I’ve always been somewhat skeptical when it comes to religion (of any type). When things come together for me and start making sense or ring true, doubt always and inevitably creeps back in.
If I consult anyone of faith about this, almost always their answer is it is Satan’s work. If I ask people who are not of faith or religion about it, I am often told I am just coming to my senses and my logical mind is taking over. And, of course their argument is, there isn’t a reason why there has to be a God or supreme being. My retort is always, there isn’t a reason why there isn’t/shouldn’t be a God.
As a child I wasn’t taught/brought up to have faith in God. My parents were never religious. That isn’t to say they don’t believe in God, because I think they do. I was, however, taught to believe in people like Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, just to later find out they were never real. I do not remember when I found out the Easter Bunny wasn’t real, but I do remember vividly the day I found out that Santa Clause was nothing more than a lie, a deception, a hoax. To make matters worse? I had been fooled for years by literally everyone I knew!
It all happened in the 3rd grade at Fannin Elementary School in Mrs. Fords class. Three things stand out from that school year:
- It was my first year in public school
- I went to the office almost every, single day for fighting with Cammie Ray (we had been in the same class in private school as well) and often got licks with the paddle
- Found out Santa Clause wasn’t real
The week before Christmas vacation my teacher, Mrs. Ford, was having a discussion about the traditions our families had during the holidays. Somehow the discussion turned to Santa, when Mrs. Ford said “You all know there is no such thing as Santa Clause, right?”
I instantly felt my heart lurch. I could feel that burning in my nose and eyes that meant the tears were on the way. Always a people pleaser, I sucked back my natural instinct to wail. Also, I did not want to appear to be a baby to any of my classmates. After all, so far that fall, I had gotten more licks with the paddle by the principle than any 10 other kids in class put together. I was the “tough chick”, if there is such a thing in the 3rd grade. When I finally got home, the big revelation took full effect. I remember crying myself to sleep that night.
Christmas has never been the same since.
Some may call it a right of passage or a growing pain we all have to endure, but I think it may be where the foundation for my inability to believe whole heartedly in something, anything, I can’t see or touch, started.
I believe in God and Jesus Christ, but there is always doubt that lingers. Even after I have witnesses first hand things happen for no other explanation than a devine intervention. Still doubt. I do my best to work through things, but….you know?
I find with my kids, I am unconsciously setting them up for the exact same thing. Right now they whole heartedly believe, without doubt, in God and Jesus, Santa, the Easter Bunny. I started the Santa Clause and Easter Bunny things long before I became a Christian. I have to admit, I get every bit as excited about Santa coming, be it for different reasons than the girls. Seeing my kids faces on Christmas morning is only surpassed as being a most treasured memory by their births and the first time I got to hold each of them.
Eventually they too will discover the truth about Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. When they do make these revelations, how do I keep them from associating these fictitious characters rom the real deal, i.e. God and Jesus Christ?
Is this a cultural thing?
Are we unconsciously setting up the demise of Christianity?
Is this problem of doubt only trending in those of us without a strong religious/faith-based back ground?