This post was going to be something else entirely and then my brain went off on a tangent, as it tends to do. During the Bible study meeting on Wednesday, one of the women said she doesn’t drink here in the states, but when she traveled to Germany recently, she had a beer. She said she imbibed because it was part of the culture. I didn’t really think much about this statement until today when I had a conversation with my mother.
My mom told me that her parent’s religious beliefs informed her that it wasn’t okay to dance, drink or wear makeup. My mom is guilty of all three and is one of the nicest ladies you’ll ever meet, but that’s beside the point. I asked when she made that change in her belief system. “When I left home.”
So without the accountability to her parents and their church, my mom put on some lipstick, went to a USO dance with a friend, probably had a Vodka Tonic or two and ended up meeting my dad in 1950.
Hold on a second. This will possibly make sense in a minute.
Then at that same Bible study I asked if God was wrathful (as he has been portrayed in earlier times) or was he a kind loving God that you could ask, “Hey God, I’m really thinking I should dye my hair red, what do you think?”
One woman said he was like a parent who wants the best for us, but knows we’re going to mess up.
My dad once told my mom, “If they kids don’t turn out okay, it’s your fault because you’re always with them.” And she was. My dad wasn’t around much. So, in a sense, my dad was kind of like God in that we knew he was somewhere and that he probably loved us (at least we hoped so), but we were held accountable for our actions by our mom who was just a person.
Up next at the Bible study, I asked if technology (being able to watch a sermon from their church on their home computer) was making a physical church obsolete. Were people important? They all agreed that the fellowship at the church was very important to their spiritual journey.
So, if we think we’re cool with God, why do we place so much importance on what other people think about us and our actions? Do we act differently with different groups of people? Are you truly your self in front of the member of your church? How about your best friend? Your spouse? Your kids?
My head hurts.
Do we fear God’s judgment as we take our last breath or is it really the judgment of people we surround ourselves with on a daily basis? And if it’s the latter, maybe people attend church to be held accountable to their peers who supposedly play by the same rules that they do.
But aren’t we all guilty of something? How do we behave when we think no one is looking?
We could drink too much or cheat on our spouses or cheat on our taxes or gossip like Perez Hilton or covet our neighbors new Lexus or swear like a sailor or whatever. If we think that everyone else is living to a higher standard because that’s what they present to us, we end up feeling like a failure. So, do we stay in the gutter wallowing in all of our faults and shortcomings or do we say, this is who I am warts and all and I still want to have a relationship with God?
I tried to make sense of these thoughts by explaining them to a friend today. She recalled a story of one of her friends who happened to be very religious. This woman was having a party and she told my friend, “You may want to tone it down, my church friends are going to be here.” In other words, I like you, but you can’t be yourself in front of my other group of friends.
And with that, I want to thank you for reading my totally rambling post that doesn’t make much sense to me at the moment.
But before I go, I’d like to leave you with a little exercise to think about. I want you to think of your worst day, a day when you did something that you’re not particularly proud of. Okay, now here’s the kicker. It’s been videotaped and will be televised. If you believe in God, then he/she has already seen it. God was there when you were doing it, remember? But your friends have not seen it. This is how you will be remembered.