When most people go to the beach, they like to dive into the water and body surf. Others like to make sandcastles and play in the sand. I like to lie on my stomach on a blanket and just watch wave after wave hit the shoreline.
I love the consistency and repetition of the ocean. One wave starts out small, but keeps building and building, crashes to the shore where it breaks up into nothing more than a dribble on the warm sand. Stay long enough and the process starts again.
A rollercoaster ride up and down
We’re three weeks into Advent and I’m finding that my faith right now is a lot like those waves, there are lots of highs and more than a few lows. You might even say that my faith in recent months has been faltering. I get sidetracked easily and have been openly questioning. I’m in one of those low points.
Oh, I still believe in God, but I’ve been struggling lately. I have my thoughts on the reasons why. I know that another upward wave is building. I know it’s coming, I’m sure it will come back, but right now I’m just not seeing the forest from the trees.
Advent is a period of waiting and preparation. As a Christian, we’re waiting for Jesus Christ’s return. I know that I’m blessed. I’m fortunate that I’ll have my family around me from parts near and far at Christmas for the first time in a long time. I’ll get the chance to relax and enjoy their company. I’ll enjoy time away from work. I’ll be giddy with excitement.
But, there are quieter times where my faith is just so-so. I forget about the majesty and instead focus in on the slush and dirt that gets on the snow after it’s fallen and been on the ground for a few weeks.
For example, I saw a religious person interviewed the other day on the news promote the Pro-Life cause. They seemed genuine in their fight for the unborn, but they didn’t seem to care much about the young mother. In fact, the mother was an afterthought. The more I thought about it they could have cared less about the young child sitting in a classroom, the sick person on a ventilator; the refugee, struggling to find peace; the inmate on death row; or even the LGBTQ person, struggling to find their place in society. I find myself questioning that if an unborn child in the womb is sacred, shouldn’t all lives be protected.
I struggle with my faith too because I’ve grown cold to the fighting. I tire easily with the “I’m a [fill-in the blank, Republican or Democrat,], so I’m better than you” mentality. I find fault with both parties. Last I checked, Jesus wasn’t a Republican or Democrat. His parents were homeless travelers desperate for a place to sleep.
Finding my way back
Oh, I’m certain that I’ll eventually come around, that I’ll find my way back to my Catholic faith, but I would still ask that, if you believe, and maybe even if you don’t believe, that you would pray for me.
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