Some people say that religion is the easy way out. That belief in a higher power allows us to disregard our own responsibility for our lives and actions. I maintain that proclaiming belief in God actually burdens us with the ultimate responsibility for our lives and actions. It is hard work to love our neighbor as ourselves. Frankly, it is sometimes hard work to love ourselves as our neighbor. And it can be a daunting task to live our lives as a proclaimed God wants us to.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling overwhelmed or sad or hurt or worried, the responsibility is more than I want to bear, especially the part where I have to be thankful for what I have, no matter how paltry that feels at the time.
But then I look at my kids and my parents and my siblings and my husband and all the rest of my awesome family. Or I remember the blessing of spending a wonderful weekend with my grandmother just before she died. Or I walk into my church knowing that I've never felt that I belong anywhere more than I do here.
And I accept the heavy, but light, responsibility to try to do as God would want me to, because He has given me more than I could have ever found on my own and I'm grateful. And that gratitude usually makes the hard parts easier. And when it doesn't I'll keep plodding away because eventually I'll get through the mud and be reminded of the blessings and how much my God loves me.
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