Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Call Me Crazy but ...

I made a new friend at She Speaks this year - actually I made several as I do every year. She Speaks is like preschool. Everyone feels new and awkward, but quickly gets along fine once they discover they all like the same things ... swings and crayons, or in our case, words and Jesus. But that's beside the point. The new friend I'm referencing is Hillary at The Other Mama.

Hillary is some kind of crazy, y'all. (You've been forewarned.) Today Hillary is hosting a link party on the topic of "Crazy Things." She says, "Any crazy or fun thing goes! Just write a post about it and link up!" She invited my participation, and I obliged. You can too. So head over there when you're done here and I'm certain you'll find a few laughs in her crazy party.

I'm not promising, however, that you'll laugh at my "crazy" post.

Unless you are a nervous laugher.

You see I'm not going to tell you about any of the many crazy things I've thought, done, liked or said. I'm not going to tell you about ...

  • the crazy things I eat like peanut butter & banana sandwiches with mayo, or pimento cheese on steak.
  • the crazy things I think, like when I wear something once but don't get it dirty enough to wash, I feel like I can't hang it back in the closet with the totally clean clothes because it will somehow contaminate them.
  • the crazy things I've worn. (see my wardrobe circa 1984 and something called parachute pants)
  • the crazy ideas I carried out like laying out in the sun with butter on (wonder if Paula Deen does that), or jumping down the laundry chute (would make for a good short-cut between floors, except getting stuck at the bottom really slows you down).
  • the crazy products I've tried like Sun-In. (Notice how dark my natural hair color is? It turned a shade of orange only a Clemson fan could love. The only thing worse was when I tried to correct it by dying it jet black and looked like Elvira for 6 weeks. I was goth before goth was cool.)
  • the crazy things I've said, like when I demanded of Rick the other day, "Guess what I didn't even think of?!" He replied, "Most of the time I can't even guess what you are thinking, Rach, much less what you didn't think."

Nope, not going to tell you about all the crazy things I own, love or do. Instead I'm going to tell you about a crazy thought bouncing 'round my head today:

What if Christianity isn't real?

Cue the nervous laughter. (Here is where you might call me crazy.)

Seriously, what if none of it--God, Jesus, salvation, life-after-death, heaven, the Bible--what if none of it is real? Stay with me here. Ever had that thought? If so, what did you do with it?
If you read my last post you'll realize I'm in a contemplate-deep-questions-about-God mood this week. So I thought it out and arrived at this conclusion: I think I would still try to follow Christ even if Christianity isn't real and there is nothing beyond this life. (Here's where you can call me crazy again.) But I believe in Jesus' way of life -- the way of love, of rising above, of self-sacrificing, of giving, of forgiving, of being honest and authentic. It's a beautiful, if difficult, way to live.
So I decided I would follow Him irregardless - even if that makes me "crazy."
Let me clarify, I do believe Christianity is real. (God, Jesus, salvation, life-after-death, heaven, the Bible - all of it.) There is evidence for it in history. And there is evidence for it in my heart and my life. It's not often that I question it but once in a while I do. My pastor likes to say the opposite of faith is not doubt, it's certainty. I agree. And none of us can be 100% certain on this side of eternity - that's why it takes faith, and that's why faith is the currency of God's kingdom.
So maybe I'm not so crazy to momentarily entertain such thoughts after all. Today I questioned my beliefs, and wound up strengthening them.
Finally, I think I can say with relative certainty that butter-burned-skin, parachute-pants, and Clemson-orange-hair is not a good look for me. But then you're probably sane enough to have known that already, aren't you?


  1. I love how you weave meaning and silliness seamlessly. What a wonderful thought process to work towards by questioning God. I'm pretty sure He wants us to question why we do what we do and what we believe. I love and agree with your thought process and needed such a great refresher!!

    One thing I AM certain of, though, is that God does not like pimento on steak. There's something wrong with that, for sure.
    I wish- oh how I wish- I could see you in parachute pants with sun-in. That would be the best combo ever. Then we could ride down to Savannah and butter up with Paula. Before she called the cops... then we would have some 'splainin' to do, Lucy.

  2. I think that the possibility of Christianity being a farce it what makes it so wonderful to believe in. God is crazy enough to talk through a burning bush. He's crazy enough to make a donkey speak. He's wild enough to let an entire sea part for some bratty kids he was nuts about.
    He even let His own Son die on a cross for us.
    Go ahead, call it crazy. Cause it is. God made it that way. And He made me too. Guess that's the confirmation of crazy I needed!

  3. You know parachute pants are making a come back. Big hair, too! Hey, even the 80's music is back!

    But speaking of keeping it real...I'm not sure I can still pull off big hair while dancing to the 80's in a great pair of parachute pants. ...Only in my mind. Only in my mind. But thanks for the memories!

  4. One of my favorite scenes in Secondhand Lions is where he gives his "What Every Young Man Should Know" speech and says "Some things don't have to be true to be worth believing in."

    I've asked your question, too. And come to the same conclusion. (God, Jesus, salvation, life-after-death, heaven, the Bible - all of it.) Can't say the same about mayo on PB&B though.

  5. Doesn't make me nervous one bit - I love a thinker and searcher with all my heart. Loved your post.

  6. Incred. Shrinking Woman - I love your comment. You're right God is a little crazy Himself when you consider the burning bush and also the plagues of locusts and frogs! :)

    Micca -I wore some 80s shoulder pads yesterday. Shhhh, don't tell!

    VJC - I adore that movie!

    Sounds like Antique Mommy and I will get along just fine in the cyber sandbox.

    Thanks, Hillary. Have butter, will travel.

  7. Rachel, you are crazy - hee hee. Rick's comment cracked me up big time!!!!
    I've been challenged lately to ask myself if i really live like i believe. Great post and love your deep thoughts.

  8. I think life without faith that carries the hope of a future home with God would make me crazy! Great food for thought Rachel. Came here on the crazy blog carnival and will be back!

  9. My sis (who is not a all) and I had this very conversation. So...if at the end of my life, I have lived as a Christian and I am wrong? What have I lost? Nothing. I have lived a good life. But, if she lives life as a non-believer and she gets to the end of life and SHE is wrong, what has she lost?
    We didn't say much after that. :) Which is hard for me.

    I have found that my faith has been made 'real' in the crucible of tough times. Thanks for such a real post with hard questions to make us think.

    And, by the way...I am one of those girls that has been blessed with lifetime shoulder pads. So, I was in style in the 80s...but, now...people just ask me if I have ever thought about becoming a full back.

  10. Hello...I'm visiting from Hillary's. Great post!!

  11. i have sat in church and thought the very same things... what if this is just another scam? and we are all believing it? i let the thought pass on my and figure that is just satan at work. and i am with you.. on this side of eternity i choose to live like Jesus... the best i can (which, by the way, isn't too great... but i won't give up on trying)

    as for that pimento cheese on my chicken steaks? yikes!! my chicken steaks aren't really steaks at all... just little chicken breast (3 or 4 oz- i cannot recall) individually wrapped (i don't even have to touch it!)and frozen and absolutely delicious. no googies on any of it! and i've eaten a lot of boxes!!!

    thanks for the crazy laughter today!

  12. For a moment there, as I read "Peanut butter and bananas.." I thought we were connecting, then came the mayo..and I couldn't help but "EWW" out loud! I've tried the Sun-In highlights too. YIKES! Love your honesty

  13. Ohhh girl. I love me some Piper. I'm inspired. Got to go get that book!! Thanks for the brain freeze. Hurt so good!

  14. Every time I have that same question, I remind myself that in an age where men were always right, always first and women were never in the picture, never first, the Bible was written about men who failed many times (AND admitted it!) and Jesus revealed himself after the resurrection to women first (and the men ADMITTED it). I don't know about you, but when do men ever admit they are wrong or aren't sure of themselves? Truth is stranger than fiction! ;-)

  15. First of all . . . I like banana and mayo sandwiches. :)

    Second of all . . . I HAVE thought this before. And I came to the same conclusion you did. Even if it’s not real, my life – lived according to Jesus’ teachings and as if God is a loving, just Father – will still be more and better than if I’d lived without that belief. (But I KNOW it’s real!)

    Great post. Thank you for sharing these thoughts – the silly AND the deep. :)

  16. If it's not real, I don't want to know. I would much rather believe that there is a wonderful place I will be going one day that is a lot better than this old world! Oh, how glorious it will be!

  17. Ok, I think your 10 year-old should be on Are you smarter than a 5th grader. And I think she's smarter than me for sure.
    Love your post on "What if?" I've thought of this often myself as I've gotten in touch with old HS/College friends and find out they are no longer believers. Here's my conclusion (and I do, like you still Know what is Truth) that even if it all is not real, it will have made me a better person, better wife, better mother and lead me to help others on their path in life. If "the fruits" are enough then I will enjoy the sweetness and be blessed.

  18. I think I just got the joke about your 10 year old quoting CS Lewis. I'm a little slow on the uptake. It might have to do with the little munchkins runnin' around:) Good luck on mass-marketing the popcorn:)

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