Saturday, November 3, 2018

My Faith Walk, or Stumble

Today would've been Mom's 90th birthday. She died a few years ago, just shy of her 87th birthday, and on the same day that I retired -- 9/3/15. For years, she was so certain that each birthday, Christmas or Mother's Day, etc. would be her last. I would try and assure her that she still had many years left to live but of course she'd eventually be right.

She never found love again after my father died in 1995. I asked her about it once and I got the feeling that she felt a sense of loyalty to him and didn't want to betray their bond. She was only 66 and would live another 20 years, alone. I never mentioned it again to her. Here's thinking of you, Mom.

I think I may be done with organized religion. I won't speak for Tammy. We joined a church in Lakeville two years ago but I've lost my desire to continue on as I question more than ever the faith I've been practicing ever since I can remember. I'm a spiritual person who believes in a higher power and some sort of life after this one but I no longer have any certainty about what that looks like. The idea of sitting around singing praises to God for eternity doesn't appeal to me in the least. It just doesn't. I have no real desire to read through the Bible again because I find it kind of pointless. Each time I slog through it I come away with more questions than answers. And I no longer believe in biblical inerrancy; the belief that every passage within it is the inspired word of God.

I suppose more than anything I'm a casualty of conservative Christians who have opened my eyes to the understanding that if they/man can twist the Bible's meaning and make a mockery of Christianity to fit an agenda (See how they ignore Matthew 25: 35-40 or how they embrace a gun culture or their hurriedness to rush off to war, and yes, their enthusiastic support for Trump*.), how am I to believe that man hasn't so thoroughly corrupted the faith since its inception, rendering it something quite removed from what God intended? (I mention this mostly for my own record, as I have before, for when I maybe look back through my words here years from now to see how my thinking has evolved.)

It's been years since we've carved pumpkins for Halloween but we sorta got into it again this year. Tammy suggested we pick up a few and get creative. It was fun. I only carved one, a sea turtle, but Tammy did several: here, here, and here. We need some better carving tools, though. Perhaps we'll invest in some for next year.

There were no Halloween parties for us. We're content to live our lives vicariously through Rachel and Drew. They went as Joanna and Chip Gaines, from the show Fixer Upper. Rachel only needed to remove her glasses to play the part while Drew simply had to procure a tool belt.

The little trick-or-treaters couldn't have asked for better weather with very mild temps for this time of year, yet we only had 31 come to our door. We were prepared for so many more. Toward the end of the night, we were encouraging kids to grab as much as they could with one hand. "Seriously?!" Tammy brought our leftover candy to the nursing home where her mother lives for the staff to enjoy.

I may have golfed my last round of the year. Mark and I met Lyle and Chuck in Winona at The Bridges on a beautiful day for late autumn golf this week. I'm keeping an eye on Monday's weather. There's a chance I'll get out then if the forecast rain isn't too much, otherwise, I'm content to get back on my bikes and take it to the streets and the trails, or the basement.

That's all I've got.



2 comments:

John Hill said...

Kevin, I have also been on an interesting faith journey. Although every individual travels a very personal journey, I think we have wandered some of the same roads on our way.
I want to invite you to listen to some of the past messages from the church where we are currently attending. I'm not sure that they totally capture my thoughts, but they are much closer than other messages.
https://thevenues.org/ will take you to the main page. Follow the links to past messages. The series we're wrapping up is "That's not what that means" and takes a look at misinterpretations and common misunderstandings of what the Bible says and what the church in general thinks it means.
Perhaps next summer will allow for a motorcycle trip north and we can visit and share thoughts over a beer or two.

Kevin Gilmore said...

John -- thanks for your comment. I'll check out the link.

I/we left a conservative mega-church several years ago and I was content being unchurched for a few years. We then joined a more accepting-of-others/progressive church and that seemed a good fit but now my heart simply isn't in it anymore. I'm not sure what's next for me. I remain a prayerful and a spiritual person. That part of me isn't going anywhere. I'm surveying the landscape of my faith life and looking for signposts along the way where God is speaking to me because I honestly believe he does that. I can think of numerous times in my life where he has intervened in a profound way. I hang on to that.

Yes, a bike trip north and perhaps a Minnesota Twins game. I know they're not in the right league but hey, it's still baseball. ☮️