Faith once more

It’s rather funny how the return of old friends can lead to a quiet self-revelation of one’s own. A couple of days ago, a friend I’ve known since I was thirteen but haven’t met up with since last year texted me. We caught up via text briefly before he told me there was something he really wanted to share –

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I guess he found me a relevant person to tell these to because I’ve been an acquiescent Christian for awhile now, and even more so this year. I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve figured that my breezy attitude towards my faith didn’t hit me quite as hard as it did previously because of my social environment, at least for this year. I’ve been incredibly busy because of my post A levels internship at a startup company — it has a massively social environment with really long working hours and it deals primarily with the milking of consumerism… I think I may be giving myself an excuse for my lack of cohesive thought of depth, but I think it has played a considerable part for myself not diving headfirst into this hugely complex web of entangled thoughts of a constant God-searching quandary.

Now that the tide has turned and time has allowed me to pause and reflect on what I place value on in my life, I find myself running on (near) empty despite the amazing place I’ve been lucky enough to be. I’ve been running and writing a lot in attempt to fulfill this seemingly irrational and illogical emptiness, and once again I find it to be the lack of faith in my life. I don’t and won’t deny the huge fundamental irrationality of my faith, and I’m not going to nullify how my religion has become, increasingly, politicized in our society. With megachurches hitting the headlines with regard to financial fraudulence and homophobia, it is difficult to find rooted ground on which to place one’s faith.

I was from one of these megachurches, and my parents still go there… religiously (ha ha ha). I found myself at a crossroads while I was there — a dilemma that felt had to be stretched across dichotomies and I wasn’t sure if I could recouncile it while being in a place I found disagreed with the values I personally identified with. So, I left about two years ago. It happens slowly at first, with you saying you’re busy, you’re tired, you have other things to attend to. Then the excuses gradually extends itself to a nuanced conviction, and before you know it you’re gone. I can’t say I haven’t looked back, because every time I happen to be in Marine Parade I always make it a point to walk past the church that has taught me many things and wonder why I couldn’t be one of them – those happy, cheery, smiley people huddled cosily in their cell groups with a faith that was stronger than mine. I know it isn’t easy for them to constantly stay rooted in their beliefs, and I admire their staunchness so, so much.

And here I sit, still yet moving, confused and wanting.

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2 thoughts on “Faith once more”

  1. It’s funny because I have the exact same struggle with religion! My parents brought me up as a christian but I could never quite believe what I was fed since I was a child. I tried to, but the more I tried the more … forced it seemed. I totally empathise with the struggle, where you start making excuses and you find yourself drifting further from shore, the swim back becoming more exhausting that you just give up in the end. It’s weird because I still pray before meals, would probably pray before important events like driving tests or exams. I retain some of the habits, yet in my heart it’s probably insincere and empty. I don’t think I’d discuss this on my blog because I still have a church community to answer to (I still go now and then) (and my parents, no less) so I don’t want to raise any alarms but yes, reading your post was triggering, that I could see someone pinpointing the struggle I have, of being neither here nor there and feeling worst off at the end of it.

  2. My beginnings in the religion’s a little similar to yours – except I was (kind of) coerced to convert when I was 13. It was quite a difficult age because I was a little rebellious but I’m not sure how I ended up going to church regularly.. and I never really accepted the doctrine comfortably. I don’t pray anymore (except during exams, which reinforces the whole treating God like a vending machine thing) because I feel like a fluke when I do haha. But I wrote this post because I may venture into church again – though what I’m trying to figure out now if it’s for the correct reasons. On the blog part, I completely understand – but I do know my parents don’t read my blog so phew! I’m glad you can empathise, it’s always nice to have someone who understands this struggle! (my Yale-NUS personal statement was with regard to this struggle too, hahaha)

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