Tag Archives: Superstition

Confessions Of A Gospel Snob

I’m kind of tired of the New Testament. Earlier this summer I decided I would read the Bible cover to cover, so for the past several weeks I’ve been making my way through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and now, I’m in Numbers. It’s been both strange and refreshing. Honestly, I’m just kind of tired of the same old Christian posts on here and Facebook, and quite frankly, everywhere else. A lot of us (I’m sure I’m guilty, too) tend to just cycle through the same old ideas, and while they’re still true, and always will be, they just start to sound empty.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the message of the Gospel. I love Jesus. It’s all good over here. I just think that we need to find some new way of talking about it. Put it this way: it’s not cool. I know that’s not the point, and maybe you can’t express it in a way that’s “cool,” I also think that we need to get creative, especially if we’re going to teach the Gospel to younger people, and especially the next generation. I don’t know whether or not my brother is planning on ever having kids, but if he is, I want to make sure they know who Jesus is. I don’t know if I can trust my brother enough to do that (at least right now). I honestly have no idea what he believes. He’s an enigma to me. I can’t get a straight answer out of him, either. Alas.

What Iv’e read so far of the Old Testament has been interesting. Some things have been surprising. Some of the things God requires of Israel, and some of the things he does are confusing. It’s certainly different than the teaching of the Catholic Church in a lot of ways. I’m very interested to read the New Testament in perspective. I’m enjoying reading the Bible like this. I’m just focusing on it like it’s a story or a text book, which is different from my usual take on it (for obvious reasons). I think it’s actually helpful to view it in this way, which I haven’t done before, outside of school. The last time I did this kind of thing was four years ago, and that was for school.

I want to know God better. I don’t read the Bible enough. Some people read it every day. I think I’m just stubborn. I convince myself that I’m to busy, but I’m really not. I’m finding lately that I’m not very good at prayer. I find it difficult. I think I’ve always kind of had this problem, but I just haven’t noticed it. I probably just think too much about it. I don’t pray about what I’m reading. I probably should.

I trust God, and I love him. I can honestly say that because I’ve made it through some rocky places and come out better for the trouble. I think too much. It’s a giant pain in the neck sometimes. I’m a superstitious person. Before I was Christian I was willing to believe just about anything, and now that I am Christian, I’m willing to believe a lot (i.e. all my eggs are in one basket). I’m stubborn about it, too. That’s why I think we need to change the way the Gospel is presented. We need to make it “cool” while still being truthful. I’m not sure how to do that, but I’m sure we can figure it out. I definitely think music helps. Music is super helpful, actually. We need to exploit every medium we can. Not only that, but we need to invent new ways of expressing things. I know I’ve done this rant before, so I’ll shut up now.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

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The Things We Hear And See In Dreams

In the past 3 years or so I have had 3 very important dreams.

The first was in my Freshman year of college. That year I had joined a small group (which has since disbanded), to pray and study the Bible together. One night we read a passage where Jesus says “Don’t be afraid. Follow me.” That very same night after I went to bed I had a dream where I was in the dark and I couldn’t see anything. I wasn’t afraid, but I was lost, and I was trying to find my way out– wherever “out” was. At one point, even though it was pitched black, I saw a faint silhouette appear in front of me. In a man’s voice, the silhouette said, “Don’t be afraid. Follow me, and I’ll lead you out.” I followed him, and eventually we saw a light in the distance. The man then said something along the lines of, “Follow me, and be a bridge for other people to come.”

The second dream happened right around the time my grandfather passed away in November. I’ve already mentioned this in an earlier post, but I’ll go into some more detail here. I should preface this by mentioning that I dream about the same weird city a lot, and something is always going wrong there. I’m always in some sort of peril. Well, this time I was in a suburb of that city. At first I was just playing some sort of game where I had to run around and find things, but then I began to feel feverish and I knew that I was actually looking for something very important, and if I didn’t find it, something very bad would happen. Well, I was running out of time, so I decided to run into the all-night subway station. When I reached the bottom of the stairs that led to the platform, I fell down. A moment later there was a man standing over me. He was young, and very well dressed; in fact, he looked like anyone you might encounter on the street, but I was absolutely terrified of him. He picked me up, and I tried to escape at first, but then realized it was pointless, so I walked along with him up some stairs and into a strange, dingy hallway. Up ahead we saw an open door and heard what sounded like a fight. When we reached the door, we saw that two young men were beating up a girl who looked to be about my age. The young man who was escorting me asked, “Would you like me to spare her life?” I said “Yes, of course.” The young man took a step forward, and suddenly the other two men were gone. He told the other girl to head back to the train station where she would find help. Then I realized something. I looked at my escort right in the face and said, “You’re Death, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” he said.
“And you’re not awful.”
“No, I’m glad you don’t think so.”
“And you’re taking me away.”
“Yes, dear.”
“But… you’re bringing me to God, right?”
“Yes.”
That was when I woke up.

The third dream I had was just a week or two ago. Over winter break I read a book called 90 Minutes in Heaven, which was about a pastor who was in a terrible car accident, and actually died for 90 minutes. The EMT’s said that his heart had stopped. While he was out like that, he saw a piece of heaven and heard wonderful music. Miraculously, another pastor came upon the scene of the crash, climbed into the back of the wrecked car and began praying for him and somehow, his heart started beating again. After I read this book I was jealous. I’ll admit it. I wanted to see a piece of Heaven too. I prayed to God and said, “God, I’d really like to see or at least hear something like that, but if this story is going to be all I get for now, please just help me let that be enough.” A while after that (last week, maybe), I had a dream. Once again I was in complete darkness, except this time I was laying down. I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear the most beautiful music ever, and somehow I knew that I was hearing angels. Then the music changed to earthly worship songs, then it changed again to secular love songs, and as this was happening, it began to get lighter, and then I woke up.

I have vivid dreams just about every night. I don’t always remember what happens in them, but I know I have them. Most of them are just insane and don’t make any sense, but sometimes I get these little gifts while I’m asleep and they make me feel awesome for days, if not years on end. I’ve recently decided that everything is awesome; freaking awesome! Yes, bad things happen, but 1) God doesn’t make bad things happen, and 2) it could always be worse. Furthermore, there is nothing that is broken that can’t be fixed, and if we can’t fix it, God can and he will.

I had a thought at first, that maybe these dreams were just coincidence, since many of my dreams have to do with things I’ve recently seen or read or done, but I’ve decided that I no longer believe in coincidence. everything happens for a reason, even if that reason is simply to start something else. We can take things as random, or we can take them as inspiration. I prefer the latter.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Hot Air Skyway

A couple nights ago I was playing an old racing game with my dad. We always go to the same 5 tracks and use the same characters. Last time I decided to be a penguin instead of a tiger, which was quite out of the ordinary, but nothing exploded. My dad and I always do a best-of-five tournament when we play this game, and we almost always end up having to do a tie-breaker race. We always go to the same track for the tie-breaker.

Well, the game was tied 2 to 2, and Dad said, “I bet if we went anywhere other than Hot Air Skyway the world would start turning in the wrong direction,” to which I replied, “Let’s test that theory.” I chose a different track, to which Dad jokingly objected, and I won. Then I said, “would you like to play Hot Air Skyway so time won’t stop working properly?” We played, and I won again.

I realized that we played Hot Air in part because it was funny, but also because a little part of me believed or wanted to believe that time really would get messed up if we didn’t. I thought as we were playing, “Wow, I actually am pretty superstitious. I want to believe all of the things!”

I’m not gullible, and in many cases I’m actually rather skeptical. I do try to have an open mind, but I tend to disregard things that disagree with my personal religious beliefs. I also know that I could be wrong about a lot of things. As I said, part of me really wants everything to be true. I think it might be because it would mean I had more understanding of how the universe works, and maybe even a little more control over my own little part of it.

I really did used to believe in magic. I also believed in ghosts and spirits. I guess it was partly because I was young; younger anyway. Still, I am very willing to believe things after I assess them intellectually. Something I had to learn however, was that it is impossible to believe all of the things, and one needs to choose something to guide one’s beliefs, whether that’s a particular faith or philosophy or what have you.

When I was in high school I went through an intellectual hurricane because I just believed whatever sounded interesting at the time. However, many things I learned about and wanted to believe often disagreed with each other. I also learned the hard way that I didn’t necessarily need answers, but I needed to have definite opinions and beliefs. It’s difficult for me to say I know the Truth. I believe I know what is True, but I also know that I know maybe 5% of things about God, Heaven, absolute morality, the afterlife, or even this life.

I have had dreams that have convinced me that God is real and that Jesus loves me and wants me to follow him. So many of my prayers have been answered, and I have had so many awesome spiritual experiences. I just wish I could somehow show my best friend what I’ve seen so that she could believe too.

I think part of the reason she doesn’t believe is because of things Christians have done and continue to do. We can’t hide from our past or present for that matter, but what people forget is that it isn’t the religion that is wrong or evil, but it’s the people who skew it and use it to further their own agenda or fuel their pride. Anyway, I could go on and on about this stuff.

I guess what I’d like to leave you guys with is that you should believe things. I know it can be difficult when so many things contradict each other, but faith in something can do so much good and can be so empowering. You don’t have to believe what I believe, but please, have faith.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!