Many of us crave so much to be right, that we often get lost in the in small details and forget the big picture. This can apply to all of life, but I think it does particularly apply to religion. We want to follow every rule and tenet of our religion, to the extent that we lose all the joy of it all, and exclude openness to others.
Do You Crave To Be Right?
I do believe that our craving to right (righteous, if you will) comes from our fear of uncertianity. Are we looking to secure our place in heaven – and don’t want to be uncertain about anything on the way there? Or are we afraid to open our minds to understand other religions, customs and beliefs for fear that we’ll get ‘seduced’ by them?
Often, we forget that faith is meant to be a joyful experience. Yes, there might be pain and suffering, but we can accept that with gratitude and allowing our faith to move us forward.
Terry Hershey tells the story of the Sunday School teacher with first graders who were acting up. To calm them she said, “Kids, let’s play a game. I’ll describe something to you, and you tell me what it is. Okay? It’s a furry little animal with a big bushy tail that climbs up trees and stores nuts in the winter.” Silence. No one said anything.
“Come on,” the teacher encouraged, “You’re a good Sunday School class, you know the right answer to this question. It’s a furry little animal with a big bushy tail that climbs up trees and stores nuts in the winter.”
One girl raised her hand. “Emily?” “Well teacher,” Emily said, “it sounds like a squirrel to me, but I’ll say Jesus!”
I remember a time when I was so conscious of the Church’s (I’m born Catholic) teaching on things like birth control and homosexuality that I forgot to be accepting of others who didn’t practice this. There was a fear I felt around other religions too. None of this was making me a better person, much less a better Christian.
It’s only through certain experiences, discussions and learning to more open and more secure in my beliefs that the extent of my insecurity and ignorance was revealed.
These days, I try to live by true faith and love, including love of self.
In October, I started writing a series called 31 Days about Living A Principle Driven Life. Since I wasn’t able to complete it then, I’m doing so now. You can follow my posts here.