Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What's with the name?

"To not decide is to decide..." What's that all about? Well, I'm glad you asked! (You did, didn't you!?!) Anyway, if you are anything like me, you may choose at times in your life to "take the high road" and "not make any waves". Sometimes it seems as if that's just the better way to will make (and keep) more friends and will in turn have a better chance of influencing more people. Well, in some ways this is true, and even good. However, there are some very important, fundamental decisions that you just HAVE TO make. Some things require you and me to not only make a choice, but to then STAND for that choice...STAND for what we BELIEVE.
This, though, presents yet another dilemma...How do you stand for what you believe if you don't truly KNOW what you believe!?! Sure we all think we do for the majority of our lives. We are raised a certain way and "just believe" what we always have because we always have. (I know, that's a little deep, but bear with me!) True belief in something, however, requires some true soul searching.

First, you have to figure out WHAT you (think you) believe as well as WHY you do. Maybe you are on that journey right now...deliberately rejecting some things you've always been taught and lived by, because, after all, what if they are not true? "What if my whole life up to this point has been a farce?" "Why do I believe the way my parents do...what if they've got it all wrong? They're just humans like me, too." Or, "why did I raise my kids to believe this way? What if I've misguided them? After all, my life hasn't been going so well lately, so maybe I've been wrong all this time." All of these are legitimate, honest, real questions that we must admit we all have asked in one way or another at some time in our lives. Are you a bad person for thinking that way or questioning those long-held values? No, you are real.

So then, what do we do now? Well, for one, we must accept that we will never know all of the answers nor were we ever intended to figure it all out. Some things are just too big to wrap our little finite heads around...and that's okay! I personally don't want any more responsiblity and expectation on me than I already have. How about you? Just let go of that control thing and accept that everything just will not fit into our nice little boxes.

Yeah, so, I got what? Once again, glad you asked! Now go on a truth-seeking journey. A what!?! Yeah, a truth-seeking journey. Since you always thought you knew what you believed but now you've figured out that you're just not quite sure about you've gotta find some truth to stand on, or trust will fall...and it's not fun! (True, often the lesson is in the fall, but try to avoid it if you can.) So, for the first part of the search thing, what do I do? Well, once again, bear with me and listen (or read, rather) with an open do esteem that value in yourself, after all, don't you!?! With an open mind, I dare you to take this matter where you are in your journey of life. (We could all use a little refresher, huh?)

I challenge you to start this truth-seeking thing out by *hold on* praying. Yes, I said it...PRAYING. Okay, if you don't like the way that sounds and it's just a little too out there for you (yeah, you with the "open mind") then I'll put it another way. Talk to God...yes, know that whole belief that you are questioning right now...yes, Him! Okay, so how and why would you "talk to God" if you're questioning His very existence in the first place? (Admit it, I'm not just talking to the un-churched crowd here, am I!?! You know who you are and, once again, that's okay. Just be honest about it and come on this journey, too. What could it hurt?)

Well, to answer my question I asked before the little "aside", the "How" is very easy...just open your mouth (or speak with your heart if you're still uncomfortable speaking out loud to someone who is not physically sitting there with you). At this point, you don't have to believe He is there with you listening to you, just trust me on this one and do it. Just tell Him, "God, if you're out there...and I really feel kinda strange even talking like this, since I really don't think you are right now, or I'm just not sure...but anyway, if you're out there, then I ask you to show me." Come on, you can do it! Oh, and no, most likely you will not see fire come down from the sky right then and there, nor will you hear some booming voice audibly speak back to you (not that those things couldn't happen, but they most likely won't).

So now then, "Why"...especially if those cool, show-stopping things aren't going to happen? Did you ever hear your mama say "Because"? Well, because...because that's where it all starts. (Well, it really started way before that, but you'll figure that out soon enough.) Another reason is because in order to take the next step on this journey, it will greatly behoove you to have started with that crazy prayer thing.

Should I keep going, or should I just save the next step for the next post? Okay, okay, okay...I can't and won't leave you hanging like that. (Hope I haven't already lost you before now!) I would be doing you a great (bad) injustice if I didn't at least give you the next step.

Now, you've laid aside your pride and preconceptions and you've said that prayer thing (or talked to God...or whatever you would prefer to call it). Now what? Once again, I have another challenge for you...I know you're up to it! Especially if you've come this far. I challenge you to read something that is not for the faint at heart (actually, it is really for everyone of us). Not just anything, but I specifically am saying you should now find a * Bible * (yes, I said another one of those words) you could even go online to or some other Bible website to read online.

Hold on! I am not challenging you to read the whole Bible (though that's not a bad idea over time) need to specifically read the book of (gospel of) John. (You know...Matthew, Mark, Luke, JOHN) Whether you are able to read it in one sitting or it takes you a couple of sittings, please don't forget that first step EACH TIME before you read it (pray that He will show Himself to you). You may even need to stop along the way and pray that again (and again). Remember as you read it that this is not a fairy tale. (I know, you're possibly questioning that, too, but trust me...or Him, rather...this is Truth...He is Truth, the ultimate one and only Truth.) The events you read about really did take place. You don't believe it? Well, how do you know that George Washington lived, or the Civil War happened, or Julius Caesar existed...and I could go on and on...but I think you get the point.

Now, this is, of course nowhere near the final step of the journey...but the first steps are always the hardest. Take this challenge, no matter what age you are, no matter how long you've gone to church - or not - , no matter how many times you've read the Bible...doesn't matter...take the challenge! I am, and believe me, you will see things you've never seen before.

These are the first steps of discovering and defining what you believe, because, after all...To Not Decide Is To Decide!


melissa purpus said...

wow!! what dedication you must have to think and pray and then post this challenge!! you are an inspiration!!

Haelie said...

Thanks so much, Melissa! I hope this challenge reaches far and touches many lives who may be on the fence or not even anywhere near it! Not to mention that I hope it also encourages those who are already on the believer's journey of faith in Jesus. Thanks again! ~Haelie

Jeremy said...

I have another friend who challenged me to read the gospels and honestly i didnt understand 90 percent of it. When i told him that after the month or so it took me to struggle through them he said "10 percent is better than 0 percent". Correct he was! One thing that is frustrating about the Bible to me and im sure to others is this. People who can comprehend it easily or easier than others i should say have a tendency to belittle those of us who cant understand it as well as they do. After someone has been embarrassed in a conversation about any subject especially religion they seem to stay in a defensive mind set. Im guilty of it for sure. Its human nature i guess.

Haelie said...

I very much agree. There were times in the past when I wouldn't talk about the Bible for those same reasons. Then, there were times when I thought I knew all there was to know and I was on the other end of the spectrum.

Now, I am at a point where I know that there is sooo much I don't know nor understand, and some of that I may never fully understand until the day I am with Him forever.

Actually, my inspiration for starting this blog was to help people like you and me who have struggled with understanding and even doubt or lack of faith. Hopefully me sharing my thoughts on a real, cut-and -dry level will help people like us get past those roadblocks we all have.

Thanks, Jeremy, for sharing your thoughts. And you are so right that 10 percent is much better than zero! And, the more you just expose yourself to His Word, especially when you pray before you read it, His Spirit will shine light on things youread in ways you never realized you could see them. You will start to understand things and find them applicable to your life here and now like you never thought possible.

I read and "get" new things every time I read His Word, even though I may have read that same passage multiple times before.

Can't wait to hear more as you go on this journey of faith! Keep in touch!

Anonymous said...

Do you think it's abnormal to struggle with the Bible and faith for over two years? I thought I was there but fell apart with self-doubt and questioning and have been on a constant journey since then of ups and downs...feeling like I really am drawing close and that God's spirit is very much alive to feeling it is all of my own imagining. Worse, that God despises me as a hypocrite who has no true, real desire in her heart and still prefers going her own way and questioning whether it's actually true. I am always delighted and feel very moved to hear or read of other people's conversions and experiences but never seem able to lay hand on that myself. I know there is an issue of pride in my heart and can't get rid of it. I never have peace about it. Also lost my partner because of this as he was committed Christian and simply couldn't bear the see-sawing, indecision and uncertainty any more. This hurts so much, very deeply but totally understand why it couldn't work. To not decide is to decide! Feels good to be ableto at least type it out here though. And enjoying reading your blog and all the postings x

Haelie said...


I truly think it is a very normal thing in the Christian walk to struggle with doubt. As a matter of fact, read my post called "I doubt it!"

I believe it will help you better understand what you are feeling and struggling with. I don't have all of the answers, but I share honestly how I feel and what I have learned throughout my life lessons.

I am very glad that coming here and typing out your thoughts and feelings and struggles has helped you to feel a bit better. Thank you very much for coming here and reading, and especially for sharing honestly the tough stuff of life.

Because of Who He is,

mona said...

Thanks for letting us see a glimpse of your heart, obviously tied in closely with that of the Father's. He has gifted you with lovely communication of the written word. I like this topic and see that it is getting valid response, bringing encouragement to others who are searching. I also like your humility. My Sunday School teacher once said we often learn humility by going through humiliating circumstances. I have seen it to be so true in my own life. There have been times I have not spoken up for my Jesus and it was like I was on fire from within. Then there have been times when I was overbearing. Oh, to have a perfect balance of love and courage...that's my goal. Blessings to you, my sister!

Haelie said...

Oh, Mona. Thank you for such kind, heart-felt words. Since this was my first real post, I look back at it often and see the ways I could improve the way it is written and all (like the length of it and such)...but...I never touch it. I know I wrote what God laid on my heart then and I wrote exactly the way He meant for me to. And, no matter what turns my blog and its posts take, they all come back down to this post as their reason and foundation. I still think just as I did when I wrote this and God's Spirit still guides me to write for the reasons I present in this post. I pray that my life and my words will always be a loving and holy challenge that points others to Christ and His work for us on the cross. He is my reason for being.