I am troubled at the email from my sister. The amount of change within her is great from the last time that I’ve had a talk with her. Do not ge me wrong, if she finds happiness in a religion, whatever religion it might be, I am happy for the meaning and happiness in her life. We should all be so lucky in our own lives. Yet the problems that I forsee are not only does this show a problematic understanding of the issues of morality and its application within a society, but that this will severely hamper and strain our relationship.
It comes as ironic that while on my hour long walk home tonight I thought of going home for the first time in years to see my dad. My dad prays for me daily and the fact that I am “unsaved” is a great weight on his mind, no doubt. I know that my step-brothers have all been “saved” and that my sister and her husband have likewise been saved, and that talking with my dad and mom on the phone I get clues that their number one goals in life is that all their kids are saved.
I’m one of those kids.
I am not saved, I have no intention of being saved, I have no desire to be saved, and I find nothing lacking in my life. However, walking home tonight I imagined scenarios in my mind, of going to church with my dad when I visit him, because church is very important to him and I just want to be part of his life. The thought crossed my mind that I might “fib” a little, saying that I believed in God… telling just enough to ease his worries for my eternal soul. The thought behind this is that I am lessening stress in his life.
Then I come home and read this email from my sister. So I was “once” open minded and respected… that is until I expressed a differing opinion concerning spreading God’s word. So be it. All thoughts of putting on an act for the betterment of my family are put on hold right now. I’ve made no secrets about my beliefs and indeed they have been a problematic spot on occaision. I am not responsible for other people’s lives and they should not be responsibile for mine. I will believe what I believe and make no apologies for it.
But where I will sometimes walk through a Christian bookstore, looking for a gift for my dad, because I know that this is a very important aspect of his life… I do so comfortable in the fact that he believes what he does and I do not try to change him, nor do I try to change my sister. But I resist any attempt to change me or not accept me for my beliefs (or lack thereof). And this is the strain in the relationship that I see forthcoming. I can see that, unless some change occurs in my sister’s approach to the beliefs of other people, that my influence upon my nephews will be questioned by her, that I will be regulated as “he’s your ecentric uncle, don’t pay attention to him”, and this is truly sad.