So, I’m not religious but in my 26 years of life I have had a love hate relationship with God.
When I was a young teen I had a friend who died from heart disease, I cried and asked God ‘if you’re really there why didn’t you help?’ other things happened in my childhood that made me wish for a God, made me ask any God that would listen for help or guidance.
My parents never christened me or made me go to church, they left religion up to me, they let me go out and decide for myself (I am eternally grateful for this, I’m not sure how I’d feel if they had forced a religion on me). But how can I truly decide to follow a God, follow an ancient text when all I have to do is look at the latest headlines and wonder what God would let this happen?
What God would allow people to fight over him in war? What God would allow grown men and women to target young and vulnerable children? What God would allow his people to crumble to nothing from illness or poverty? What God would allow people to die in his name? What God would allow the young to die before they’d even seen the world? What God would allow people to be banished, beaten or bullied simply because they prefer the same sex or any other reason for that matter?
On the other hand, A close friend of mines mother suffered from severe depression, alcoholism and self hatred, until she found God, she found hope and a way to get better. She found friends in a community that would not judge or shame her, they would hold her hand and her head up high. For that I am eternally thankful to the God she found.
How many Gods are there? If every religion held truth I imagine things to get a little crowded! When it comes to Gods and religions I start asking so many questions that just confuse everything I know. During my school years I didn’t particularly pay attention in Religious Education lessons, I’ll hold my hands up and say I was the child who would sit and stare into space imagining flying cars in the near future or animals out smarting us and taking over, robots destroying the entire human race or aliens dropping by for a visit… so yeah, religion was usually the last thing on my mind.
We once had a field trip to our local church. I admired the stunning old building and I went over to the Vicar and in my innocent childish way I asked ‘how can God be everywhere? Why do I never see him if he’s always with me?’ the vicar simply replied ‘God is in your heart.’ My brain ticked over with more questions but I left it at that. We went to a mosque, we removed our shoes and looked around the beautiful building, and again I asked questions, ‘how can there be so many Gods?’ to which the reply was ‘There is only one’ (if I’d have asked this at an older age I may have skipped off singing the Highlander theme tune not wondering who was right my Grandma, my Buddhist friend or my Muslim friend.)
I like the idea of having someone to talk to be it in prayer, confessionals or just having a chat. I like the hope, the inspiration, the security and the love that followers of God have… but I don’t think it’s for me. For now I shall go on asking questions and wishing on stars and being a tiny little bit envious of those who truly have a God in their heart!