Its been an eventful couple of past weeks for this blogger readers, since I last updated my little corner of cyber space I celebrated yet another birthday, my 45th. But that's not the reason for my recent funk, at least not directly.
I'm currently situated in Kingston Ontario, and travel back to the Toronto area most weekends to see my father, my kids and my girlfriend. The past two weeks however provided me with a much appreciated break as the course I'm on shut down for a fortnight.
Wanting to give my kids a super holiday I rented a place here in the Limestone City and had them with me for seven full days, ending this past Friday. My girlfriend spent most of the week here as well, and on Sunday almost the whole clan came down for a get together. The Princess Raspberry and I even baked a cake, with a little help from a guy named Duncan.
Old Fort Henry, swimming almost every day, playing some hoops with Buddy basketball star, hikes to the lake, catching fireflies. What reason would I have to be depressed? None, well not until this past Friday at least. After having breakfast my ex came to pick up the kids, which is super of her, I'm glad we're getting along well.
But then, I was alone, and that's when a bit of depression set in. Being a divorced father is tough, especially when you're away from your kids. Friday night I was back in my room, no Honey Bunny to read 'The Secret Garden' to before tucking her into bed. No games of cribbage with the big guy before hitting the sack, just me and my thoughts.
Saturday to keep busy I took a long walk downtown , about 3 hours in total just shuffling around. Kingston has a number of beautiful old churches, and that's when I decided that a little worship time might just be what the doctor ordered.
Now, dedicated readers of this blog will likely be aware that I'm not big on religion. But with that being said I think my writings do give evidence to a strong spiritual side every now and again. Those of the fundamentalist persuasion will view me as something of a heretic given that I don't consider the Bible to be the irrefutable and undeniable word of God. As a matter of fact I don't even believe in the Trinity or in as Jesus as Lord. What I do believe in is a Higher Power, and calling that power God is acceptable to me given the limitations of human language.
So how does a heathen such as myself find peace and comfort in a Christian church service? I'll tell you.
One of the scripture readings yesterday was from Mathew, it was the story about the loaves of bread and the fishes. Readers of the Bible will know it well, thousands had gathered to hear Jesus teach and to be healed. Later Jesus' disciples came to their teacher and said the crowd was hungry, and Jesus instructed them to bring what food they had to him. It totalled five loaves of bread and two fishes, (or the other way around, it doesn't really matter though). The food was distributed to the multitude and all were fed with and abundance left over.
A miracle? Maybe, but personally I don't believe it, something doesn't need to be miraculous to have meaning. Probably some exaggeration from where I sit, that or a hidden cache of extra food. But miracle or not, the story still has spiritual meaning.
What this passage says to me, and the point the pastor drove home with his sermon, is that God provides. God, the Higher Power, (chose your own definition) is both a part of us and all around us.
Life throws things at us we don't expect, in my case divorce, for others it might be a death, job loss...life can be stressful. As stressful as trying to feed thousands with only enough for food for two or three.
The peace I walked away with Sunday morning was the peace that comes from knowing I'm not alone, that I'm part of something much bigger. Instead of being depressed about being alone, I rejoiced in the time I had with my kids, with more plans for the future.
Those of us who identify ourselves as progressive and liberal also tend toward being very humanistic and secular a lot of the time. That's all well and good, but sometimes religion can provide a much needed boost and a tonic for a depressed spirit.
It beats Prozac.
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