To pray or not to pray


Christmas is a time of rejoicing and thanksgiving. For the religious among us, Christmas is also time to thank god and praise him. That is the theory.

The celebration of Christmas is the celebration of Christ who was born 2000 years ago to the world to take on the sins of the world and suffer God’s wrath in our place. And As a result, we get access to god to be able to pray to him directly. That is the story.

As a religious person, I have recently turned my back on institutionalised religion. I believe in god but don’t believe in churches. There is a good reason, churches are run by men who are failable and can be intolerable. And we do not needd more intolerance in the world. There are few who are truely demonstrating love to all but few. That is my experience.

My recent experience with praying hadn’t been very encouraging. I prayed quietly for a peaceful Christmas after a year of turmoil that range from financial troubles, losing a job, cancer scare, failing health, losing friends, losing love, almost losing my sanity. And alas, peace was a tall order. Just before Christmas, I was notified that a project that I spent 8 months working on that will allow me to set up a company and be out of financial and work troubles had been rejected for no reason other than politics. That meant my living situation and my professional life will be put into question. The last time I prayed, a guy broke up with me. They may be all good reasons but too timely to be coincidental and definitely divine for a religious person like me. That is my fear.

I do not know how to explain it other than comparing it to having your parents turn their back on you. That I have also experienced. And to have the all powerful smacking you in the face isn’t very auspicious is it. In fact, it is getting very difficult to say if life throws you a lemon, make a lemonade. Once, twice, thrice, you can laugh and find humour in it. Fourth, fifth, sixth, it is not so funny. Seventh, eighth and ninth, I’m all wet. Tenth, I’m desperate to just stay down. That is déjà vu.

Most atheist would ask, so why do you still believe in God? Most Christians will say, God will not suffer you more than you can bear, just trust. The agnostic will say, just leave it alone already. I don’t know how to unbelieve. It is called a leap of faith as I learnt. I also do not know what it means by leave me alone because everything is part of a divine plan. But it is awfully difficult to say trust that it will end soon. The light at the end of tunnel might turn out to be the light of an on-coming train! That is doubt.

It is not a pretty year with 6 more days to go. Most people will say, it’s nothing. I remember this familiar feeling 2 years ago, sitting at home unable to move and counting the days. Many things can happen in 6 days. I just want to take cover. I’m looking forward to a new year but if someone say to me things can’t be any worse, I can only say, yes it can and I know exactly how bad it can be. Do you want to pray about it?

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