Yes, that’s right. Today, July 19th, is my rebirthday. Don’t worry, you didn’t come unprepared to the party! Presents absolutely not necessary (although if you want to use it as an excuse to eat cake, the rebirthday girl condones that).
So what’s a rebirthday? Simply put, it’s the day of my conversion. Roughly. I kind of had a creeping conversion. Some people see a bright light and fall off their horse, but God knows such theatrics generally terrify me, so my conversion was a slippery slope, a doubt that lodged itself in my doubt, a strange experiment that proved more and more true. Anyway, it was on July 19th that I first admitted I wanted to follow Christ.
That was nine years ago. So in Earth years, I’m twenty-seven and a half (today, coincidentally, also being my half-birthday), but in spiritual years, I am squarely in grade school, which seems about right.
Here, for your reading pleasure, is my first public confession of faith. Edited slightly for clarity but not for language, so be warned! Oh, teenage Livejournal entries.
Sometimes I would really like to be a Christian. I think churches and ceremony give people a false sense of security, but the basic idea is so crazy it just might work. Only recently did I realize how revolutionary a philosophy it is. As opposed to a God or gods who may or may not care about what it feels like to be human, the Christians have a God who became human, who understood pain and death so well that he knowingly took them on, who understood sin so well that he forgave us all for being the sinful creatures that we are.
To me, Jesus represents undeserved, boundless, insane forgiveness. I become increasingly convinced, on a gut level, that this is what we all need. None of us are good people. Most of us are good-natured, but there is zero chance that we will live blameless lives or even that we’ll be able to fix all our good-natured mistakes. In this context, maybe Jesus really is the Light and the Way. His philosophy says, “It doesn’t matter what a shithead you are. I love you, I accept the fact that you have made and will continue to make mistakes, and I encourage you to do the same so you can try to be a better person without getting bogged down in guilt and mind games.”
It’s a terrifying idea, because such an awesome gift could only be accepted with total submission. We try so hard to con ourselves into believing that we are in control, that we’re worth something, when the truth is we don’t know shit about our own brains, much less the universe, and we have no defense against death. Pain moves people to deceive themselves more strongly than they can even understand; I know I must have delusions I haven’t begun to discover yet. I know many intelligent, wonderful people who are absolutely terrified by not knowing things and will not admit it to themselves. Maybe we should all join Liars Anonymous and, as our first step, admit that we do not have control.
As usual, I don’t believe wholeheartedly. I picked up a book on Sartre today and became terrified myself. What if we really DO have control and I am just trying to evade responsibility again by yearning for some sort of cosmic forgiveness? However, as uncertain as I am about everything else, I think it’s a fact that our tiny, pink, squishy brains cannot truly understand what’s going on around us… The fact that most of us are completely unable to deal with the fact of our eventual death should tell us something. Maybe there are worse things than believing that, against all odds, we are loved and we have a second chance.
See you tomorrow for continued celebration! It’s my rebirthday week, after all.
Do you celebrate your rebirthday or other unconventional anniversaries? How far have you come in the last nine years?