Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In g*d's time and in g*d's way

Today while painting my master bathroom poop brown (I think the technical name is "fudge," but poop brown gets a much better response from the 4-year-old), I was thinking about g*d, tornadoes, how I parent, and how I don't fall into the category of secular humanist.  And strangely, they were all connected within one somewhat meandering line of thought.

I had a thought recently that it seems like moms I read about who tend to be more religious-minded also tend to have more strict beliefs about their parenting.  Maybe the two necessarily go hand-in-hand....I don't know.  Generally, though, it seems to me that they are less granola, less attachment-style mothers (which is how I would characterize myself).

What I find interesting is that while I wouldn't be surprised to hear something like, "It will happen in g*d's own time," from them (perhaps if they wanted something to happen in their lives), I would be surprised if any of them had this same sentiment about when their children do things, such as giving up thumb-sucking or weaning from nursing or potty-training, as in "It will happen in Bobby's own time" or " Sally's own time."

My own perception is that they seem to believe that their timeline is the "right" one and the child has to fall in line with this.  And it occurred to me that this is a similar view of their belief about g*d---that g*d's timeline is the "right" one and they have to go along with it.

(And, by the way, I am not making a judgment about this.  Only a statement about what I perceive.  I feel like I need to specifically clarify this for anyone who might read this with an uncritical eye.)

Anyway, in the midst of this thinking it reaffirmed to me that I am more a mom who wants my kids to go at their pace, to do things when they are ready.  A large part of this is laziness...because I'm not going to fight battles that I cannot win and that really aren't that important anyway.  I'm not going to make any more work for myself than absolutely necessary.  Another part of this is that even if I think something or prefer something, I don't necessarily know if it is "right."  It may be right for me and the things I have going on, but that doesn't mean it is right for my kids' timeline.

And this may be why the whole religious, g*d stuff isn't appealing to me.  Because if I don't know what the heck I am doing, and I am in g*d's image, then maybe he/she/it doesn't know what he/she/it is doing. I don't like g*d thinking he/she/it knows what is right in every single situation, and I have to tow the line.  I am a rotten, tantrum-like toddler in this respect.

Generally, whenever I have thought to try and label myself and my beliefs I have tended toward the idea of secular humanist.  But the truth is I do believe there is something greater than myself, greater than any individual human.  I just don't like to give it any form of human characteristics because....well, has anyone ever heard of Rush Limbaugh?  Is he in g*d's image?  Or perhaps the thing greater than me IS humanity when it is working collaboratively, peacefully, kindly for the greater good.

And all of this line of thinking brought me to the tornadoes in Indiana, the destruction, the loss of life.  I read about the victims who lost loved ones, homes, everything they owned and who say, "G*d will see me through this."  And I wonder if they aren't lifted up by the kindness of others who have been sending much-needed items and helping go through debris and sending kind messages via Facebook and newspaper?  Is that what g*d really is?

All of this while slapping paint on walls.

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