Thursday, March 27, 2014

the Bible - a Lent project

I usually try to commit on doing a personal project or offering for Lent each year - may it be a simple volunteer work or donation, to fasting, to a prayer tshirt project - which was the last thing I did couple of years ago, before I had our 2nd child.  This year, I wanted to revisit and finally finish reading and reflecting on the Bible from cover to cover.  I've attempted it many times but failed to really understand what I was reading. I hope that in a year's time, I would make a tremendous progress on this project.

I usually get into a deep religious conversation with one of my co-workers, who is a devoted Ethiopian Orthodox.  His faith can move mountains but I feel that it's too rigid at times. I do admire his dedication.  He always reads the scriptures, fasts, and attends a 3-hour+ service on Sundays - on their feet, standing up - the entire time! I told him that I would probably faint if I attend their service.  He also told me that there are about 15 books that was not translated and put in the Bible. So, I guess I wouldn't actually be able to read the entire scriptures.  Maybe I'll find those 15 books translated in google :)

Reading the Bible is very engaging but some of the stories (like those that involve adultery, killing, and abuse) can make you sick on your stomach.  I have to admit that I can't help question what's in the Bible as I read. I do have doubts and still not sure where my faith stands - as far as the stories told.  I just feel that God is more open-minded, forgiving, reasonable, and not as serious :) I always talk to God on my prayers and I always think of Him as someone who is cool and friendly, whom I can tell my deepest secret and worst offense without worrying about going to hell or getting punished. In my heart, I know Him and feel His presence in my life and I'm happy with that.  I continue seeking His meaningful message from different places to feed my soul, tune up my ways, and to continue to grow.  It's easy to start feeling comfortable with ourselves and fall into bad practice, without knowing.

I found this book, A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor, and suddenly, I felt like someone finally put into words what I usually find myself thinking, wishing, or feeling when in prayers.  It writes beautifully what goes through our head as we worship. "She craves artistic mastery and is desperate to get close to the divine, two congruent ambitions... What we see in these pages is a writer on the cusp of creative achievement, a pilgrim with a fierce and hungry heart." - Cathleen Medwick. I can't wait to read more.

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