Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Questions of Faith

I have these friends who are trying to have a baby. They've been trying for a few years now. First, with the normal methods. (You know, having sex.) And after six months, she wasn't pregnant, and wasn't happy about it. (Did I mention she's used to getting what she wants?) So she went to a specialist and started taking fertility drugs. Still nothing. So now, they've moved on to invitro fertilization. The first time she was supposed to go through the process, she found out her sister was getting married, and if she'd gotten pregnant then, she'd be too pregnant to travel to the wedding. The week before the rescheduled treatment, she became sick and wound up in the hospital for a week, needing surgery. She just finally had the treatment this past weekend. Now here is my point with all of this. Shortly before this whole process began, these two started stating that they are atheists. (Now, these are two people who were each raised with no faith base in their respective homes. Not to offer excuses, just maybe some kind of reason why they'd make this choice.) And they've been shocked at the troubles they've had getting pregnant.

Now, I'm not a religious person, in the traditional sense. I was raised Catholic. Went to Catholic school and everything. But that didn't really work out for me. Not the belief part, but the methodology. I will forever be grateful for the faith base that Catholicism gave to me, but the practice itself seemed to me to be based on fear and guilt. Not too appealing to me. I knew that I truly believed in a higher power, something greater than myself. God. But I wasn't so sure that this was how I would be able to feel close to God. So I went searching. And in this case I found was I was looking for. Or, at least, I was able to piece together what I needed. Borrowing heavily from Hinduism and Buddhism, with doses of Thoreau, Emerson, George Harrison, and U2, I managed to create something that works for me.

It turns out that my overall goal is to lead a good life. To be a good person. To take as little as possible. To give where possible. To keep life as simple as possible. My day begins with prayer. First the mental and emotional - restating my purpose, giving thanks, asking for help where I need it most - then the physical prayer of yoga and running. I go about my day trying to be ever mindful, ever grateful. It doesn't always work, but I keep working at it. My day ends with meditation and prayer, clearing and opening my mind and heart, and giving thanks. This has grown over the years, and has become the true base and grounding in my life. I've come to understand there is a plan. I might not know the plan. I might not understand the plan. I might not like the plan. But I trust the plan. Even when it's scary to do that. It's not traditional or conventional, as far as faith goes. But it's me. And it's brought me closer to God. Of that I'm sure.

Which, I guess, brings me back to my original point. When I see my friends with all their efforts to have a baby, and I see those efforts being kind of thwarted at every turn, as they profess their atheism.... I guess I just have to wonder if there aren't some other things they're supposed to do before that part of their plan can unfold. Or if maybe there isn't some reason they've not gotten pregnant.

Just some things I've been thinking about lately.


Bacardi Mama said...

Where does an atheist think the world and all it's wonders came from?

Bono said...

I think they think it's gift wrapped like candy and one day someone just opened it.