I've just been handed several things that test me as a person, impact my income, my home, my children and my self-worth. All fairly totemic qualities, eh?
How do I handle it? So far with an appalling lack of sleep, teeth grinding (it's baaaaack) and hair falling.
*Warning: Spiritual stuff coming up! If ya don't like it then go read someone else.*
I've been a Christian a long time. All of my life. I even contemplated going to CTU and becoming a minister. I grew up in the Baptist Church. It's hypocrisy and narrowness caused me to loose a lot of faith, but not my belief. I've always been a seeker. I studied and devoured my comparative religions classes at IU. I've studied Zen much to my betterment as a person. I've been a Methodist. It was fine, with very good people (shout out Old Bethel) but when a sermon was preached on the evils of Evolution and nearly all the congregation agreed, I knew it was my time to go.
[Just a note on Evolution. I URGE you to go look it up!! The Theory of Evolution is not a theory in the sense, "I have a theory that my socks get sucked into a parallel dimension while in the dryer." It is a proven, quantifiable Scientific Theory. Which means a group of like or similarly known facts that are related or relatable to one-another. A group, a family, a pride, a Theory. Preaching on the wrongness of God's creation of Evolution makes about as much sense as preaching against the evils of the Theory of Gravity! It exists, deal wit it!]
Anyway, back to my subject... I was invited to go to a Quaker (Religious Society of Friends) meeting and found it was where I needed to be. Where I was supposed to be. I will write about that someday.
So to answer my earlier question, how do I handle it? I'm trying my best. I know several things about my God. God loves me un-conditionally, guides me and teaches me. I know God loves me. I'm convinced God has no commitment greater than love. The Bible doesn't say God can be loving or God is often loving or even God is usually loving. It says God IS love.
I don't believe God is testing me. I think God can help us through our tests and bad times, but doesn't initiate them to test us. That strikes me somewhat of a cat toying with a mouse till the mouse submits to it's fate as his lunch. My God is not willful or vindictive. Our path is our own, but He is there, if we care to call on him to help us down it.
Russian author, Vasily Grossman once wrote:
Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness. But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer.
That kernel of human kindness is, I believe, what Quakers call the Inner Light. The guiding presence of God within us that can never be extinguished. Whether it's in an unprogrammed Meeting where one sits in silence the entire hour waiting for the Light to shine or for 15 mins of silent worship as we do in our Meeting led by a pastor, we wait patiently and silently till the message is received, if ever.
I've meditated on it and searched deeply for the Light. My life is in turmoil right now and it unnerves and distress me, but I know God's Light and Grace are in me. That Light shines on and on and on. Peace.