Well, several things, really. But just now (before I started writing this), I was reading a blog post by Amy of asking, searching, knocking. She's trying to work out what she should think about God, whether she should have faith, and if so why she finds it difficult, etc. She's turned off comments on her blog, understandably, because she wants to try and tune out the outside interference for a while. So I can't comment directly on her blog itself, but after reading her last post I'd like to, so I'm going to put it here.
Here's what she said that made me want to write something in response:
Part of my struggle is, how honest do I want to be here? Some of my honesty is pretty ugly, which causes me to think, yikes, I don't really want everybody to see how petty and bitchy and just plain stupid I can be.
At the same time, I don't want to play it like this spiritual quest I'm on is all even-keel and progressing in a logical, orderly fashion when that simply isn't the case. I seem to take a baby step forward, and then twelve steps backward. Things are looking pretty positive one day, and the next it's all gone to shit. Whether I like it or not, that's the way it's going for me, and to pretend it isn't, well... if I'm just going to make stuff up, why document it in the first place?
This blog is about my stormy relationship with God. I'm not always going to be nice about it. So in the end, what I'm going for is honesty, however bad/insane/idiotic that makes me look. Because maybe someone else is going through something similar, and maybe, however far-fetched it seems, maybe something I have to say will help someone else. And maybe what I write will help those who already have faith understand what it can be like for someone who doesn't (though I don't claim to be an "everyman" of the faithless--God help them if they're all like me!).
First, about honesty. I think honesty is about the most important thing you can have when dealing with questions of faith. Any other question as well, really, but honesty is particularly important when it comes to things which have a major impact on how you should live your life. And honesty when you're unsure whether what you're saying is "right" or not, and what people are going to think of it, and maybe even what you'll think of it yourself in a few months time... well, that takes courage. So I wish I could comment and give her a word of support for being that honest.
And second, about the last line. Maybe my faith in my conscience is substantially different from the kind the religious have, but it's there. And that made me feel lucky. Because my faith in my conscience has never yet failed me.