On Faith, Sororities, and Responsibility
Sometimes I envy my friends who have confidence in their faith. They have such apparent drive and direction, and have an automatic community they can fall back upon if they need support. They can thank Jesus for their accomplishments and be blessed and praise God.
I think of protestant Christianity almost like a universal sorority.
You join, and everyone welcomes you in with music and free food and organized trips and cute clothes and coffee. They validate you and encourage you to become more involved. You’re told you’re beautiful. You take pictures with your community (or nature, what have you) and you all love each other automatically because you are family.
But something just seems wrong. Superficial. You don’t know these people. Not yet, anyway. But somehow you can know God and God knows you.
I’ve tried in vain to reach out to God, wanting to cling to the same thing that seemed to be making my friends so happy. But I didn’t have a big revelation. No uplifting feeling, no reassurance. I just felt like I was talking to myself. My accomplishments and my failures felt like my own.
So I’ve embraced it. I am responsible for myself, just as I believe everyone is responsible for themselves. If God is out there, I doubt that He is directly responsible for your latest job offer or academic achievement or really fun time you had with your friends last night. That was all you. Taking credit for your own accomplishments feels so good. Working hard, struggling, crying, picking yourself back up, and succeeding, without reaching out for help, is the best feeling ever.
And maybe God is working behind the scenes to make me feel this way. If that is the case, thank you so much, and I’m sorry for not giving you enough credit—I’ll tell you all about my life later. But if that isn’t the case, I’d rather live my life as my own life. I’m pretty sure this is the only chance I’ll get to be alive and conscious, so I’m going to make the most of it.