Saturday, September 15, 2012
We all need something to believe in...
"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." -- 1 Peter 3:15-16
I cannot remember a time when I didn't know Jesus and didn't believe in God. My parents brought me up in church. My first vist to church was soon after I was born. I went to Sunday school, tried to sit quietly during church (got "the claw" from my dad if I didn't!)my parents were youth group advisors...the whole nine yards. My church experience hasn't always been easy...there were some hard times when my family was looking for a new church and my dad was disillusioned with churches in general. But, my mom still felt it was important for my brother and to go to church. I grew up knowing God and believing that he is there for me.
As an adult, I am thankful for my upbringing because it made me a more grounded and confident person. I know where to turn and where to go when things get tough and I know who to thank and praise when things are good. I have learned to study and learn about and respect other religions and people who believe differently than I do. But if someone asks, I can tell them where my faith and hope comes from. I feel bad and sad for people who were not brought up to know God.
I watched the newest episode of "Parenthood" last night from my computer because I missed it Tuesday night. This has been a favorite show of mine for the past couple of years. The characters are flawed and make a lot of mistakes, but they are good people and love each other very much. As I watched this episode, I felt bad for Crosby who was trying to deal with his little boy, whom he found praying. This made Crosby very uncomfortable because he realized he didn't know what he thought or believed. He didn't want his mother-in-law instructing his son's religious beliefs, but he really didn't know what he himself believed. He went to his parents, asking them what they believed...they didn't know what they believed either. They had "tried" Buddism, a commune and various other religions, but they didn't "land" on any one religion, and therefore didn't teach their children anything about God or religion either. Even though this is just a show filled with imaginary characters, it made me very sad because I know this is does happen in real life. Children without a belief system grow up to be adults without a belief system...and even though we are all entitled to our own religious thoughts and beliefs...when you don't have one it makes life a lot harder.
That is why I care so much about children and youth ministry. It's not that I want to force my beliefs onto a bunch of naive kids, its that I care about kids and children enough to want them to have a belief system that supports them and gives them something real and true to believe in that will last them their whole lives. I truly believe God created us with a hole inside us that only he can fill. We are created by him and for him.