Thought Catalog
February 28, 2014

Do We Have To Believe In Something Bigger? Should We?

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What is the issue?
Jorge Láscar
Jorge Láscar

Do you ever wake up and wonder where your life has gone? Maybe wonder if the choices you’ve made were really all part of some “greater plan”. I do. Ever since I was a kid my mom has always told me to have faith in “God’s bigger picture.” But what is this bigger picture? And more importantly, when the hell am I gonna get to look at it?

I’ve never been the type of person to believe in things I haven’t seen, or that haven’t been proven. I’m sure most people are this way after becoming so jaded by life. But usually you start out as that hopeful kid that wants so badly to believe that a jolly old man with a beard and a red nose comes to bring presents to all the good girls and boys on the 25th of December. I was never that kid. I discovered at a very young age that all of the fictitious holiday characters were not real. I realized that parents trick their kids into believing because, why? Because it will give them something “bigger” to believe in? Because it helps them to understand the concept of faith and trust? Well personally I think that theory is a lie. How exactly does it help us, as kids, to be lied to? In fact, it was the day I found out these fictitious creatures weren’t real that I began to question just about everything I couldn’t see.

Every single day people all over the world wake up and get down on their knees to pray to their version of God. They pray for things like strength, happiness, health, and some even pray for wealth. But who are you praying to? Is there actually someone there that is helping you heal and listening to your requests and cries for help? Or is it the simple act of asking and saying it to ourselves that starts to heal us and motivate us?

Some say that the act of deciding to do something, or even recognizing that you need to do something, can help you do it. If that is true, then what’s the point of going to church? What’s the point of believing in some God, that no one has ever seen?

I remember once, my sister was dating this boy who was a member at the most “holier than thou” church in our town. They preached about this judgmental and hateful God, who punished the people on Earth for any mistakes they made. They believed that EVERYTHING was an unforgivable sin. Being gay, sex, porn, kissing, hand holding, swearing, wearing a dress that was maybe a little bit too short, or heels that were maybe a little bit too high. Regardless, it didn’t comply with our modern day world.

One Sunday my sister forced me to come to this church with her and my mother. Naturally, I put on the mot scandalous outfit I knew my mother would let me out of the house in. They did things like yell out “HALLELUJAH” and practically lay down in the pews for the dramatic appearance of a simple prayer. I remember thinking to myself how absolutely crazy these people were and wondering how they could possibly live their lives like this, when I looked next to me and saw my sister falling right into the crowd. These people were out of their minds, so judgmental and looking down on everyone, and my sister was one of them. Or was she?

Maybe she was just looking for something to believe in, and this boy showed her what he believed in. Maybe it’s wrong, maybe it’s right, but who really gets to judge that? Who gets the final say of what is morally or socially acceptable? Is it society, or law enforcement, or is it something so much bigger, God?

I don’t necessarily believe in this God that sent his son down to “save us” and walked on water and created bread and wine out of nothing. That God that they describe sounds a little more like a magician to me.

For most of my life I considered myself to be a woman of science. I believed in the things that I could see, test, and prove to be true or false. This way of believing closed my mind off to something that is a crucial part of most people’s everyday lives. Faith. Through believing only in that which I could hold in my hands or see with my own eyes, I lost my faith. I don’t mean my faith in God; I mean my faith in everything. I lost my faith in humanity, that people are kind, generous, and truthful as a whole. I lost my faith in love and the true power of a hug and a kind word. And most importantly, I lost my faith in myself.

I guess I finally understood why people do such foolish things like screaming “HALLELUJAH” in a church or falling hopelessly in love with the wrong guy. They’re all just looking for something to believe in. Something that they can say is out of their control, that way if something goes wrong; it’s not really their fault. I could see the appeal in that, but it’s not very realistic. In fact it’s closer to living in a fantasy world than it is to living in reality, but I finally understood.

All of these people see their faith as a savior in their lives, something that brings good things, or something that takes the pain away during times of trial, but it wasn’t that for me. What I had come to experience in the world of science, was that things either work or they don’t and no amount of faith could change that. So for me, having faith was the biggest risk of all. Having faith was believing in the unbelievable. It was jumping out of the plane with no parachute hoping that you’d land in someone’s backyard pool. But faith suddenly seemed like something I needed because foolish or not, it helped to make sense out of the craziness in this world.

Is having faith good or bad? I think it depends on the person, but I think if your tendencies are to see the negative things of the world, maybe it can help you start to see the good. TC mark