I never got around to loving God. It was just what I was used to; following orders to avoid punishment, being obedient, listening. It’s how I was raised. Obey your elders. Obey your parents. Obey your teachers. It all came from God. I always heard about Him, how He was the only one to be feared, how He should be feared more than man. He should be feared.
When I was in primary school, children used to say things like God is going to sin you when someone did something wrong. That was our way of saying you just committed a sin, and God is going to punish you for it. Somehow we all knew that. God was going to punish us if we did something wrong.
I don’t think that’s why I started looking for Him. I wasn’t scared, or thinking about being punished for any wrong I had done. I was just lonely and lost. But it turned into that; being scared of getting Him angry, inviting His wrath upon myself. Being scared of not being able to go to heaven. That was the ultimate goal; heaven. We all needed to get here, because this earth was not our home, not in its current state. Jesus needed to come and make it new again so that we could live on it. In the meantime, we had to do all we could so that we could be with Him when that happened. We needed to stay on His side. We needed to do what He said. We needed to love Him. If we did what He said, that meant we love Him.
But that’s not it. I did what He said. But I didn’t love Him. I was just scared. It was all motivated by fear. I lived every day in fear, either of Him, or of having to disagree with people because of my choice to serve Him. I never had the peace or the joy that was promised. I’m not sure if I ever had the hope either. I wanted it. But I don’t think I ever had it. I knew it all in my head. I had all the information. But it never went further than that. Not really.
I remember being frustrated because no matter how much I prayed, or sang, God never took me as His and used me for His purpose. Why couldn’t He use me to do things like other people? And I was greedy too. I was always thankful for small things, but I would forget them easily. I would always want more. Here’s the thing though, I never prayed for big things. I was never that kind of Christian. I don’t think I believed that God would answer. I never liked when our head elder told us to test God. That didn’t make sense, because the Bible told us not to do that. But he told us to put God to the test and ask Him for things and let Him work in our lives. I thought that was too much. I only asked for small things like help on exams or for it not to rain. Or if I got into a jam and I’d start worrying I’d pray at those times; quick breathy, worried prayers, asking God to help the situation and let it not be too bad, to let it work out. He was just…help, that I needed. And a God that I feared. He was big and powerful, and I was supposed to do what He said and not make Him angry. Because if He gets angry, then it’s all over.
I don’t know where I’m going with this but I’ve wanted to say it for a while. I think the type of person I am just worries all the time and…I’ll never have peace. I didn’t have it when I was with God and I don’t have it now. I worry too much, I always want, and I’ve noticed that I’m getting sadder and sadder each time I realize that something isn’t perfect. There is no perfect thing anywhere. And I mean among inanimate objects. Even machines don’t work the way they are supposed to. People have flaws all over. I don’t need to elaborate on that. It’s just everywhere. And I don’t know why I need it so much. I can never be happy if I keep looking for it. I didn’t even find it in God. That was the biggest disappointment of all. I was on a search for a perfect being, and I found imperfections in Him too. The church, the Bible, religion, His people. All flawed. All imperfect. Nothing going to the way it was supposed to. I can’t put my life on something that has flaws, and I’m not interested in hunting down ways to smooth out the obvious flaws that anyone with eyes can see.
I told my pastor once about the things I saw wrong in the Bible. All along I was being told by elders that the Bible never contradicts itself, and that there’s always a verse or passage in there somewhere to explain another one that seems confusing. But that was crap. It did contradict itself. I don’t go around thinking I’m a genius or anything, but I’m not stupid. That was crap. There were contradictions in there. He said that I was going to find a lot of that. I didn’t understand what he was saying. He told me that God was perfect, and had a perfect message for us, but that the messengers were flawed human beings, and because of that there were going to be some errors in the message as it passed from one to the other. But I didn’t understand that either. Why would God allow what He had to say to be twisted, to be misconstrued? That didn’t make sense. He is God. He could have prevented that. Why didn’t He?
This is too much. This is exhausting. So He gave me truth that was misinterpreted, and in that truth commands me to believe the truth that has been altered and that obviously contradicts itself? The truth that is supposed to represent Him. And Christians wonder why there people who don’t trust the Bible. There are reasons for that. They see that something is wrong with it. We are the ones closing our eyes to reason and…oh gosh, blind faith. See I can’t even think about this properly. That always comes up when I think about this. Blindly trusting God. Except He gave me something to look at that I could read and understand and study. Something that needs intelligence. But then I’m supposed to shut that intelligence off and just trust when what’s in front of me doesn’t make sense. I don’t like that. I don’t like that I’m being asked to trust something that doesn’t make logical sense to me. What He should have done was not let me come to America. Then He would have had me for a few more years and maybe by then He could have completely closed my eyes to everything outside of Him.