I believe in something greater than myself. A lot of people call this force, this being, God. I've heard him called by other names, but I tend to just say God.
I have to admit, I was raised to believe this way, and part of me pays honor to those that have influenced me by persisting in this belief. But another part of me is an insatiable longing for the world to be better, for people to finally understand love, for the end of ugliness and selfishness. A lot would call this naive and idealistic, I call it a recognition of a higher reality.
I have the highest respect for those that don't agree. I believe those that would disagree with anything I believe have every right to do so. My thoughts, my ideas, are not the measure of all things. My morality is not the measure for a single other person.
I affirm the God of the Bible, because He makes sense to me. The Bible doesn't always make sense, but the God present in it does, on a basic, visceral level. Because he sits in my soul, keeping me alive, bringing me the strength to carry on when every other person fails me, when the world caves in on me.
I haven't been to church in years, because the church as I know it has rejected me on the same basic level that God seems to accept me. My questions have been met with hostility, my differing opinions with condescension, and my feelings with superiority. The church I've met has been an example of how everyone is the same, and this group of Christians is worse than most of the nonreligious people I've met because they've got religion to convince them of their superiority. I fell in for a while with the more "hip" crowd of Christians, and found them to be exactly the same, needing some kind of revolutionary version of Christianity (emerging, hipster, whatever name it may have) to convince them of their superiority.
I have hope for finding the church that serves humbly, that is convinced they're no better than anyone else, that does not need to prove it's more right than everyone else, and that I'd be proud to go to. Slowly but surely, I've been convincing myself to put myself out there and try another one. I will probably be hurt again.
I believe that pain is an effective teacher. It sharpens us like a razor, and it makes us into a better person. Pain teaches consistency, grows faith, and produces character. Every time you are hurt, remember that you can make life better because of it.
I've had the core of my being rejected by people, I've put myself out there and been ignored and stepped on, and very few are an exception to this rule. I am glad for this because I now understand how weak I have been to allow this to begin with. To allow a person, no matter how one feels about them, to dictate a single thing about who we are is to be a sellout, to be mastered by another person. The God that never forsakes me, that preserves the hope I try to stomp out just so I'll stop hurting so much, and that loves me tirelessly despite my inability to love at all, is the one that deserves such mastery over me.
I've rejected others, ignored others, broken the heart of others, always while trying to do what I think is right. I am no different. I deserve what comes to me, but I believe in a better reality, free of this petty bickering, this inability of humanity to live with itself. Redemption is coming for mankind, and I hope for it because I have to. Something will not let me go.
You might tell me I am weaker than ever because of this, you might even read the beginning of this post and think I am nothing short of hypocritical. You're probably correct. But the truth is, I don't care what you think. I do my best like everyone else.
I believe in something greater than myself. Strength and honor.