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Oldie, 3/29/08: Let us Pray? No -- Let us THINK!


One major reason I walked away from Christianity was the use of words.

Why is it so terrible to say "I'm THINKING about ____________?"

Why do you always have to say "I'm praying about ___________?"

Prayer was the first thing I jettisoned (as described in an earlier post) because it DIDN'T WORK. If you have a decision to make, you are going to have to THINK about it, because if you delude yourself into believing you're actually waiting for the sky wizard to give you an answer, one of two things is likely to happen:

1. You'll get no answer from your alleged outside source and end up having to actually use your brain, or
2. You'll think, as in #1 above, but feel so guilty about "relying on your own understanding" that you'll convince yourself that the sky wizard gave you the answer. If your decision was a bad one, based on your thought processes, you will be all the less capable of saying "Whoops, my bad, let's think it over again and see what we come up with." No, in this case, you'll say "God always knows what he's doing, so I'll just live with this terrible, awful, uncomfortable outcome that I really, truly don't like, and which is making so many other people in my life completely miserable, because if I change my mind it will look like I've 'lost faith' and that makes me an apostate which will give me a one-way ticket to the hot place."

Has "God" given you direction that now has you in a situation that's really difficult? Well, guess what. That decision came from YOU and nobody else but you. And that's the good news! Because you, as a free, sentient being, have the RIGHT and the FREEDOM to just say, "Hey, I'm not perfect, even though I'm intelligent, and possess the most complex brain of any creature on this planet, except for maybe the ant. I did a perfectly normal thing -- I made the wrong decision. A lot of people are suffering because of it. But now I'm going to change my mind and go in a different direction. I'm going to have to suck it up and let people around me know that option #1 didn't work out, so now we're trying something new. And if this doesn't work, we'll try something else. And it might work out better if I ask some other sentient beings what they think. We could make it a team effort and get it right this time."

Try it. It will feel like springtime in your heart.

I made a lot of TERRIBLE decisions in my life thinking that either
1. God wanted me to make this decision, or,
2. People who knew a whole lot about what God thinks encouraged me to make this decision.

Now that I'm a non-religious person, I am willing to assume the huge responsibility for owning ALL of my decisions. The smart ones, the dumb ones, and the ones whose outcome may never be known. They're all mine, and the sole fringe benefit is the right to change my mind again if this one doesn't work out.

In closing, I will share a song that always lifts me up:
It's Change Your Mind by Sister Hazel.
If you want to be somebody else,
If you're tired of fighting battles with yourself.
If you want to be somebody else
Change your mind, change your mind.


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