I realized sometime ago that I don’t talk to you like I used to. The most praying I do these days is the same nighttime prayer I’ve prayed since I was a child. I don’t even say grace before meals anymore. Not out loud, anyway. It’s just the little rhyme Mom taught me, and it’s usually when the first forkful is already in my mouth.
I don’t even know if I miss you. I don’t know who I’m supposed to miss.
Somehow, though, I still believe in you. Somehow, I still hope that you care and are doing something about the state of the world. It would be nice to know that you loved me and really did do some of the things they say you did. But I won’t hold my breath.
I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way, but I guess you know that. I mean that I’m not going to hold out for a sign from you before I live my life. I don’t think I’ll ever fully know or understand your will, so I don’t really see a point in continued attempts to grasp it through prayer and biblical interpretation. I’m just going to keep going, and keep hoping that it will all be okay with you in the end.
You might remember the conversation I had with M. (We’ve been going out. Fellow agnostic theist. It’s been awesome, thanks. ) We were talking about heaven, hell, and judgment. And I said that a usual scare tactic is a Bible verse about the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” by the people who are shut out, in darkness. Nobody wants to spend eternity weeping and gnashing their teeth, right?
But after a while, I realized that anyone who wept and gnashed their teeth did so out of regret. So I’m now set on living my life in order to have as little regret as possible. That way, if I get shut out, I could be calm enough to sit the hysterical blubberers down on the curb and pat them on the back till they feel better. Maybe together, we could figure out what to do.
You know, if eternity were like that, if I got shut out and had to wander dark streets – and if there were no one else around, if it were just me groping, alone – I wouldn’t mind. It would only be more of what I’ve already experienced, what I’m sure I have more to experience. Me, wandering, mostly alone, thinking. That doesn’t sound so bad. If I go mad, I have eternity to become sane again. If I become angry, I have eternity to become serene again. If I have sinned, I have eternity to become repentant again. If I have been confused, misguided, I have eternity to find you again.
But when I think about it now, I don’t see the point of an afterlife if it will be very much like the current life. It makes more sense to me to work this one to the bone and then be done. But what do I know, right? I’m not you. I won’t even know that I’m dead. You, on the other hand, already know everything.
So I’m not going to worry. I’m just going to do my best with what I do know and what I can control. You do your God thing, and I do my human thing, and I guess I’ll see you when this is over. (Or not.)
Thank you, by the way. And I say that with a smile on my face, God. I don’t know who I’m smiling at, where to face, and whether I should be thankful, but I am. It’s been lovely so far.
- Kat (guest contributor)
Note to d-C Contributors: I noticed that most of the stories posted here are by people who’ve given up belief entirely. I’ve been hoping to read someone who, like me, has retained at least the tiniest bit of belief, but maybe there aren’t that many of us…