[Re:Framed] Why do you believe?

Illustration of a question mark in a brain

One of the questions we always hate to see in school is “Explain your answer.” or “Why?” And what is the reason why we hate this? It’s because we don’t like to think about what we believe. We believe what are told and we keep it that way. I know I hate it when we’re reading a novel in English and one of the questions is “Why do you think the author decided to use the number 32 in this instance?” All I’m thinking is, “I don’t know. Why should I care? It’s just a number!” But after research, you find a whole new meaning.

This is a post that’s going to be hypocritical of me and also a wake up call. Why do you believe what you believe in? When I’ve been so involved with my belief in God, I’ve noticed that the people around just don’t seem to care about religion.  As time goes on, more and more people are finding no need to have a religion or belief. They live in the here and now. More often than not, I meet Christian, Catholics, or Buddhists that are really just believing in a religion because of their parents. It’s what they’ve been told all their lives.

I have faced the situation where my beliefs were forced upon me by my parents. I’ve gone to church since I was really young with family. I can’t remember a time where I didn’t know about Jesus, and I think it was this forced upon belief that made me draw away from church in elementary school. Although we went as a family to church when I was younger, since 3rd grade I’ve been attending alone. When I went as a kid, I probably didn’t go because I believed in God. At that time, I’m not even sure I can say I had a relationship with him or even loved him. With that, I was wavering. I would force my self to try to sleep until 1 on Sundays to try to use the excuse that church already ended so I can’t go. On the outside I seemed like a strong believer even as a child because I treated bible study and Sunday school like class. If I understood well and answered questions, I would be seen as a good kid. I would tell people “Oh yeah I’m Christian.” All I did was believe that God exists. Now I’ve learned the phrase, “Even devils believe in God,” and that being a Christian means so much more. 

I’m not the only one. Even now there are people who claim a religion without any way to support their own beliefs, if it really is what they believe in. Teenagers don’t usually think about religion. They are what they’ve been told. If you ask some of the people around my school, “Why are you a Buddhist?” many would not be able to reply with their own personal reasons. And so, why are you believing in what you believe? If you can’t answer that question, you might want to reconsider your beliefs.

Then I  asked myself, “Why do you believe in God?” My first reaction was blank. Nothing came up in my mind and I got scared. Why can’t I answer this? My next reaction was excuses and generic answers. “Words cannot explain,” or “Because he loves us and died for our sins.” Then I crossed those off and asked, “No, why do you REALLY believe in God.” I’m not going to go into details on my own personal reasons, because there are different branches of this. (If you’re curious message me somehow) My point being, “Why?” tends to be a question that throws everyone off.

Some people just haven’t even developed a belief. I’m young. My friends are young. My peers are young. We’re young. Since I’m speaking from my own experiences, many people around me have no developed any type of belief on their own. They’re just indifferent. Religion is not a alone time topic for those not already exposed and thinking about it. People going through life fine without any belief don’t sit down and think “Hmm… is there a God I really believe in?” If we busy human beings only had such luxury. It’s just a matter of, “Do I need one? I just don’t care?” I’m fine with that if you have speculated that belief after thinking about it. It becomes the easiest way because there are no obligations toward your religion. Thus, it becomes appealing and people don’t  become willing enough to explore religion.

Well, this is coming from me who finds religion to be wonderful. I think it’s great to have a religion. It gives me a sense of purpose in this world. A sense that I’m am working under a powerful God who has a plan for me. That way, I have a ounce of motivation. My pastor spoke about joy coming from completing a purpose. The example he used was the Arizona Mission trip. During the mission trip, we lacked sleep, were in the hot sun, had one shower in 10 days, no internet, no air conditioning. But here I am, preparing to go back to the mission field. To me, I never really thought of it as that odd, but then he brought up a good point. Why would you want to go back to that place? All you did there was suffer under the hot sun and using all your energy on the children running around like crazy. You don’t have to go back. You’re giving up two weeks of your summer. So, why am I going back? It’s because there was joy from the mission trip last year. Even without noticing, there was a joy because I was there with a purpose. God gave me a purpose and as I strived toward that goal, I began having meaning in my life and it gave me joy.

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