Why Religion is so difficult for me.

Religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods (thanks Oxford Dictionaries). Religion is faith, love, and belief all wrapped up in one nice package. Believe that there is a greater being than us, put your faith into that greater being, and expect life to go better or a ticket to an afterlife/eternity, or something along those lines.

Honestly, I never believed in any of this. I grew up Buddhist but I myself wasn’t very devout. My dad was super super super religious and my mom was religious-ish, but we didn’t attend temple because of my dad’s condition. So whenever we did go, I never really knew what to do. Always go and pray to the largest/main shrine of Buddha first. Then there are 3 side ones, one for health, one for the dead, one for something I have no idea of. I just know you pray to them. Maybe the religion never worked to me because I was never praying correctly….

So lately, a friend of mine has been teaching me Christianity and the ways of that religion. But my difficulty is that, scientific fact trumps the Bible for me. I don’t believe in the beginning God created all; I believe in the Big Bang theory and the evident scientific theories of how we came to be. I don’t believe in a heaven; I believe in the ceasing of existence. I don’t believe in God; I believe in reasoning, logic, and fact. So this whole religion thing is so…hard.

How do you believe something/someone you’ve never seen? When I was young, I believed in Santa because I saw him at the mall and I thought my cousin who dressed up at Christmas was Jolly Ol’Nick. (So obscure of me; like what Santa is a skinny 20 year old Asian boy???) I believed in Buddha because he was a Indian/Nepali prince. He was a real person and then he did this cool thing and reached enlightenment which I don’t know if I personally believe in because how do you even? I don’t know much about Allah or Jesus or any other gods to comment on them, but I was never really a gullible/all-believing child to begin with.

So when religion came to…I never believed wholeheartedly. Growing up, whenever my dad’s condition would worsen, when something bad would happen, when he’d get really sick; I remember countless times of sitting on my bed at 2am, crying my eyes out. I prayed so so so hard to God, Jesus, Buddha, literally every god/goddess I knew that everything would be okay. I didn’t ask for immortality or anything absurd. I just asked for dad to be a little happier, to live a little longer, to be able to breathe a little easier. Simple things.

I remember in 6th grade, my dad was having a hard night and I heard him thrashing and muffling his moans of pain downstairs in his room and my mom trying to help him, but she was helpless too. So I sat on my bed and cried my eyes out because I knew he didn’t have much time left. So I cried and prayed and cried that he’d live to at least hear the words “They found your cure”. I prayed so hard. They still haven’t found the cure to PD. Hell, they aren’t even close.

So all those times I prayed to a greater being that dad would be okay, all those times I prayed for a normal life, all those times I prayed for more time: nothing happened. Yes, you could argue that at least he made it till I was 14. Which is great, like thanks dad. But the simple goals I wanted to experience with my dad, 90% of them will never happen. Graduation family pictures? Nope. Walk me down the aisle? Nope. Graduating from college? Nope.

Maybe I haven’t come to term with my dad’s death. Maybe that’s why I can’t believe in religion. But for now, I don’t know how I could give all of myself, my love, my trust, and my faith to a greater good that has failed to acknowledge my greatest request. I’m probably bitter still. Maybe.

-PN

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