My family is great. They are great because they are all horrible. And despite their horribleness they love me. I was going to write that they “try” to love me. But what is loving someone if not “trying” to love someone. All you can do is try. That is what love is, it’s trying. It’s not about success. It’s a desire.
I just finished a long conversation with my family. We started at about 8:30 p.m. and just ended now at 1:30 a.m. In my usual fashion I asked a question. I really feel like I need to stop asking questions it brings the worst out in people. So my question was directed at my sister. I asked her about a book that she gave to me called “discovering God’s will”. I basically asked her what it said. She told me that discovering god’s will is understanding his promises and his covenant with his church and focusing on that and not just on our selfish desires. I liked the sound of that but then I asked her if it wasn’t true that everything is in a way God’s will. If God is all powerful and he is the author and origin of everything then God’s will is everything that happens because God is in complete control. My dad interjected at this point and said that God is not the author of sin because He is righteous and therefore cannot be the origin of sin. I then said isn’t it possible that God created sin for a righteous reason that we humans don’t understand? That question was not answered and I was told that God is righteous and therefore could not have created sin because sin is unrighteous. Then the conversation went many different directions. I have had various conversations with my family over issues such as faith, belief, truth, Bible. So this wasn’t anything new. But I am still hoping to understand and discover through our conversations something of what they believe and what I believe. Unfortunatley though my questions are not understood by my family. At one point I was told by my brother in-law that I was in rebellion from the church and God and that I needed to repent and believe. Then he told me that he couldn’t talk to me anymore that night because he was tired and didn’t want to play my game of defining every word. I agree with him that I need to repent and believe. I need to do that everyday and night. And I myself get tired of playing the game of defining every word. But I think it is a necessary game and an important one. What does rebellion mean? And how am I rebelling from the church and God? How am I supposed to repent from rebellion if I don’t know what rebellion is? How can I be guilty of something that I have no understanding of? My intent in asking questions about God and religion and things of that nature is to discover the beauty of Truth. If my family believes in Truth then why aren’t they comfortable talking with me about it? Why is it always an emotional ordeal? Why is seeking an understanding of “belief” wrong and sinful? My family kept telling me things like “Didn’t you go to church with us all those years? Don’t you know these things?” Do they think just because I heard words that I understood and believed? I wish it worked like that all the time. And I do believe certain things like Jesus is the Son of God and he died for my sins. But I still have questions about it. And I still doubt it with my actions when I sin. I wish that I could have conversations with my family about God and Jesus and belief in a more understanding and peaceful manner but it doesn’t seem to ever be possible. Which is really unfortunate because I think God wants us to converse with each other about these things and be open about our ignorance and inability to understand. I think the problem is basically with me. I seem to ask questions in a way which makes them uncomfortable. I need to learn how to ask questions better without making them feel that way. Maybe I should pray for that. Or maybe I should just pray for the answers so that I don’t even have to ask questions.
Anyway, when my brother in-law told me that I was in rebellion and I needed to repent and believe he just kind of got up and left the table and that was it. I continued talking with my sister and parents about these things but I was unable to contain my emotions. I started to cry because I felt so judged and alienated by my family. It was really horrible. I want to love God and my neighbor but it seems like in order to do that correctly I need to believe certain things and be a member of a church and do certain Christian things like pray and have communion. Maybe I just don’t know how to love God and my neighbor. Maybe loving God and my neighbor is believing certain things and being a member at a church and praying and taking communion. Those don’t seem like bad things. They sound nice, right? But for some reason I don’t want to be nice. I want to be who I am. And I am a Christian. And it seems to me like being a Christian goes hand in hand with asking questions about belief and God and Jesus. Why does being a Christian mean you have no more questions on these issues? You would think someone who believes in something like Christianity would want to discuss what exactly it means to be a Christian.
I also find it interesting that I have heard many people tell me that they really like talking to me because I care and listen and actually take the time to think about what they think and what I think. It seems like this isn’t apparent to my family though. They think I am in rebellion with God. I wonder what God thinks about all of this? Does he laugh or cry? Maybe both. I like to think that he is happy with me. Not that I have somehow attained righteousness but that he looks at me in my confusion and smiles. He knows that I have a good heart and he knows that I am an asshole but he still loves me. And that is what I have hope in. Is that knowledge? Is that Truth? Well, it is what it is. If I denied or affirmed it as knowledge what difference would that make? I live as if it were true and my life is precious to me. What is belief if not investing my life in something that I have hope in?