In case you haven’t been reading my blog lately (which I don’t blame you since I haven’t been very good about posting) I recently lost my Suegro (Father-in-law) to colon cancer. I wrote about it here. Personally though, it feels as though I’ve been hit in the head by a Louisville slugger. The world seems off balance and often just plain offensive. I can’t seem to ground myself half the time and the other half of the time all I can think is “sometimes life sucks.”
The thing is, I understand something about the place where Faith and Religion collide that I don’t think I really understood before. You see, religion is like Job’s friends. It starts off comforting and just hanging with you until you get better. There are two problems though, Religion doesn’t understand why you take so long to get off your rear end, and it assumes you are a horrible person. Religion listens when you cry out to God in pain and agony then asks “What’s wrong with you? Have you no faith? Don’t you believe God is still king? How can you question Him like that?”
Religion becomes condemning and dispassionate very quickly when core beliefs are challenged. Nevermind the book of Lamentation or psalm 13 (not to mention all the others) those are just examples of Jewish people complaining and doubting God. Don’t bring that up around Religion. Religion says “Rejoice in the Lord always!” Even when it hurts to smile.
Faith on the other hand, is much more straightforward. Faith says: “Yes, life sucks sometimes. But God is still on the Throne.”
That is one reason of many that we are called to form communities of FAITH, not religion. Faith is really about God. Religion is really about us. And when life sucks, it’s our Father in Heaven who can help us out, not our own fleshy selves.