Saturday, 22 February 2014

Way of Life

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I'm currently sitting in a coffee shop with my two best friends, we are all sitting writing because we are nerdy like that. In the dead silence I ask:

"Do you believe in heaven?"

That is a bit of a deep question for  me to be asking on a Saturday afternoon, I then went on to announce:

"My heaven is yellow. Kind of fluffy, cloud fluffy and with lots of daffodils."

Needless to say this sharp escalated into a conversation about our views on religion, particularly Christianity. I am the only practicing Christian around the table, one of my friends is Buddhist and the other is somewhere between the both of us. I would say I am a liberal Christian, I am not entirely sure that is a real term but I am coining it a real term now. I am quite open about my religion to people when I talk about it, I am not embarrassed to say I am a Christian but equally as much I do struggle with some aspects of Christianity and neither am I shy to admit that.

Just as some Buddhists view Buddhism as a way of life I feel that way about Christianity. I feel like The Bible teaches me said way of life and generally teaches me to be a good person, not like anyone should need a reason to be a good person. I feel that I am so far from people's stereotypes of Christianity, far from making me narrow minded on aspects such as sexuality I feel like I am a more broad-minded person because of Christianity. Britain is supposedly an equal nation, well, I am not so convinced about that. I am however convinced that I have an equal centre of belief, I wholeheartedly believe equality is a human right. This sense of equality forms the centre of my Christian beliefs also, it is what draws me to religion, I feel like religion should allow you to be anyone. Religion should inspire bravery and authenticity. It's what it does for me.

This flows quite nicely into prayer. I don't do very much "out loud prayer" but I don't think that makes it any less of a prayer, I'd rather sit in silence and think my prayers through because sometimes I feel a bit awkward saying things out loud, this is okay. I recently came across this Mother Teresa quote which sums up my views on prayer quite nicely:

I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I'm supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I'm praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.
I just described prayer to my friends as a verbal diary. Being that we are writers I feel writing to change our minds is something we can all identify with. I will often start writing about something I don't really understand with the hope that by the end of it I will understand it more. I feel the same about prayer, when I lie in bed on a night time doing my "thought prayers" I do it in the hope that I will wake up in the morning with a clearer perspective on the situation. 
Prayer changes us and we change things.

Hannah x

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