Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Reason to Believe By: Karen Pilarski

When I was a kid my parents never  made a commitment to a specific church. The urge to pray came and went as fast as the changing trends in fashion. When our large brood lived in Bay View we went to a local catholic church. All of my siblings were baptized Lutheran. I'm not knocking on anyone's religion but a catholic mass to a non church goer is boring. My little sister and I would giggle at the older parishioners singing as bad as an American Idol audition. The sermons glazed over once bright eyed and awake children.

 We were signed up for confirmation classes and I started to get excited about wearing a mini wedding dress. Without warning my parents pulled us out of those classes and we never were confirmed.

 After that short religious experience we avoided going to church. My father experimented with other religions. He once took us to a Mosque. It was pretty unique with the colorful rugs and washing of the feet before a meal. What makes me scratch my head is that we didn't learn about our Jewish heritage. Maybe I just don't remember it. From then on I was open to different religious view points and beliefs. 

 The other day someone said something harsh to me. I was told I wasn't god parent material because I don't have a belief system. Which sounds absurd because everyone has something they believe in. I grew up with god parents. They didn't tell me to go to church or give me spirtual guidance. I think they were just back ups if my parents were to suddenly die or become committed.My god parents never gave me a bible. 

From my own religious experiences I came to the belief that I think organized religion isn't necessary in my life. When I married my husband we went to church when told so by his family. The sermons brought me back to my youth when my eyes would glaze over and I would become increasingly sleepy. 

I would glance over to my husband and father in law. Both of them had their eyes closed and were in a semi unconscious state. When they would sing it sounded like two fog horns in competition to see who was loudest. This made me regress to an eight year old and I laughed. I also wrote notes to my step children to make each other smirk. During the sermons and singing my eyes would roll. It was evident I should never be allowed in church.

  While I'm religion challenged, I am spiritually in tuned. I believe there is a purpose and reason for the things that happen in life. My feeling is when things are at there bleakest there is glimmer of light trying to streak through. I believe in a higher power such as God. My heart is comforted that one day I will meet God and my loved ones in heaven. 

 I believe in trying hard to get what I want. I don't believe a person should put it all on God. I often hear "God will provide." Yes, God will provide love and guidance but at the end of the day the power is in all of us to make our lives better. While I would like to think there is only good intentions and general goodness, it isn't true. There are bad apples out in the world. I strive not to let a few bad apples spoil how I feel. In order to have a belief system one doesn't have to be Ned Flanders from the "Simpsons." No one should be expected to thumb through a bible every second of the day. I don't believe in forcing a specific religion on a person. 

 I believe everyone is important and are loved. I think good things will happen but only if work hard and do my best. I have always had the belief that I will weather any storm as long as I have faith. It doesn't matter what others say or feel about me. I believe in myself and that is the greatest power of all.