Late Snow

Just over a week ago, it looked as if Spring had finally come. The bush in front of my living room window burst into bloom with large, creamy flowers with pink-red streaks that reminded me of fairies’ wings. Next the flowering plum turned from a spindly rust-colored frame to bouquets of pink blossoms.

And then it snowed. Not just a little snow, but a heavy, wet blanket about six inches deep. The flowering plum was the first casualty, its frame bent over and roots ripped out under the weight of the snow. The landlord came by and tried to prop the tree up and put some soil over the exposed roots, but to no avail. The once-vibrant blossoms are brown and shriveled. Likewise, the bush by my window  has only one bloom left on the very highest branch, the petals opened to the heavens as if longing to escape the decay around it.

It made me think of the wreckage of my once-living faith. My faith in God and in His prophets kept me going through so much and helped me find meaning and contentment in my life. And then, suddenly, like after a late snow, it was all gone. For a long time I thought it was all gone, like that uprooted tree with its dying blossoms.

Or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe like that lingering bloom, I still believe in something. No, my faith isn’t wrapped in the trappings of Mormonism anymore. I don’t put much faith in corporations or dark-suited prophets anymore. But somewhere, there is still inside me a faith in God, a belief that there is something larger than this life. And above all, I want to know what I am supposed to do with my life. I suppose I could be content to believe that my life has purpose only as far as I give it purpose. But I want something more.

No, I’m not going back to my former belief, but I’m determined to find what else is out there, what kind of life I am to have.

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7 Responses to Late Snow

  1. Thanks, Runtu. This is rather like my experience, too. What you wrote reminds me of something I recently wrote on my blog: “I no longer speak in tongues, because it doesn’t make much sense to me to do so without the literal belief or the communal solidarity that I learned to associate with it. But what I am searching for in my spiritual journey today is not really something fundamentally different. It is simply a new way and a new symbol under which to have the same experience.”

  2. Rick says:

    Great analogy, Runtu. On my journey, I found that perhaps the “treasure” wasn’t something outside of or after this life. It IS the flowers here and now. Today. The awe and “miracle” of life itself is what my spirituality is about today.

    I don’t need anything else. I have found that the process of finding true religion and/or purpose of life is created by…

    Religion!

  3. MC says:

    Do you remember “Back to the Future II”? At some point in the movie, Marty McFly is riding around on a hover-skateboard. I remember hearing a rumor that those boards actually existed, and that you could get them in California. They just weren’t very common because they were very expensive. I would have been 8 or 10 at the time, so I totally believed this stuff.

    At some point, though, it occurred to me that they didn’t have hovering skateboards in 1989–they don’t have them now, either. I know this with my rational mind, but at the same time, there’s some part of my brain that says “No! They have them in California! They use magnets and the earth’s magnetic field!

    I think belief in God is kinda like that. It’s a nugget of information that’s stuck so deep in your brain that you can almost never get it out. It was placed there when the cement of your mind was wet and malleable. You might be able to extricate the faulty information, but it will always leave behind an imprint.

    On the other hand, it could be that a universe without gods just takes some time to get used to.

  4. Lone Danite says:

    What you never heard of the Hoverboards from Tony Hawkes Line? heh heh just kidding. Comparing God to flying skateboards? I found the story interesting, but it doesn’t fit very well with the issue at hand.

    You were one kid being told one story about one skateboard. God is believed by Millions of people on the earth. And has been believed by Billions over the years. Of course there was a Supreme Being that created the cosmos. It’s so blatantly obvious. Like man is just going to pop out of an amoeba after billions of years of evolution without some guiding force directing things, I mean, Come on.

    Just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean anything. A dog wouldn’t believe in anything until he smelled it, a cockroach wouldn’t believe something existed until he sensed it with his antenae. The eye of the soul is much more receptive than the eyes in your head, you just have to figure out how to use them.

  5. jr says:

    LD: Most of us who’ve been on both sides of the fence have a better understanding than you’re giving credit for.
    The existence of God is hardly “blantantly obvious”.
    Evolution exists. That is more “blantantly obvious” than the bronze-age belief of humans magically appearing out of dust.

  6. MC says:

    Lone Danite:
    Of course my story is just one story about a skateboard. And yes, millions–billions–of people believe in God. My story was intended to show how an idea–in this case, a false idea–can get stuck in your head if you’re exposed to it an an impressionable age. In my case, the false idea was a rumor I heard maybe once, from some goofball kid during recess. Just imagine if the idea was repeated over and over, by every adult and authority figure, starting at your birth and continuing for your entire life. Imagine virtually every aspect of the culture you live in being permeated with this idea. Imagine intricate rituals and traditions dedicated to this idea. Imagine that those who reject this idea are ostracized, and accused of all sorts of moral failings. (And that’s an improvement over the treatment of previous generations, which was simply to kill the people who rejected this idea.)

    Is it any wonder, then, that so many people believe in this idea? Frankly, the fact that ANYONE rejects it is remarkable. And after 40 years or so of immersion in a culture where belief in a god is ubiquitous, it’s quite understandable that someone could retain a lingering belief for years after his enlightenment.

  7. Scott says:

    I hardly find it convincing that your desire to find God is just some cultural residue. There are two perceived natures to this universe: the animate, and the inanimate. However dependent the animate may be on its inanimate body, it is still a perceived nature. Either the universe came about because of inanimate forces or it came about because of animate forces. It is not illogical to posit God as an ultimate Mind that at the very least set this world into motion. The human desire to understand a reality beyond ourselves is deep, and it’s foolish to think that of all human desires this one just happens to be the delusional one. Religious system are built around trying to find “God”, but the idea is that they are all after the same transcendent reality. You have learned to throw off the religion part, but I think it is good to be honest to the urge to find God. Besides, materialism is a trashy philosophy that speaks against the very things that give us and our desire for truth a purpose.

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