Monday, February 22, 2010

Thoughts/Questions




1. No family is perfect. Every family struggles either publicly or privately with one or more of the following:
relationships, disabilities, mental health issues, addictions, difficult behaviors, illnesses, finances, extended family issues, and everyday disagreements. Despite all of that, family is still the best invention there is. It’s where one should feel safe, secure, loved, supported, valued, challenged, and cherished.

2. I struggle with my desire to “save the world” yet not having the skills, energy, finances, or temperament to do so. Last night I dreamed that I “saved” a baby whose mother was too young and too cognitively disabled to care for the baby, who was a preemie. The mother kept putting the baby in a box and putting the box on the back of a shelf. This was another dream borne of my desire to save the world.

3. How does one who does not believe in prayer feel about being told “I will pray for you”?

4. In reading a book review recently, I came across this bit of info: Europeans are well-taught in the basics of religion. Their public education includes the basics of the main world religions. Therefore they are well versed in religious thought. But they do not attend church/temple. Americans don’t know much about religion.. don’t get an education in the basics of the world religions. Yet they are fervent and frequent church-attenders. Interesting, isn’t it? It makes me wonder how these different approaches will evolve and what it will mean for established religions.

5. I want to do some international travel, but must choose destination carefully as I will probably get only one or two opportunities for such travel. Therefore I probably will not accompany my church family when they travel to Israel next year. It’s not high enough on my list of “must-see” places.

7 comments:

tubaville said...

I can answer the prayer question since I am not a believer in Christianity...I don't feel anything when someone says they will pray for me. I appreciate the concern but it means the same thing to me as "I'll be thinking of you". It's all good.

Kat said...

I can answer the prayer one too.

At first I found it kind of annoying, bordering on offensive...but mostly because it came in the form of "My Bible study group and I will pray for you", and that felt like a huge invasion of privacy...these people don't know me, and the simple act of one requesting that I be prayed for implies some inherent *need* for prayer, which means being judged without the chance of defending myself, by a bunch of people who simply have nothing better to do than "pray for me". Yeah, thanks but no thanks.

I can't say that I'm any more excited about the idea of some group of people in a church basement somewhere praying for my general well-being (or for a specific divine need), but I also realized that I don't have to care what they think of me. I'm still deciding how I feel about religion in general, and mostly I'm not a fan. God I believe in, but religion...ehhhh. The relationship I have with my Creator is so intensely personal that it seems almost absurd that anyone would think that they could penetrate that by "praying" for me. Sometimes it feels like someone saying they'll pray for me would be like them saying they'll "run" for me...maybe it can be inspiring to some degree, but in the end faith is as deeply personal as anything can get...prayer is for the prayor, not the prayee.

So in conclusion, I appreciate the sentiment and try not to think about being the subject of a collection of strangers imagining what I could possibly have done that needs praying for. Fact is, 9 times out of 10 they'd be imagining something far less spectacular than I'd actually have done anyways. :-D Give credit where it's due...if you're going to judge someone for an implied divine misdemeanor, at least make it an awesome one.

True Blue Nana said...

Very interesting comment about family. Yes every family struggles and others may see it or they may not. We certainly have. My children have done extraordinary things for each other. As for religion it has always been important to me but becoming more important.

Beth said...

Great thoughts Carol. I have had to really think about family and let some parts of it lose... Makes me sad, but I need to feel at the least comfortable when around them...

I think you know where I stand on religion

You have such a big heart... I say pick a cause and go for it!

woolywoman said...

Well, you have to do what you can, with what you have, where you are. (Theodore Roosevelt)

I think that if you know someone doesn't pry, why would you tell them? Does it only work if they know about it?

I don't think there is anything wrong with helping people, no matter where they live., BTW, so go ahead!

Nanci said...

I can only tell you about my travel experiences and what I felt.
Europeans, they are so more worldly educated than we in North America. I think Americans are quite insullated and don't really study the "cultures" of the world. We have been to Spain travelling around by car for a month. They live so much better than we do, less rush rush in their lives, and the education is about the world and not much religion that I could see.
It is always a dilemna to me to see preachers in the US denouncing this and that and saying that "god" has spoken to them. They sound like the zealots in the muslim world. I don't know if I would have ever had an abortion, but I like that I had the choice. We must learn to be more gentle and kind to each other.
Education of women is the key to whatever happens in the world.
I've been to Carribean countries that know more about us than we do.
It's our ignorance of the world that needs to change.
I'd say visit Spain, stop in Paris on the way. My god what a city. and if you can ever get to Sweden, you will truly understand culturs of the world.
A wonderful blog. And as you can gather, I'm not religious in the sense, I just try to be a kind and loving and understanding person.
I read El Jasira (?) quite often and they have a really good perspective on America. It's not slanted like we were led to believe.

Jill said...

Great post, Carol. It's given me much to think about before I go to bed!

Here's my initial thoughts about praying for others. Since no one can *truly* know what another person needs, or would find helpful, I like the idea of simply rephrasing the statement. Would you like for me to pray for you because I'd be happy to do so?

Or being completely honest and admitting it would be of comfort to the pray-er to pray for the *other* person. So saying, I would feel comforted praying for you. I guess I think people should own what they believe would be helpful for another, rather than just expecting if it would be a comfort to them, then of course be a comfort to some else.