I don’t know who I am.
But I do know a couple of things.
The first is that I’ve spent the better part of the last decade running from God.
I never understood it. The concept of God, Jesus, religion, and everything in between. It never made sense to me. But then again, I grew up Catholic and the only thing I will say about Catholicism is they make it really difficult for you to find a connection with God.
I mean who wants to connect with this big, scary guy who is up there judging me and watching me sin?
Not me, I knew that for sure.
So I ran, I ran as far away from God as I could get.
Except I’d often find myself in search of Him anyway. So I went to camps, I went to different churches, I participated in weird celebrations of the Earth. trust me, I’ve seen, heard and experienced more than most.
But maybe that’s the point.
I’ve done all this searching, trying to prove that I don’t need Jesus. That religion is some sort of misguided way of people who want to show they’re better than you. Only, not everyone is like that.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, I dislike Republicans but I haven’t met many that I haven’t been able to at least tolerate.
The point of God isn’t to prove you’re better than someone else. God isn’t like that. At least my God isn’t like that.
This funny thing happens when you run from God, He’s still there. Waiting for you to figure it all out.
He’s in a movie you watch that makes you cry, He’s in a song that tricks you into thinking it’s about a girl instead of about Him, He’s in a breeze of fresh air when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
The point of God isn’t to find meaning.
God is meaning.
I’m not here to tell you what to believe.
There’s plenty of people and places who will do that for you.
But I’ve learned a few things and passing them along is not the worst thing I can do today:
1. Not all Christians are bad. In fact, not all Christians are good. That’s the point. Religion isn’t for the self righteous. Religion is for those people that don’t feel like they belong.
2. God isn’t for everyone. Here’s some truth for you. People find meaning everywhere. Maybe it’s in art or music or helping your elderly neighbor fix her window so she feels safe. What if I told you, God is also found in all of those things because God is meaning. would you hate those things any less? No. So maybe you don’t hate God.
3. If God is meaning than He’s interpreted. And I’m not necessarily going to interpret Him the way you do. That’s not a bad thing. That’s how it’s supposed to be. So don’t let the fact that Sam or whoever on the news did terrible, unspeakable things in the name of God, scare you away from Him. My God is loving, forgiving, gracious. And maybe that’s not for you but people are meant to be loved and I need all the love I can get.
4. There is such a thing as a bad person. You can be a Christian and be a bad person. Or a Muslim or an Atheist. Religion doesn’t make you a bad person. You make you a bad person. Or maybe the shit you’ve gone through or the hurt in your heart. But God didn’t do that.
5. Everywhere there is hurt. There is hunger. There is war. There is rape. There is sadness. God didn’t create those things. God created man. Man is flawed. Just because humans are flawed, does not mean God is. Just because humans are flawed does not mean God wants us to suffer. Where there is suffering there is compassion, love, hope. That’s where God is found. Not in the hate, the hurt, the loneliness. If meaning is God and God is meaning, meaning isn’t found in those terrible acts, meaning is found when you put yourself back together.
I don’t know many things but I know I ran from God for too long. So here I am. Admitting I love God. And that I’m not a perfect person. And I’m okay with it.