Friday, February 13, 2015

Something you "do"

Yesterday in my Japanese lit class we were discussing the question of why certain characters in Fumiko Hayashi's Floating Clouds would believe in the fictional Great Sunshine Religion even if they knew it was a crock? One guy raised his hand, and I won't go into what his response was, but he prefaced it with "Well, I was raised Christian─but I don't really do that anymore..."

Hearing that hurt my heart a little bit. Not because he's not a believer anymore, but because he characterized Christianity as something that you "do". Like it's a hobby, or a chore, or a task, or any other thing you might do mechanically and habitually, without it especially meaning anything to you. Something you "do", as in something that some are "good" at and others are "bad" at. And that, my friend, is just not the case. Granted, Christianity is somewhat of a practice, in that you have to live it and work at it everyday. Furthermore, all Christians struggle to walk The Walk (if anyone tells you otherwise, they're lying to you). But it's so much more than something you "do" or not. Faith isn't simply about "doing". Being a follower of Jesus is something that you feel in your soul, something that fills your heart and allows you to think beyond yourself and extend love and light to others. And knowing this, I felt bad for him that that was all he took from it in the end, that being Christian is something you "do", and which was─in his case─not worth doing.

To you, kid-who-doesn't-do-Christianity-anymore, here's praying that you find whatever is true for you, in whatever form it happens to be. May that truth never become something that you just "do".

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