When I was a kid, I went to church every Sunday; not because I wanted to, but because that’s what my family did on sundays. I didn’t really even consider if I believed in anything they were preaching. All I knew was that my mom would feed me a steady stream of lifesavers if I kept my shirt tucked in and mouth shut for the duration of the service.
When I was old enough to develop free will, I labeled myself agnostic, and stopped going. I decided I needed proof, before I could believe in something like that.
I had already been burned by the whole santa claus and tooth fairy thing.
Even 5 years ago, as I sat in my home office, frustrated and depressed by a long stint of recession-induced unemployment, I clung to the agnostic label.
One afternoon, about a year into my fruitless job hunt, I received an email from one of the (many) advertising agencies I had sent my resume.
“Thanks for submitting your resume. You would be a great asset to our company. Unfortunately, we are currently in a hiring freeze. We will keep your resume on file.”
I had received emails like this before. Many, many times before. It was the corporate equivalent of a “Dear John” letter:
“it’s not you, it’s me.”
The hiring freeze felt more like an ice age and this most recent rejection was officially the final straw. I was tired of going to bed hungry–tired of trying to pay rent with an unemployment check and playing consumer russian roulette every time I used my debit card.. I threw my hands in the air and cried up to my cracked ceiling:
“Dear god…Something needs to happen, anything!!!”
Within minutes, I heard an explosion. It came from behind my two-family flat. I looked out my back window, only to find a thick, solid wall of smoke. As I was screaming out for something to happen, a random arsonist set my car and garage on fire. Something most definitely happened.
Even then I chalked it up to an ironic instance of timing, and kept on believing that I didn’t believe.
Then a few years ago I learned that a very dear friend had been fighting a very serious and persistent cancer. After countless rounds of chemotherapy and experimental treatments, it just wouldn’t go away. This was my high school sweetheart; the source of my warmest memories of young love and endless summer nights.
Without thinking about it, I found myself praying for her.
That’s when I realized something: I guess I do believe in god– otherwise, why would I pray?
I’ve always been a firm believer in faith. Faith keeps people going in dire times. But you can have that without believing in god. There’s faith in mankind, faith in one’s self; Faith Hill, George Michael’s Faith, Faith No More…
God and faith aren’t always synonymous with one another.
I don’t know what I have faith in these days, but I do know I believe in god.
let’s just hope he believes in me.
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