Come on and sing me a song of praise and glory
Help this wandering child to understand.
That when I close my eyes in sleep eternal
I’ll be clinging to a saving hand.
Clinging to a Saving Hand – Leann Rimes
Since my husband left, I have searched for comfort, support and advice from every available source. I have used self-help books, counseling websites, friends and family. I have even turned to the bible to see if it could provide me with the strength that I so sorely need.
I read a blog post from Schizo Incognito about faith and religion. I tried to write a comment but realised I had far too much I wanted to say. I decided instead to write my own blog post, with my feelings on religion and beliefs. If you want to read the original post you can find it here. For those of you who took part in the WordPress Zero to Hero challenge, this post also finally allows me to finish one of the challenges that I never felt I had the inspiration to complete before now.
I am not religious. I don’t practice religion daily. I wasn’t raised in a Christian household. I have never read the the bible from cover to cover. Neither am I an atheist. I was christened and both of my children have now also been baptised through the Church of England. I am a wannabe believer.
The problem that I have is that I can’t seem to make myself believe. I have many friends from different religions and I envy them the comfort and peace that they take from their belief that something grander is watching over them. I have tried and I am unable to replicate this sense of peace. I sit in a church and listen to the beautiful words and the uplifting music, but I am unmoved. I sometimes lie at night and pray (as much as I am able to with my limited understanding) but I do not feel anything when I do. There is no sensation that someone might be listening. I feel totally alone.
And so, I guess my question is this. No matter how much you want to, can you force yourself to believe in something if you just, well, don’t? Surely that is the definition of faith and belief. You either have it or you don’t.
Most of my friends who are religious were raised in families that practiced religion on a regular basis. Don’t they have an unfair advantage over me? If you are told something is true, over and over, from childhood, surely you are more likely to grow up believing it is so. This must explain why most people who are raised in Muslim families grow up to be Muslims, Jewish families produce Jews and so on.
I am a fairly logical, sensible person. I was raised to be skeptical of things that come without evidence – UFOs and ghosts for example. If someone told me they believed in fairies at the bottom of the garden I would think they were slightly unhinged. However, to believe in a higher power who watches over us, with no actual proof that such a thing exists is a much more acceptable belief.
Yet, there are people who discover religion completely on their own. Christians convert to Islam because they find something there that they need. People with no faith become born-again Christians and go on to lead strong, religious lives. But how? Do they just will it into being? I ask out of a genuine desire to know the answer. I need something to comfort me, something to lean on when I cannot be strong. I just don’t know how to find it.
I have begun to read through the bible. I think the teachings of Christ are wonderful. If everyone could live their life the way that Jesus taught us to, the world would truly be a better place. Maybe we really would find the heaven that everyone is searching for. But they mean no more to me than the teachings of say, Martin Luther King or Mother Theresa. I want to feel something!!
So, I hope I haven’t offended anyone with my ramblings. These are just my silly, uneducated thoughts and I am by no means an expert on matters of religion.
And I would love to hear your thoughts. Are you religious? Atheist? Have you discovered or rediscovered religion? Have you turned away from it? What gives you strength and comfort when you are at your weakest? There is no right or wrong here for me – just a journey of discovery without any sense of direction