My twelve year old came back from his visit with his dad and asked me what paganism is. I told him that it is a religion that was very prevalent before Christianity that is more earth based. He shut me up with, ‘Well, I don’t want any of that pagan crap. Can you buy me a bible, Mom?’
‘Okay, sure, no problem.’ Hello, ex-husband, I thought.
The next day it came up again as he hands me his Christmas list. ‘We are celebrating Christmas this year, right, right?’
‘Hmmm, not sure. Have not thought about it.’ (I confess that as a mom with multiple kids who struggles with shopping and cooking and has almost no involved extended family, I am not too fond of the holiday and was teasing him a bit.)
“Oh my God, Mom. Are you serious? It’s Christmas, the most important holiday of the year. You know, Jesus!’
“Yes, I had thought that perhaps we’d just celebrate his birthday. Make him a cake. Give him some presents and then forward them to the poor.’
“MOMMMMMM. You’re NOT serious, are you. Here you go on your hippie, pagan crap again. Jeez.’
Because you know Santa and Jesus are serious partners. Santa is such an inherent part of Christianity, I thought to myself.
But this is a twelve year old we’re talking about, one influenced by an angry ex-husband, so some discussions won’t fly.
I tried a different approach.
‘Joe, come look at this.’
And I showed him this:
26 Pictures Will Make You Re-Evaluate Your Entire Existence
Look at that. And let it sink in.
I mean, really, really, sink in.
Our insignificance and smallness on the large grand scheme of things.
Earth compared to the Galaxies that are out there.
Absolutely mind boggling.
After you’ve thought on it for a minute, let’s go back to the other discussion. Christianity versus Paganism. Hell, let’s throw Islam and Hindu in there, too: the different tenets, beliefs, premises, who’s right, who’s wrong, was Jesus real, etc. etc.
Really? You want to waste time on that??? After looking at this:
(Thousands and thousands of GALAXIES as seen from the Hubble Telescope.)
The POTENTIAL out there. How very small we are in regards to everything, but yet, we still managed to find life and be born, and live on our streets, and do our jobs, and hold our holidays and love.
You think the rest of that is important?
‘Really, Joe, if you’re going to classify me, I would probably fall most in agreement with the thought that we are energy, New Agey crap as you would say, but I’ve found some New Agey people to be judgmental and close-minded, too. And I find some of the stuff really ‘out there’ as well. Yes, some Pagan ideas appeal to me as I am in awe of the Earth and the Cosmos. And while we’re at it, let’s throw in some Hindu and Sufi, too – ancient religions with lots of ’truths’ in them. But Jesus and I are cool, too, and I find a lot of solace from the religion that I was brought up in. You need to look within yourself and find what moves your soul and then figure out the best and healthiest way to live your unique life.’
Now, my twelve year old is looking at me as if I have completely lost it.
‘Look, Joe, I’m glad you want a bible. Be a Christian. But in the end, religion is a framework in which to find the divinity within yourself. Don’t shut out other people because they have different frameworks. The important thing is to find that framework and honor something outside of yourself. Or better yet, what is inside yourself – whatever name you care to put on it.’
Take #19. For comparison, if the sun were the size of one white blood cell (and the sun is HUGE compared to the Earth), our galaxy, the Milky Way would be the size of North America. Do you realize how small that makes YOU in comparison to our galaxy?
And that is just ONE galaxy. Now look again at that picture from the Hubble telescope which shows THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of GALAXIES each with millions of their own stars and planets.
Think on that.
And yet here we sit in all our false importance at our computer or jobs or households or churches or synagogues or mosques, thanks be to Jesus or Muhammad or Brahma or Goddess or Source or whatever name you want to put on it, the very fact that it transpired to put us here at this moment, living and breathing and crying and shouting and dancing and learning and loving.
THAT is what is amazing: that it happened. And that you and I are here.
Each moment is an incredible gift.
Have a Grateful Thanksgiving.
I am divinity defined.
I am the God on the inside.
I am a star
a piece of it all.
I’m a Pagan mom, and I agree that any religion can be closed minded. Especially when they get caught up in truth, and forget that what we believe isn’t nearly as important as what we do.
We are stardust. We have existed in one form or another since the Big Bang. Our atoms have been part of the galaxies since the beginning of time, and we are connected by that.
But I couldn’t care less if I woke up tomorrow and found that what I believed was false. Al that matters is if what I believe makes me feel connected to the divine, and to others. And if what I believe reminds me to go into the world and do good.
My oldest is an Atheist. His belief that now is what matters, and that encourages him to choose to do good at every possible turn. Because it matters right now.
Great post, and great approach with the kiddo!
Thanks Anne … appreciate the read and heading on over to check out your musing. ❤