Tuesday, January 6, 2009

On Progress, Resolutions, and Faith

I guess I should have written a "resolutions'' post 5 days ago. Oh well. The only resolution I made this year was to stay more in touch with friends and family members. I thought this might be the only resolution I could keep. I've made more resolutions in past years, only to cast them aside weeks, if not days into the new year. Of course, this blog counts as one of the methods of communication, but I do intend on Facebooking, MySpace-ing, calling, and yes, old-fashioned letters via snail-mail. I always like getting letters in the mail.

I wanted to make a resolution about exercising, but I figured I'd just break it. But then Connie told me about StickK, a website that helps you keep your commitment by betting money on yourself! So, I signed a contract that I will go to the gym three times a week for 12 weeks, or else $5 will go to the George W. Bush Presidential Library for each week I miss my goal. Since not one cent of my money will go to that criminal idiot, I think I might actually keep this goal!

And while those are good plans, I realized something when I was in Tucson with my dad the last couple of days of break. I need to reconnect with my faith. Going into my complicated history with religion would take longer than this one post, but suffice it to say that growing up in a strict, uber-religious Pentecostal family is not kind on a gay kid. As I started to grow up, I rebelled against my church's doctrine, but I also felt tremendous guilt and fear that my gayness was a sin and I was going to hell for it. It was finally when I was about 15, after going through a sort of traumatic experience in high school, that I understood that God made me gay for a reason. And it wasn't so I would spend eternity in hellfire, but because who I am, who I'm attracted to, who I want love and spend the rest of my life with is not a sin, because sin requires a choice, and I know I never had a choice in the matter.

Still, even though I had reconciled my sexuality with my relationship with God, I still didn't feel comfortable in church, listening to the pastor sermonizing away about the evils of the world that I didn't see the way he did. When I got to college, with no grandparents calling every Wednesday and Sunday asking why I hadn't gone to church, I quit going. And my relationship with God suffered. Yes, I still believe in God. There may be quite a bit of atheists at Harvard, but I've seen and felt too much in my life to not believe in Him. And as that relationship suffered, other areas of my life started to as well. Is it entirely logical that this would happen? No, I'm sure a mental health professional could comb through every event in my life and come up with a more reasonable explanation for why my grades, my discipline, my willpower, my inner strength and integrity all plummeted after the first semester of freshman year. But faith defies logic, defies reason. And to my heart and spirit, it makes sense in its own way.

Does this mean that I'm suddenly going to give up all my "vices" and become St. Isaac the Pure? Highly unlikely. But it does mean I start to act more Christ-like, with more love and more humility, to give more thought before I speak or act, to carefully weigh the choices before me. It means that I watch my language more, that I try to stop letting my desires get in the way of my dreams, and that I choose the path of righteousness, with prayer and meditation on His Word.

This post might come as a surprise to many friends and acquaintances that read this blog. I'm not known to be much of a practicing Christian here at Harvard. But these thoughts have always been in me, sometimes bursting into my consciousness as I try to sleep. And I hope that by publicly declaring that being a Christian is just much, if not more, a part of me as being gay, that I will be able to be a better friend and through that, I will show His love.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I'm proud of you! Let me know if I can be of any help in your spiritual walk and deepening relationship with God.