13 October 2013

How faith made me lazy

My life is a lot different now than it was a few months ago. Of course, part of this is the whole moved-to-Florida and went-back-to-freelancing thing, but there's more to it than that.

A few months ago, after a lot of thought and personal investigation and a little nudging from a dear friend, I came to the realization that our world is a magnificent, awesome, frighteningly beautiful place all on its own.

Since then I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I believe and what I stand for. And I've come to the conclusion that my faith made me lazy.

Here's what I mean.

As a woman of faith, when I faced difficult situations or fears or "trials," I prayed. I asked god to intervene, give guidance, show me the path to take, give me strength to get through it. I believed that whatever I went through, as long as I had faith in a higher power, everything would be fine. God would take care of it.

And so I relied on that faith instead of my own strength. I didn't get up and make shit happen because I believed that god would make it happen for me. So I was patient, and prayed my way through some really hard times.

I don't pray anymore. And neither do I sit patiently expecting that something will happen to make everything okay. Instead, I'm the one who makes it okay.

When I'm faced with an obstacle or a challenge or a bad situation, I get shit done and frakking fix it. There's no waiting or hoping, I make it happen. That's the only way to get through your challenges, after all. You have to get up and do something.

I know a lot of people who talk about the dangers of religion. Besides the obvious*, there are other, "smaller" ways that religion is dangerous. As I've just described through my own experience, I think faith and religion (particularly blind faith) can make you lazy about your life and situation. You rely on your higher power to take care of things, so you simply sit and wait.

Or, worse, you face a bad situation and decide you're being tested, and not only do you not do anything about the situation, but you justify staying somewhere you should not be because your faith is being "tested."

That's what I did. Too many times. But now I get up off my ass and make shit happen.

*The "obvious" I mean is the Westboro Baptist Church, but I refuse to link to it. If you really want to know more about this particular organization, you're welcome to look it up on your own.

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