings and prosperity!  Keep Blogging!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Wanting to Live

I am fed up.  Not happy with myself.  Sick and tired of this life.   No, I am not suicidal.  Nor am I trying to get pity.    This is not an inspirational, uplifting post, nor a New Year’s resolution post either.  It is simply an expression of what I want…what I need.  A new beginning.  A new life.  But I cannot simply start a new life, unless I end the current life.  I have been wanting to start fresh, which I think is part of my spiritual growth.  But it has been harder than I thought. This blog has been a tremendous tool to express this belief.  But my life is something different.  Something that must die for the new to begin.

I am exhausted with the mundane, predictable way of life.  I know (or I think I know) what this life is about, but I am unable to manifest it. The routine keeps me from starting over again.  What life do I want to start? The only true life which I call Kingdom of Heaven.  I strongly believe in surrendering, simplifying, and serving. But it has been difficult. I have been feeling anxious, worried, and taking care of my own selfish agenda instead.  I am sick of it!

I want to be peaceful, generous,  gentle, patient, and grateful.  The latter trait, grateful, is what I really long for.  I would like to be able to say “Thank you” more and less “Why me?”.   I would like to think that this is just a step closer to the peace I long for, instead of just a mundane and purposeless life.  I have thought that maybe I should be completely neutral, and regard this life as “it is what it is”.  But this would be denying the beauty of life, the transcendent aspect of life,  which I know exists, but I have trouble grasping

I can’t think of life as simply a neutral  state of existence.  I believe there is more, but the routine and troubles of life makes it hard to look beyond what my eyes can see.  I tried religion for more than 35 years, it hasn’t worked.  Forcing myself to get congregated in a structured  community that is based on a rigid, exclusive, and manipulative doctrine does not give me the peace and resolution that I long for.  I long for a more inclusive and flexible approach.  I tried socializing more, I am  simply not a social person.  There is so much socializing that I can do before I start feeling  awkward and out of place. The only interaction that I can appreciate and feel comfortable with is blogging.  I have started to try yoga, but the routine does not let me be more consistent.  I also like to do art, which helps me to express myself more. But again, the routine blocks me.  I strongly dislike my current life!

Maybe this experience is normal.  Maybe everyone goes through this some point in their lives.  Don’t know if I should refer this stage in life as “mid life crisis” or simply some “spiritual crisis”, but I am at a point in life where I would like to go away and start fresh.    I am refering to a change of life that I wish I could do in an instant.  I recognize this is childish and wishful thinking.  But it is how I feel right now.  Maybe moving to a different town, closer to the coast.  Yes, that would be refreshing.  And working at a job where I can concentrate on things I enjoy the most (art, charity, counseling). But at the same time, I must acknowledge where I am right now, and be responsible enough to take care of things. I also believe this life is not all there is.  There must be something more…but, what is this “more”?

Thank you for reading.  I may continue in my next post…  Suggestions are welcomed, but not expected.  See you later.


Personal Quotes

flowers

I have thought of a few personal quotes that summarize my values and opinions about life. I have gathered them from previous comments and from memory.  Here you go:

“If I claim I know God, I am only fooling myself. God is too great to comprehend with my limited mind”

“Suffering makes us remember our physical bodies’  limitations.  The real ME is not limited, it lives on.  But this life is all we have with the current physical body, so we must enjoy it as much as we can, not by indulging, but serving, loving, forgiving, learning, etc. to get ready for the next Life.”

“Today is all we have”

“Do you know who my worst enemy is?  Me.”

“Trying to look at the big picture of life helps us to lower anxiety, decreases our arrogance, and gives us a better sense of what this life is really about.  It is not about the little details that we obsess about, but about the ‘big picture'”

“We are all insecure in some way.  That insecurity comes from the fact that, deep down, we all want to belong, we all want to be part of something or someone, because by nature we are social beings. When we grow up and develop, especially during childhood, we tend to have experiences that threaten this desire to  belong, either through abandonment, abuse, neglect, so we start protecting ourselves from feeling rejected again by being too close to people or being too far from people ….  So I think that when we admire other people a lot more than the amount  of self-worth that we have, it is because we want to please others so much so that we are not ‘rejected’ again.”

‘I am ‘ is the greatest Truth.”

“Ownership is an illusion”

“Truth to me is when I sit down, stop what I am doing, and contemplate about my life, which some people might call prayer.  During this quiet time, I question, reflect, hope, talk, and accept….. I recognize I am not complete, I am not done with understanding or experiencing everything that there is to experience in this limited life.  There is more, and I am living it step by step.  I don’t know everything, but I trust God does which is whom I am relying on.”

” Be humble, mourn,  be meek, strive for righteousness (fairness), be merciful, harbor no hatred, and work for peace; these  are the characteristics of the Kingdom of Heaven. ”

“”Surrender, Simplify, and Serve”

Do you have some personal quotes as well?