I love the Gorillaz. And I loved this song so much back in grade school that I memorized the whole rap and nobody knew I did.
A Religion VS A Spiritual Relationship
I’m not very vocal about it, that I know. Nor do I openly discuss unless prompted to. But a lot of the time I do think about the presence and existence of a higher being and his place and value in my life.
I’ve been going to church (or, as I think of it, “returning”) for about a year now. I participate in christian fellowship and service, to be exact. Friends and family have been encouraging and I’m very gracious to have them support me.
I’ve come to realize, after having time to think and reflect, that what has jarred me from accepting God, from completely grasping and putting faith and trust in him (or in anything for that matter), was my early exposure to the wrong representation.
School burned the wrong image in my head. But I can’t blame that institution completely, because I was lost in my own thoughts. It had just showed me aspect of “a religion” and “a belief” that made me uncomfortable. And I was wrong to let it stay with me for so long.
I always thought, “I’m sick of this talk of God and his “divine law” and all the things I have to do in order to please him. What is he to me but a bunch of false praises and prayers? Why do I need him? I’m doing fine.”
I was terribly wrong, but can you blame me? I was angry at how I was shown to worship God and that I was just pushed to do so.
I was baptized as a catholic and I hated it. The ideas that ran through my head were either ‘I have to do this to verify that I am a good person, and not some delinquent” and “they will probably sanction me if I ditch this thing”.
Mass and prayers felt like cult rituals and I felt obliged to attend them.
I didn’t even want to consider myself a catholic any more. I wanted to lie and say I was a buddhist or an atheist. I didn’t see the value of faith or faith in God for that matter.
I was writing lies in those CL class journals that asked about our “inner struggles” and problems with our faith. I felt that I was only passing them in to get a grade, and that was my only motivation to give it any thought.
Strangely enough, I got high grades for it, but I was not happy nor was I changed or inspired. Christ did not exist unless I was “required” to “recognize” his presence.
A terrible thought to exist in such a young mind, but that is the truth.
I had many questions to raise about the scriptures too. Mostly involving what I perceived as unfair and unjust of a supposed “all-knowing and all-loving Father”
"How can god not love homosexuals if he granted man the ability to feel that way towards the same sex?
Is God not a loving God? Is he not accepting? That’s what people claim, right?”
I had many doubts, and I still have a few lingering until now.
But I have come to understand that… religion does not matter. Really.
To hell with religion. To hell with masses, prayer rallies and CL class. What value do they have without a total understanding of what it means to be in a relationship with a God. A true and real one. To have faith.
I started going to youth service, and to my surprise, I kept coming back.
Perhaps I was there for a reason, I was seeking something unknowingly initially.
A relationship with that divine being, comprising of faith, trust and love that is greater and stronger than that with any other man or woman in one’s life. But with it simultaneously working into my life and strengthening all my relations, bettering those relationships that exist with people.
And from simply being invited to sit at a service. Silently observe, listen and learn.
I remembered Him. His presence, his reason and his aim.
I was shocked and a little frightened. Surrounding myself with these people who already have a strong sense of faith with how they worship and how they pray. It was very new to me.
I was only accustomed to reading off mass papers and memorized hymns and verses. No actual communication. No actual commitment and passion.
And for the first time, I came to realize, "Wow. God does do great things."
Because people did not spring to life from nothing. They were not merely designed this way to act on their own accord. They do not think, and feel and function without the aid of a greater power.
I went home. Sat down and pulled out a dusty, old bible from my shelf and cried. I started praying again.
I prayed like I was talking to a friend, so I was a little more comfortable starting out. I asked if there really was a reason I was feeling the way I did and why it took so long for me to remember and realize and return to him.
I cried a lot because I was confused. I still do when I’ve hit a bump because I’m frustrated with my own thoughts.
I shouldn’t have been thinking of commitment and faith as something as petty as “RELIGION”. It’s really a spiritual connection. A relationship.
…and with any relationship it’s about acceptance and trust in God and his words.
I know I have a lot to catch up on. A lot to learn. But I think what makes me more hopeful in the idea of developing and growing as a believer… it’s that I’ve already began opening myself up to it. I am no longer closing off. I come willingly to learn more each day, remind myself to be open to the thoughts of others on the matter of spirituality and their spiritual connections and relations.
I know I come willingly, not for any hidden agenda and not with any consolation in mind.
I am here to listen, to act and to be…whatever I have to be for Him.
An original story I plan to illustrate soon (as I have the time).
Inspired by retro children’s books + Craig McCraken + Mary Blair
Sort of obsessed with this show <3 Thank you, Rebecca Sugar and the Steven Crewniverse for designing such cool characters!
(STILL A WIP)
Wrote a song #becausethesis
I need to learn how to draw backgrounds.
I can’t have people floating around white space or colorful textures any more…