My Life Observations
I have decided to begin a sort of journal here about life's lessons along the way. Or I think, instead of lessons, I will call these revelations, "observations," because I am in no way implying these statements are "right" or "true," just noticed, or observed. If you are following me on Facebook or Twitter or at concerts, you already know my struggles with faith and meaning. I seem to be at constant odds with the universe, yet I am desperately seeking it and want to understand. But, don't we all? Why are we here? Are we all like bunch of bugs on a planet amidst some vast organized chaos? Or, are we people with purpose, planted here by the Creator? I have trouble with the latter because it seems so pointless, especially the Jesus part and the origin of evil. Ah, that! The origin of evil! THAT is what gets me every time.. But anyway..I digress ￼...
Spiritual Observations, A Truth Seekers Journey
By Heather McCready
1. Life will write it's own self.
No matter how much I try to plan..life will happen.
2. Things happen for others an not necessarily for myself (assuming they have a purpose at all and are not just random).
I won't always know why they happened because the benefit may never be explained to me.
For example, I may wrestle forever wondering WHY God would allow a thing to happen to me and work to figure it out, when all along the purpose was never for me but for someone else effected by it. Therefore, the question of WHY, while it may never BE answered for me MAY HAVE an answer that makes sense if I could see the world from above like a tapestry laid out like a timeline.
3. Ah. And my favorite! My theory of "The Pillar of Truth".
God looks down and sees all angles of situations and perspectives. He looks DOWN on it so he sees the TRUTH as it stands like a pillar. Meanwhile, people are on all sides of it looking only at the portion they can see. They rarely make it around to the other side of the pillar where the other person stands. They rarely "empathize." This applies to civilizations as well as normal daily situations. And many times, TRUTH is still TRUE even though it is seen differently through different eyes. Only the Creator can look down and see the whole truth, therefore, I think being too dogmatic about anything is a bad idea. It is hard though not to be isn't it? Much more on this subject later..
4. Evil is pain. Pain is a result of man's emptiness. Bad things happen in a chain reaction.
Therefore "evil" is a result of man's attempt to mend the pain and suffering. Someone steals because he does not have. The person stolen from has experienced "evil."
A woman cheats because her heart has a hole to fill. She is hurting. The man then suffers as a result of her pain. He then, too, has experienced "evil." And so on. Where did it begin? I don't believe in the literal Garden of Eden story so.. I still don't know.
5. God allows the evil, but doesn't CAUSE it. He doesn't PREVENT it, but seems to care for us DURING it in ways that sustain us.
I think that old saying, "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger" is true. And if we are dead, I guess we are OK.
6. I believe people are judged by their own capabilities, experiences, cultures, and understanding.
I am not even sure if "judging" happens or what it would be for. The concept of hell is inconsistent with that of a loving Father. But, to what extent we might be judged I think it could only be according to what we know, understand and are capable of.
I believe the traditional Christian (or Islamic) idea of hell was created by man and not by a loving Creator. Eternal damnation doesn't make any sense and is unfair and contrary to any notion of a "good" entity. If evil comes from pain, it is man made. I think our hell is man made as well.
7. Perhaps the lessons of good living are true and lead to a life free of the "hell" we create. Some hell will always come our way however, because we are in a world that is full of pain.
The lessons in the Bible seem to lead to good lives with less overall suffering. Basically, be nice to yourself (don't smoke, drink, or gorge :) and be good to others (all the commandments in essence mean "be nice") and you will live a more contended life. It's true! Look at the Mormons. ￼ Yes, I DID just say that! And I believe it too. Other than the radical polygamists, the moderate Mormons seem to be very good, happy, well balanced, family centered people. Polygamy leads to jealousy and sadness if you ask me. But that is not an observation worth giving a number. ￼
7. When you don't have a clear answer-do nothing. Stand still.
My dad taught me this one and I think he is right. It seems to make sense that when we feel lost, or have no sense of direction, we should just continue as we are and wait; evidently the time for change hasn't arrived. Perhaps that reason isn't for YOU. Remember what I said in observation 2?
Try my song ." If you made it this far, I am sure you will love it! Thanks for reading. More to come! ...
8. Ignorance really is bliss.
Before I learned about social media I remember being in my pool floating with a much more peaceful mind. I was completely unaware of the zillions of invisible conversations taking place all around me. It was only a few years ago that I got onto Facebook. I got on for the first time after a manager cited the necessity for me to be present in the world of social media in order to ever become relevant in the music industry. It wasn’t long before I was hooked! However, I am sad now that I ever discovered it. Because now that my ignorance of it and contentment with silence has been replaced with knowledge, I am never satisfied. It has disturbed the peace I once had and has replaced it with the desperation to keep up and be included with the rest of the world. Now I wonder if I will ever find contentment again.
This is just one example. Ignorance is bliss in countless ways.
9. “Doubt is essential to faith. Faith, by definition, requires uncertainty.”
uncertainty about the truth, fact, or existence of something
Faith requires doubt because it is without proof or evidence.
strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp. without proof or evidence
Hence, it requires trust.. Something I have very little of.
10. The secret to a contented life is learning to allow.
Learning to allow people to choose to do what they will..Learning to allow God to choose to do what He will. Learning to allow and not try to control things outside of me and even some things within me. Learning to allow me to be as well. But, what if the person I am allowing to do what he chooses, chooses to hurt me? What if God chooses to allow scary, painful things to happen to me? allow, allow, allow,.... breath, breath, breath,.... Lamaze, Lamaze, Lamaze,..... hyperventilating..Ugh! I think I understand that allowing is the secret to contentment but, what I don’t yet understand is the secret for how to do it!
11. It takes more faith to be an Agnostic than a believer.
I have realized that most people think that being an Agnostic means that I don't have faith, when reality is quite to the contrary. It requires more faith, in my opinion, to trust in something that you don't know than that you do. I don't know if the Bible is true. In fact, much of it really is hard for me to accept. Animals walking two-by-two, talking snakes, angels and demons and all sorts of other weird things. But, it doesn't ultimately matter if I accept it as the literal word of God. What matters is what I decide to believe about it as a whole. What is it's message? I can't say that I am certain all of these things happened or that they didn't, but I am beginning to believe that regardless of if they did or not, the message of freedom and grace in the Bible rings true. The faith I have now isn't because I KNOW anything to be true, it is only faith in what my gut is telling me. I have no map, no textbook, and to the dismay of most of my Christian friends, I don't say I know that Christianity is the only way to salvation. But, I do have faith in God and in the message of Grace that I understand Jesus taught in the Bible. It rings true to me. I feel the power of forgiveness and I feel the darkness of hate. It is hard to learn to walk by faith, blindly. But my God-given internal compass is leading me gradually to the place where He is. And I think that not believing in Him is helping me begin to believe in Him for who He truly is for the very first time in my life.
12. The message of Jesus and the Spirit of God are that of Love. That same Spirit can live within people of all faiths.
It is now months later and I have arrived at number 12! I went to my first Christian home group/church event after 7 years of avoidance. I was hurt by the church. It wasn't their fault. I am out of the box and they didn't know what to do with me. That is ok. But what I found outside the church were friends of all faiths. Three very close friends are Jewish and Muslim and one sort of non-religious "good person". And what I feel within them is a glowing good. It is the same spirt that I recognize within myself and that is the Spirit of God and of Love. To make a long story short, I was thrilled when I went to this non-denominational meeting of Christian believers and found some very open minded missionaries there who spoke my language! Finally! So, we are watching the video of the book Beautiful Outlaw, by John Eldridge. The first 2 chapters were interesting and began a discussion about Jesus and his intent and point and the toxicity of religion. There was a man there who had been a missionary in Kenya for 36 years and another man who was from WyCliff Bible Translators. They understood the problem of language barriers, and the problem of believing one must understand Christian doctrine to be "saved". I was so excited because I have been plagued with having to remain outside of the Christian fold like a black sheep, because nobody seemed to understand my point that it made no sense for a loving God to damn people for just not knowing, getting Christian teaching! And beyond that, Christian teaching varies so much that in my mind it must be boilled down to the simple message of Jesus' intent, His essense- his LOVE. I have watched the Christian church turn into the old Jewish system that Jesus fought against and hated. It has become a formulaic, systematic cerebral thing that just doesn't fit within the context of the world. So, I loved this. The the missionary explained that people in Kenya understood things differently than us. They understood it in relational experiences not by the cognitive reasoning and systematic ways of teaching and understanding that we have in America. Therefore, it follows that people seek and understand God in different ways. Yes! I agree. That means they may know Him by a different name, but if it is the same spirit of glowing Love then the name doesn't matter! That is so freeing to me and it gets rid of the problem I was having with God for creating such an unfair system.
13. Perhaps we ARE working out our salvation.
You see, I am a person who feels. I feel that glowing spirit in some and I feel a bad spirit in others. And honestly, I sense that within myself and others that there are parts that are perhaps divided between the good and bad. I feel like I can perceive both at times coming out in different ways. Perhaps we are not either either "good" (saved, and full of the spirit ) or "bad" (unsaved, not having the spirit ) but always chipping away or letting go of one or the other. Perhaps we are aiming for good and filled as we go with more good? Maybe the bad sticks harder in some broken recesses of our hearts and stays longer? Is that what "working out our salvation" means? I am not certain but it is one thing I am thinking about.