Personal Belief

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Sometimes, I reach a point where I stop and make a semi conscious assessment of where I am in my life. Sometimes, I feel that all that I am and what I believe in is starting to erode….like the photo above.

Oy.

Lately, age has become a factor. It’s hard for me to believe I’ve lived 48 years. I don’ know how that happened. My forties have been such a blur. So much bullshit happened in the past eight years.

Then again, there’s a lot that didn’t happen and I should be grateful for the absence.

And if I were to express gratitude, to whom would I make the gesture?

God????

Ah yes….God.

Wanna know something about Laurie and God?

I was raised Catholic in a small town South Texas. The church was comprised of a congregation consisting mostly of ridiculously devout Mexicanos, Polish families, Czechs and then the random, Welsh/Scottish “ne’er do wells” known as the Kendrick clan.

The Mexicans have such an interesting relationship with the church. Mary is a celebrated fixture, as are the pantheon of saints and of course, there’s always Jesus. There used to be much superstition among the old school Mexicans.. so much so that where the church was concerned, Catholic dogma ranked second. And since Mexicanos were the predominate force, that’s to whom the church catered everything.

The parish in which I was raised, used to have an order of nuns (Carmelite nuns, I think) who taught Catechism. For you non Catholics, Catechism is an indoctrination of all things Catholic. Brainwashing? Yeah..sure, whatever.

These nuns I remember wore habits that were every bit similar to the Islamic burka we see today. These women were completely covered—-the only thing visible were their faces and hands. Everything else was covered up tighter than a jar of pork rinds in Fallujah.

They were mean and they had the damnedest accents. I don’t know the countries they called home, but they weren’t Americans. They comprised the church choir–for a while anyway. And when they tried to sing? It was an adenoid fest. The most nasal cacophony I’d ever heard in my life. Imagine, if you will, a slide whistle that can barely enunciate.

Cod in tree puh-son….blassahd tree-nee-tee” .

I thought I was listening to bad auditions for a local production of “Flower Drum Song”.

Horrible.

And the horror didn’t stop there. Their English was abysmal. The above example of their attempt singing English language hymns wasn’t that far off the mark.

Check this out. I was confirmed at age 11. The nuns handled all details. After the ceremony, I looked down at the certificate of confirmation. Someone named “Loxie Kednik” just became an official congregate of the St. Cornelius Catholic Church of Karnes City,Texas..

I stopped going to Mass after graduating from high school. I started going again a few years ago, but grew tired of it’s monotony. Nothing had changed and that, I found to be a problem. Every once in a while, my Catholic roots will emerge and I’ll go to a church to sit and commune. But I don’t feel I need to go to church to pray and/or make my intentions known. I believe I can do that anywhere. The church as an edifice of worship, adds structure–literally and physically. And that’s fine if you’re faith requires that.

As for my faith?

I’ve been asked before if I believe in God. Interesting question. I know I believe in something that’s bigger than me. Bigger than you, too. What it is exactly, I’m not sure.

If I were asked to personify God, I was raised to believe He looked something like this:

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Long white hair and beard….hung out on a cloud. But that’s just an image of God that man can relate to.

Now, speaking of image. It’s written in the Bible, maybe the Torah or both that we’re made in the “image of God”. That’s confounding to me. I mean, how can that be? As I see it, it’s a flawed concept. As mortal humans, our lives are finite. We’re corporeal, too—-we have bodies. How is that in any way, like God, the omniscient, omnipotent, supernatural being we’re taught that he is??

I don’t know, but with few exceptions, just about every culture on the planet believes in a Supreme entity.

I’ll admit, I sometimes have my doubts.

On 9/11, I had my doubts.

As I watched the World Trade Center crumble, I wondered where God was. Ironic, isn’t it that that’s the reason why the towers were attacked in the first place? Think about it: the 19 hijackers firmly believed they were doing it for Allah. They felt they had every right to kill the infidel Americans because they/we didn’t believe as they did. God was on their side.

Wait, isn’t he on our side too?? “God Bless America” and all that??? Greatest country on Earth, right?

But where was God that day?

Where was He as desperate people jumped from the top floors of Tower One as it burned?

Where was God during the Oklahoma City bombing?

Katrina?

Thailand during the tsunami?

The California wildfires?

Where is he when children are kidnapped, raped and murdered?

We hear so much about free will and God. OK, fine, but would someone please care to explain to me how in the hell free will comes in to play with that one?? How is it a child’s free will to experience that?

I posed that question to a New Age, metaphysical type a while back. She tried to convince me that the child had a contract with God–upon conception no less–to be a scapegoat for mankind. The child “agreed” to be kidnapped, raped and tortured so that perhaps, new laws could be implemented about kidnapping and then perhaps, maybe fewer children might suffer the same fate.

Huh?

That’s just human drivel and a weak ass attempt to explain the inexplicable. And that leads me to this: why do New Agers and evangelicals and Holy Men dressed by Sherpas in Tibet even try to explain what they don’t know? No one is THAT enlightened!! And that includes you too, Benedict!!

The truth is, no one has the answers. You ask eight people, you’ll get eight very skewed answers.

You ask a rabbi, you’ll get a Jewish take—with guilt.

As a Calvinist-based Presbyterian and he’ll tell you it was your destiny to ask these questions.

Ask an evangelical and you’ll get her perspective—-for the next seven hours.

Ask an atheist and you’ll get ridiculed.

I don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I don’t know why good things happen to bad people. But I do think that there is somehow, a connection that exists.

I know that’s simplifying the impossible. But at one time, I knew it to be true.

In 1991, I was in a horrible accident. The truck in which I was a passenger drove off the road and over an overpass into a creek below. The driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. I went through the windshield and broke a million bones. There were several surgeries, a lengthy hospital stay.. I was in pelvic traction along with a full leg cast. That meant I was immobilized—I couldn’t move and remained that way for almost two months. In addition to the intense pain, I found out that my injuries had compromised my ability to have children. I lapsed into a state of depression.

One afternoon, a nurse came in and noticed I was down. She said that I should be grateful that I survived the accident because there was a reason I was spared. God had something in store for me.

My ego of course, immediately conjured visions of grandeur: I’d win an Oscar; I’d develop a cure for cancer. I’d coach the Astros to their first World Series win.

Fast forward two years:

I was working for a popular morning radio show here in Houston. I received a letter handwritten, in pen, on notebook paper and it was from a boy, a local High School senior who was writing to tell me thank you.

He had been very depressed. He was hanging around with the wrong bunch of kids, got into drugs..parents were divorced and uninvolved with his life…a life spinning out of control. His young existence was in shambles. So, one morning, he decides to wake up in order to die.

With his radio on our station, he grabbed a handgun and sits on his bed. He put the gun in his mouth…he could taste the metal and the gunpowder. He placed his thumb on the trigger. And just as he was about to pull the trigger, he said he heard me say something so funny, that he had to remove the gun from his mouth to laugh. And he went on to say that it was in that moment he knew that if he could still laugh at something, even at the bleakest, lowest moment of his life, that maybe, things weren’t that bad. Maybe he could go on living and life just might be OK.

At that moment, I got it!!! I was spared so that he was spared.

I have no idea what happened to him, but I’d like to believe that his existence is now making or will make a difference to someone else.

Life is about our interconnectivity.

Then, on September 11th, 2001, none of that made sense anymore.

In all honestly, it still doesn’t. I can’t explain any of that. I don’t have a handle on what God is and isn’t. I only know what I know and I’m not even sure of that.

Of that which I do know, I can tell you that Life isn’t clear cut. Life isn’t at all simple or laid out in easy to comprehend black or white concepts–now in four fun flavors in a new, convenient travel size!!!

Hardly.

Sometimes white is black and black is white. It’s a conundrum.

We ask for riches and it never materializes in gold bricks. We’re given a brain to figure it out and the stamina with which to make money; to be prosperous.

We ask for courage and sometimes, we’re given huge problems and pain to overcome.

We pray for love and rarely does it come on the form of a beautiful Goddess incarnate or a handsome prince on a white horse. There are times when love comes in the form of being able to help people we sometimes don’t even know.

In the grand scheme of things when it comes to God,ย  what we want and what we need are two different things.

I think it all boils down to this: Life is at times, life is messy, difficult, involved. Sometimes, it’s ugly.

And sometimes it’s monumentally beautiful.

We’re conceived through the fertilization of sperm and egg. We’re born and we live. Life is what we make of it. It’s all about the choices we make. If we decide to move or not move. To speak or not to speak. To turn left or turn right.

To love or to hate.

There are consequences for every action and for every inaction.

It’s all about perspective and that means ultimately, we deem Life as either good or bad.

It’s our call. It’s all about the human experience as we attempt to survive the human condition. It’s so much more about us than we realize.

Frankly, I think THAT’S about as close as I can get to explaining everything….especially free will.

Life IS our call. OUR CALL and God and our belief in “Him”–whatever that happens to be—fills in the cracks. What we don’t get and can’t explain–or don’t want to explain, we hand over to Him…the divine catch all.

I’m beginning to think that blind faith is emotional Spackle for the human psyche.

12 comments

  1. Hello Loxie Kednik :)that is so funny..

    Thank you for sharing, my eyes welled with what you have written. I am the same age and I did question and looked at where I am. I don’t have the same life changing experience, but it seems that everyday is a testimony of His existence.

    Keep it up.

  2. Forgive me, father, for I have not sinned. At least not as much as I would have wanted to. ๐Ÿ˜›

    If a bunch of FEMA employees can pretend to be reporters, I bet they could pull out the stunt of pretending to be gods present in Southern California.

  3. “I think it all boils down to this: Life. Itโ€™s messy, itโ€™s hard, itโ€™s involved. Sometimes, itโ€™s ugly.”

    I agree.

    Life is suffering. Every major religion recognizes this, and each comes up with a different response.

    I think there is a God, but I don’t think he/she/it/they interfere with our physical lives, so my answer is the same given by atheists and humanists: It’s up to us. If the world is fucked up, it’s our fault. If it gets better, it’s to our credit.

    Was 9/11 a result of God’s anger? Nah. It was some nutbags in some planes.

    If we get “them” back (we really should have invaded Saudi Arabia after 9/11… but that’s a whole ‘nother issue), does that mean God’s on our side? Nah, it’d just mean we had a better military.

    To me, prayer/meditation is best understood as preparation for action, or acceptance of the inevitable. After all, even the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible says “we are gods.”

    Psalms 82:6
    You are gods; you are all children of the Most High.

    Maybe it’s time we started acting like it–whether we believe it or not. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. the exisitence of god and/or does one’s life have meaning or purpose are folly and wastes of mental energy.
    you exist and your purpose is to exist. without guilt.
    whether you are content is largely up to you, but shit does happen and that’s life.
    life comes in six delicious flavors. you pick.
    be happy Laurie.
    and don’t let it bother you when
    someone does or doesn’t get you.
    they don’t have to.

    Let them in
    And
    Ultimately
    Real souls
    Identify
    Each other

    see i get you!

    Wow. Took me a minute, but I see that. Thank you.

  5. by George I think she’s got it!! It takes a long time to figure this out and I am convinced that we go through the times and trials for a reason. We are here (for whatever period of time) to touch someone else and possile be an example and teacher. Sometimes it does feel like hell on earth but with every closed door there will be an open window. Enough said…….

  6. So you’re twice my age. But then again, i think I’m old too. Guess that’s cos I’m in my third serious relationship. Shucks!

    ‘Pork rinds’ sound Yummy though I’m not sure what it is. Is it like Pork hind? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think Loxie is a nice name.

    About the image of God, as far as I understand, that refers to our soul or spirit. Which if you believe exists, is eternal.

    These New age creeps are psyched.

    But not as much as me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    by the by, I saw a movie yesterday called ‘The Dog Problem’ by Scott Caan. I think it’s a lovely story.
    There is this weird quote about life. Can’t remember it now, but it’s very witty – according to me. Worth a watch.

  7. There are things that don’t need explaining. We are meant to wonder, to create, to theorize. Organized religion tries to put a face on something we don’t necessarily need to see. In God’s image. Seriously, I’m fucking half raccoon. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, if faith gives you hope and helps you on your way, go ahead. Free will, enjoy it. As for myself, I am awaiting a better story.

  8. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen…” Hebrews 11:1-2

    See…even the Bible admits that there are things we will not understand in this life. Much like the metaphorical spackle mixture you mention, faith is there to fill in those cracks. In this sense, faith keeps us structurally and aesthetically complete.

    “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Cor. 13:12

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