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God, faith and my search for reality

February 19, 2017
tatart

Photography by Tricia Lynn

…first a brief note. Though I have focused on the Catholic church it is because it is the one that I was raised in, however over my lifetime I have been influenced by other churches. For instance my marriage in a Presbyterian church or when a hand was extended to me when my wife died by members of a Baptist church. Then lastly by a ‘home’ church which consisted of a number of locals living as I did in the bush of Alaska. But regardless of which church or faith I participated in when alone it was always my bible that guided me along life’s path.

My belief in God has remained with me throughout my life. As a child and young adult it was easy because I was raised a Catholic and for twelve years went to Catholic schools. At that time my faith in God was so strong I shuddered with fear when for the first time I saw a communion wafer dropped on the ground. Now at 71 I look back and though my belief in God is still there I find myself at times questioning that belief.

Throughout my life I have prayed for many things, no more so than when after a routine surgery my wife was in critical condition. I remember as if it was yesterday kneeling in a church and begging God that she would be alright. I had just finished the Lords prayer when for some reason my mind focused on four words from the prayer, “thy will be done”. I don’t know why I kept thinking about those words until much later in the day when I saw that for some unfathomable reason God had decided that he would not grant my prayer.

We were taught in school and it is written in the bible that God hears and answers all prayers, but we are also told that his answer may not be the one we are looking to receive. Now there is no way I could understand why he would not grant my prayer for my wife’s life while letting such a wretched human as myself live but if we are to accept our faith we must accept his decisions, and this is where I think the seed of doubt about my faith and God was planted.

However over the years that followed many examples of his guiding hand were witnessed by me. There were countless times when because of my carelessness I should have died but I did not… was that the hand of God and for what possible reason was I allowed to live when a much purer heart was taken.

So today I sit
and instead of acceptance
I ponder what truth
I will find
at journeys end.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Kris permalink
    February 19, 2017 3:19 pm

    A person’s faith and who they become is built on a what they have learned. This might sound like a no brainer, but it is so evident in today’s society. A society which thrives on ‘do it myself’ and individuality and ME, traits taught from the cradle. (I am not frowning on those. In my opinion, they tend to be glorified. But, that is a whole different topic!) I am surprised by the many persons who do not have a faith to lean on in times of stress and in times of joy. I know, my own has been tested over and over these last months. Thankfully, the God I follow isn’t the one some of my friends follow. Mine is less angry and more forgiving. I am harder on myself than my God is.It is my humanity coming out in me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. February 19, 2017 8:26 pm

    God wasn’t finished using you yet. If it had been you instead of your wife taken ‘home’, we would not be reading your blog at this time. And maybe, just maybe there is that one soul you are meant to touch and lead on to Salvation. By God’s GRACE and Your testimony your children and grand-children shall also know the ‘Fathers’ Love’. I know what it is like to lose a Loved One after praying for their healing, but I have come to realize that if they would’ve been healed, my Journey and my Path would have been much different. I have come to the point in my prayers with friends in regards to ill Loved Ones, that I ask the Lord to heal their suffering rapidly, whether by Mortal healing or bringing them into His bosom.

    Liked by 2 people

    • February 20, 2017 9:50 am

      kd7ltn you are so right in respect to the fact that had my wife survived my path would have never led me to Alaska or these pages. However I could never be so presumptive to think that by my words or my actions I have opened anyone’s eyes or mind…. but as we know God moves in mysterious ways.

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 28, 2017 9:18 am

        Yes, God does move in Mysterious ways. Also, all we can do is cast the seeds of Faith out there and pray the Lord allowed it to fall on fertile ground. Once it has fallen on fertile ground, He provides those to cultivate and reap.

        Like

  3. February 20, 2017 6:06 am

    I was raised Presbyterian but strayed from ‘organized’ religion in college and spent years exploring other religions and philosophies beyond Christianity. Somehow I’ve found myself ‘circling back’ to Christian fundamentals which are common in so many other religions – or maybe it’s vice versa – but regardless said fundamentals form the basis of my spiritualism. I still have serious issues with the dogma that clouds almost any organized religion… Snowing lightly again this morning; we’ve seen 8″ of snow across the past three days while NWS called for no more than 3″ during that period. Been a tough winter for NWS regarding their snow forecasts but I’m lovin’ it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. February 20, 2017 8:38 am

    Two years ago, two friends and I took an 8000 km motorcycle trip across some of the most remote areas of Eastern Canada. After an arduous ride that saw us sleep deprived , having gone some 40 hours without closing our eyes but for mere momemts. We finally found ourselves in a very remote little village in the most spectacular area of Canada’s Rocky shoreline. In all the majesty of the moment we somehow got onto the subject of the meaning of life. Of course, God was central. I am a very faith-filled individual and never shy away about talking about God. After a deeply moving conversation we came to the conclusion ” Shit happens” That was it Period!!! ” Shit Happens.
    God never promised us love joy peace harmony, etc, etc Though people teach us that this is what god offers but the fact is we are promised just the opposite. Yet, just the moments ” shit” is happening he is there. Whether we feel it or not. Basically it boils down to faith my friend. Faith that even when life is dishing out it’s platter of shit that we don’t, nor are really capable of understanding why, He is there Even when we can hold on no more. He will not let go. That’s all my faith requires. Shit happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 20, 2017 8:49 am

      P.S. I went through something similar which my children. The relationship is different but the pain and loss is very still very overpowering.

      Like

    • February 20, 2017 10:00 am

      Michael… kindred situations breed similar thoughts. Shortly after arriving in Alaska on our first shoot I was stuck on a 10,000 foot caldera in the St Elias range. My lungs restricted me from going any higher so spent the time there with one of our pilot’s. The total silence of the setting and the massive towering mountains surrounding us, like yourself, led to a deep conversation of why we are here.

      Liked by 1 person

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