Friday, April 17, 2009

My Spiritual Quest

I am taking advantage of the little guy being with his Gma and Gpa Munns today and have spent most of the morning reading the Bible and journaling. I had this strong urge to share some things that have been weighing on me lately.

First of all, I have continued my weekly Bible study with Liz and Arlene, two members of the Jehovah's Witness group. I have done so because 1) it is so much easier to understand the Bible and keep reading it when you have people guiding you and encouraging you, 2) these women are warm and friendly and 3) I feel like God led them to me for a reason.

Which leads me to the next issue. My family and friends (this means you) think I'm nuts. That I'm going to get swept up in their way of life. And now I'm beginning to wonder, what's really wrong with that if I do? I understand that they are ridiculed because they go door to door preaching about God (Jehovah) and Jesus and that makes people UNCOMFORTABLE. We want to live our lives the way we choose. What's easy for us. As long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, yadda yadda yadda.

Here's what I know. I was unhappy and lost for a long time. During this time, I often thought about the happiest point in my life and honestly it was during my first years in college when I was active with the Otter Christian Fellowship and studying the Bible. I kept wondering why I was so happy then and not now. I have everything I always wanted. A loving, devoted husband and a beautiful son to share my life with. But something didn't feel right. Something was missing. It was my faith in God. And when these women persisted at knocking on my door, I truly believe something outside of myself let them come inside. And when they started getting me to read the Bible again, it was as though I stumbled across an old friend that I hadn't seen in years and we picked up right where we left off. But now that we realize how much we missed each other and what a great thing our friendship is, we have more reason to keep it strong and not lose each other again.

So I wonder, must not there be more people out there like me? Who might welcome someone, even a stranger, to warmly and humbly guide them to having a personal relationship with God? Isn't that what Jesus preached that we should do? Today I was reading a lot in Acts and so much of what the disciples and Jesus follower's experienced reminds me of the Jehovah's Witnesses. No matter where the disciples went, there were always people who turned to Jesus because of their teachings, and there were always religious leaders that ridiculed Jesus and the disciples. Hmm... interesting. Why is it that the Jehovah's Witnesses are ridiculed, especially by other Christian churches? Well, I'm trying really hard to find out. So far, I have not stumbled across anything that has stood out as unbiblical in their beliefs. Until I do, I see no harm in continuing to read the Bible with them and gaining a stronger relationship with God. In fact, I am strongly considering attending one of their weekly gatherings where I think it would be more clear to me or not whether something doesn't feel spiritually sound.

Depending on what more I find, I just might have to "eat my words" on a previous post. I know my husband is probably upset reading this now and may even be embarrassed by it. But know I still love you hunny and I hope you can accept that I'm trying to change myself not just for me, but so that I can be a better and happier wife and mommy. I'm not saying yet that I will join their group, but I am saying that I have not completely shut that door. All I am asking for is an open heart, love, and compassion while I take this spiritual journey and try to find the right path, God's path, for my life.


Sarah Soos said...

Good for you :)

Eartaste said...

You have enough background to know when something does not "feel" right spiritually. You are getting back in touch with your creator, and anyone who is leading you there is worth spending time with. If/when you attend their meetings you'll 'know' if something is off. It's easy to find out what is 'wrong' with the JW's; but is that list of "wrongs" simply jealousy, as you point out? Could very well be.

I have some students who are JW's, and they have made an impact on my thinking. For example, why do we 'pledge allegiance' to a country? I hate the message of the Start Spangled Banner, yet the kids are forced to sing it every day because they're in a state school. Etc, etc.

JW's are also big on staying away from holidays, etc. When you explore the roots of every holiday we celebrate (pretty easy to do on the internet), it's easy to see why someone who wants to be friends with their creator rejects Christmas & Easter.

But, truly, the main thing comes down to not what they do not believe in. It truly comes down to whether or not they help you become closer to your creator. If they allow you to explore and dig into the depths of the entire Bible, they are 5 steps ahead of most organized religions. If they take you within, and not without, you have found a home that is truly spiritual. Jesus made it clear. The Kingdom of God is within, or in the midst of you (Luke 17). Wherever two or three gather in my name, I am in their midst (Matthew 18).

In more simple terms, experience the joy of fellowship with your friends who are reminding you to stay grounded in the love letter that God has left for each of us to use to stay close to Him. It's so easy to become distracted from that key relationship in our life.

You'll be fine. Love, Dad

Stacy Roman said...

First off, I don't think you're nuts...not at all. I think you are incredibly honest and open to the possibilities that are presenting themselves to you.

I have always believed that everything happens for a reason...whether or not we know what that reason is. Sometimes we know it at the beginning, sometimes not until the end. I give you mad props for doing what you feel is right for you and for opening your mind, your door and your heart to those two women. It takes a lot of courage to do things that may not be the most "popular".

I have been wanting to get in touch with my faith a little more and I think you may have inspired me to open my bible this evening. It's been a long time. I am Catholic, but I think the last time I was in the church was when we baptized Gavin. Sadly, we have not baptized Lauren. Mark is very much anti-organized religion, and I'm not much a fan myself. But that doesn't mean that I can't pop open a good book and take some time for reflection. Thanks for the reminder. :)

spiritualbrother said...

The basic teachings of JW's are based solidly on the Bible. The other teachings like 1914 do not seem to have a solid basis in the Bible.

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