Random Thoughts

For the heck of it, I’ve decided to post some random thoughts I’d saved in a draft e-mail to the pastor of the church I’ve been going to for some time.

Tim’s a really interesting & thought-provoking guy & has been very gracious about allowing me to go to him to vent, sound-off, complain, muddle-my-way-through various things.

One of the things he’s been teaching about Sundays is the idea of vulnerability. I’m not going to attempt to explain the idea right now, but as I was glancing over the draft e-mail debating whether to keep any & send or just trash the whole thing, the thought came that maybe I should just toss it out to a wider audience. I know some will vehemently disagree with some of the thoughts, some will wonder what crazy pill I took, but I dunno .. if any of it gets anyone to thinking, and if it makes me take down a little of the wall … well … what’s the worst that could happen? (don’t answer that!)

I realize this is out of context for my few readers, but to attempt to share lessons that have started these lines of thinking would take far too long & I’d do far too poor a job. Enough stalling! random thoughts of mine relating to spirituality & religion ….

How do you move out of living from fear?If one of my fears is being destitute, how do I turn that around? Some would say “trust in God”, trust that He’ll work it out, that He’ll care for you … but it seems to me that’s not the way things work. People with faith have bad things happen too. Being Christian doesn’t give immunity to poverty or sickness or awful, evil things. So the idea of trusting that God will provide doesn’t seem “right” to me. I can “get” the concept of needing to have faith that God will give you the *strength* to get through whatever may come – is*that* it? The idea that whatever comes our way, we’ve been given the ability to “handle” it?

Which speaks to another big fear of mine – what if I *can’t* handle it? This idea of trials only making us stronger doesn’t always feel true to me. There’s way too many people in the world who, out of trials and fear and stress and crappy things happening have *not* become stronger. They numb themselves, lose a grip on reality, become broken, pay the hurt and pain forward … I can see all kinds of ways *I’ve* done that already, so it’s not true that pain makes us stronger …

Coming back to that idea of “God will provide” ….. mulling over the messages I’d been taught in Sunday school & that I see in many trappings of organized religion I was angered at realizing how much more guilt the church lays on, how much it can contribute to a person thinking they’re NOT good enough…. I was thinking about the story of Daniel in the lion’s den, the “birds of the air” passage & other lessons that teach “trust in God and no harm will come to you” – um yeah, right! The message that if you pray hard enough, believe enough, trust in Him, have enough faith, (fill in your own blank here!), He will keep bad things from you/keep you from bad things …… and it’s just not true!

God doesn’t stop out-of-control cars or drunk drivers, keep animals from attacking, or cancer from destroying, or children being beaten or women being raped. If you surrender to him you might not be rich in the world’s ways, but you won’t starve either is a popular idea I’ve seen in Christians – again, it’s NOT true! …. that’s just not the way it works! why do so many “Christians” spend so much time teaching these messages about trusting God to “take care of u”s & that belief in Him means no harm will come to us?

How in the world was I to make sense out of the things that happened in my life, both as an innocent child as as a “believer”? Did they happen because I didn’t pray right? my faith wasn’t strong enough? I was too sinful? I “deserved” punishment? I’d failed to forgive someone? Didn’t understand what forgiveness meant? Why had God not protected me? Why does He allow such suffering? The death of children moves me to tears when I don’t even know them or thir families. The plight of millions of starving people could push me over the brink of insanity if I let it. There is so much WRONG in the world … to lay it at the feet of lack of faith? No, I don’t think so.

I *can* understand (I think) someone being in a place of it not mattering (mmm, no, that’s not quite the right phrasing) what happens and I *think* that’s what Tim is getting at when he spoke about dying to the old life, the old creation vs new, but I totally don’t get how to get there. It’s definitely tied up/to contentment and peace …



  1. Alexis said,

    March 27, 2008 at 7:42 am

    ((hugs)) Love you Tori.

  2. Lisa said,

    March 27, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Ok, I haven’t read all that you wrote, yet. I’ll get back to it… BUT, I’m reading a book called “Messy Spirituality” Ugh, I forgot the name of the author and the book is not handy at the moment… BUT anyway, I’m sure you can find it online. It may help with some of the things you are questioning! Questions are GREAT! Fear is HUMAN! We are human, and all God asks of us is the faith of a mustard seed. No one should make you feel badly because you have fear. Fear doesn’t just go away. I know I have tons of fears. I do pray about them though. Don’t be afraid to talk to God and share with him your fears, your angers, all of your feelings… a relationship is what we have with God, and relationships are built on communication and trust. You may not always hear God’s “voice” but, if you journal your prayers and thanksgivings, then I bet you will see God’s answers when you read back through your journal. OK, I’ve gotta run, but I’m going to get back to this!

  3. Lisa said,

    March 27, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    and one more thing… I too, am distraught over the death of innocent children… however, I have recently seen how in some ways it can be a blessing for that child. And the example is that of a little boy who was in February 2007. He died in March 2007… five weeks after his birth. He had many birth defects, etc. A year later, I count his death as a huge blessing to that child. We’ve found out that the child we prayed over, the child we chose to love, inspite of his situation… an unwed mother, no named father… was actually the product of an affair… and not just any affair… an affair of two ex’s. Two people who are so selfish and manipulative that they actually place their children in the middle of their schemes. My sister was married to the most likely candidate for father of that sweet baby that passed away. I realize now, that child was spared the manipulation, heartache and despair of growing up in family that is about as dysfunctional as they come. I’ve seen my sister so hurt by this, and I’ve seen her husband use their son against my sister. He’s still having a relationship with his ex… while married to my sister, and the children he had with his ex are privy to all of this. Those boys are so messed up and so lost. And it does say in the bible that the sins of the father will be cast down upon their children. I think that right there is an EXCELLENT reason for making better decisions when it comes to relationships… but that’s for another time. Anyway, we may NEVER know why sweet innocent children have to go through such horrible circumstances, but I know that children DO NOT go through it in vain. OK more later!

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