I’ll probably catch a lot of hell for this one but this is *my* sandbox.
I recently read a piece in The New York Times about Bethany Hamilton. She’s a professional surfer who, at 13 years old, had her arm bitten off by a shark while surfing in Hawaii. They made a movie about her.
During the course of the very brief interview, she said the following:
“[The movie] tells of the struggles that me and my family went through after the attack and the passion we have for both surfing and God.”
“I believe in Jesus Christ and I believe he gave me the passion and determination to continue surfing.”
“I…enjoy Bible study and making dinners.”
“[My parents] have encouraged me in my relationship with Jesus Christ and in my passion for surfing.”
10 questions. Four of her answers mentioned Jeebus. When people shoehorn their religious beliefs into every facet of the conversation, they always come off as sounding kind of brainwashed to me. Like they’re stumbling around in a narcotic stupor.
My mother did it the right way. She had a strong bond with the Catholic church but never militantly so. She never berated me for falling away from the church. Never proselytized. And certainly never spewed any of that “Jesus is the only way to heaven” rhetoric. (Somehow, I can’t picture Gandhi in hell.)
If I were Bethany and I had a special relationship with Jesus, I’d ask Him why the hell a shark ate my arm. And, as long as I had his attention, why entire villages were swept out to sea in Japan.
Oh…excuse me…I forgot my place. My catechism classes are long behind me. We are never supposed to ask questions. Keep your head down. Give thanks. I’m a sinner. I believe in the Holy Catholic Church. But don’t ask why.
God gets all the credit, but none of the blame. That’s a pretty sweet deal. How can I swing that at work?