I pray because it feels good and it feels right.
It feels right because I’m saying ‘thank you’ without a human audience, and that feels authentic.
It feels right because I’m taking a moment to reflect and ask for guidance – and not things.
It feels good because I pray for positive energy – I ask for blessings for others.
But, I am not a Christian.
I tried to be. I’ve asked ‘the’ question in the past – with an open mind and willing soul: “Jesus, please come into my heart.”
I tried because it felt like the right thing to do, but mostly because I didn’t want to go to hell.
Then I felt hypocritical asking out of fear.
I wanted so badly to believe – but not at any cost – not because I was afraid not to.
I even convinced myself to some degree that God might actually appreciate an honest heart that at least tried. Although, probably I am going to hell. If there is one.
I had to be honest with myself though. I don’t believe. I do not believe the stories in the bible happened.
And it’s not just Christianity, every religion to me, seems as if a game of ‘telephone’ (Or ‘Chinese Whispers’) has been played with it.
If there is any one and only ‘right’ religion, man has dipped his hands into it over time. As a result, I just don’t feel like what was original, authentic or intended is among the current selections.
I don’t trust man.
But I do have Faith.
I believe in a higher power. Something bigger than me. Something I’ll never understand and am not completely meant to … because wouldn’t that be counterproductive to the concept of ‘Faith’?
I do believe in the power of prayer.
I believe there is a source of good – and of love.
And for all intents and purposes, I call that God.
In two weeks it will be Christmas Day.
Although I’m not Christian, I can appreciate a day selected to celebrate the birth of a child that represented love and forgiveness. I can get behind that.
In fact, I usually adore this time of year. The extra love and kindness that the Season tends to bring from others.
The lights and the music – the joy and the hope that warms Winter.
I’m not feeling any of that this year.
I have knots in my stomach where excitement should be.
I’m looking away from lights and avoiding the holiday music.
I feel like a deadline is beating down on me that I can’t possibly meet.
I love giving.
I especially love being able to grant a wish – be able to witness a smile that reaches the eyes of someone I love.
It’s been a tough year financially.
I know I’m not the only one – but I can’t write about what other people are feeling.
I only know how I am feeling.
I know that presents aren’t ‘the reason for the season’, but I don’t want to let my son down.
I’ve always found a way.
Somehow managed to grant a material wish for the boy I would lay down and die for.
I am falling short this year.
And it hurts.
And it makes me wish Christmas wouldn’t come.
I need to pray on that.
Pray on why the need to give is so strong, that I feel ‘less than’ if I can’t do it.
Because that’s a lot different from needing to give and not wanting to do it.
I need to pray on why it upsets me so much to think I’m letting someone down when I can’t provide things they want.
Because that’s a lot different from not providing things they need.
I don’t ever want my motives to be driven by fear.
I will pray they are driven by love.
I’m quite certain they are.
It is Christmas after all, the one time of year when it’s traditional to show love by offering gifts. To indulge in a few material tokens of our affection.