Thought I’d get this down whilst it’s still fresh in my mind. A thought I shared with M. last night.
Having written down my Big List of Stuff I Still Believe (which actually isn’t all that big but hey.. big in importance) the obvious next question is “so what? what am I going to do about it?” (M. suggested I look into Quakerism and though it’s one the back burner it’s an idea that appeals)
See one of the things about the List is realising I no longer believe a lot of stuff that I did before. Yet there are some things about that old faith that I miss. Not just the certainty of it and the all-inclusive nature of its explanations. It did somehow seem to provide me with a sense of inner strength to draw on. A lot of the things I find difficult in day-to-day life aren’t that big a deal really. And yet, for one reason or another I am a person who finds himself intimidated by some fairly everyday tasks. In the past I was much better at dealing with this I think. Some of that was having friends to turn to, both to talk to and give practical help. But part of it was that I used to pray about whatever was bothering me.
But since I stopped going to church I also stopped praying. It’s seemed wrong somehow, inconsistent. I was railing against God and telling myself I no longer believed in him. To interrupt that to ask for help cos I was nervous about a dentist’s appointment seemed daft and a bit disrespectful. Now however, I’ve come to a point of writing the List which is also a way of saying that I do still believe stuff even if it isn’t all neatly worked out and isn’t the same as what I had before. So now it’s not so out of the question to pray, except…
Except that I too easily slip into prayer. It was after all a habit I’d had for a vey long time. Like riding a bike etc. Not that that itself is a problem, but it means that when I pray I’m automatically thinking of faith and God the way I used to. Not even thinking, it’s an emotional thing. And yet now I want to pray, but the God I want to pray to is different. So emotionally it’s a bit weird.
But I am doing it anyway.
And speaking in tongues. (that’s a whole other blog post probably)