November 4, 2015

Salmon and Tomato Religion

"I don't like salmon." 

I have claimed this for 28 years {:well give or take a few since I didn't talk for at least one of those and probably didn't even know what salmon was for a couple of them as well:}. I also would have told you that I don't like tomatoes. Until I realized I do. I don't even just like salmon and tomatoes. I kinda love them both. 

So where did those statements come from? 

As far back as I can remember I can recall my mom telling people she did not like salmon or tomatoes. Therefore, she never cooked either. So instinctively, without ever really giving either food a fair shot, I  decided and started declaring I didn't like them either. 

Earlier this year, I started thinking about this and laughing a bit. Why didn't it dawn on me that I actually might have different taste buds than my mom? Then I started thinking beyond salmon and tomatoes and more about things that really matter like core values I have, morals I stand on, and even Biblical truths that I hold to be, well, true.

I started asking myself the question of "why do I believe what I believe?" 

This is a tough pill to swallow for the girl who has always just taken things at face value. I realized that just like my mom’s statement about salmon and tomatoes, I had become a parrot of other people’s beliefs as. 

For me, If someone told me your shirt was blue, that was good enough for me. I didn’t need to go read a scholarly peer-reviewed article to investigate if what they said may be true or ten arguments to the contrary. If you said it was blue, that color will hence forth and forever blue. Done. 

Then I came to college, sat in a stinking class called Theology and my life got flipped-turned upside down {:you are welcome all you children of the 90s:}. I was being pushed to ask myself the question ‘why’ constantly: Why do I believe that God is healer? Why do I believe that a person cannot lose their salvation? Why do I believe that marriage is good? Why do I believe you shouldn’t wear pink if your nails are red? Why? Why? Why? 

Just like my opinions on salmon and tomatoes had been passed down from my parents so too had many of my thoughts, beliefs, and truths that I based my entire life around yet hadn’t taken the time to investigate or even just think through what they meant for me.

I've realized I'm not the only one. Many of us grow up with other peoples religion and other peoples experiences and just take them as our own. We believe in Jesus because our Sunday school teacher with the cool felt board Jesus holding the lamb told us he was real. We believe God is a healer because one time we heard a story about some woman in Africa that was deaf and her hearing was restored. We believe that Pentecostals are hooky-spooky and weird and Baptist are strict and women can’t wear pants and don’t dance.  We believe so many things and even believe them with fervor and conviction. Yet when we are asked why we believe these things, if we are honest with ourselves, we would say it is because our parents believed it or someone else had an experience so we simply took what was their truth, their reality and made it our own.

I’m not saying there isn’t a time and place for you to live off of other’s revelation and truth. There is, but there is also a time to try the salmon and tomatoes for yourself.

What truth is God stirring your heart to ask ‘why’ about? It could just be the thing he wants to solidify in your life. If you’re brave enough I double dog dare you to comment with what question you are asking ’why’ to today. I'll start...
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1 comment:

  1. I believe it is important to pray, but why? If God is the Alpha and Omega and knows every detail of our lives before we are born what does it matter?


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