CalvaryHaving been raised in a Christian culture, and having spent much of my adult life seeking answers to spiritual questions I have run the gamut on how I approach this holiday.  I no longer feel the need to celebrate it at church…I will attend sometimes, but I don’t believe it’s a necessity, and my reasons for attending usually are motivated other than worship.  Even though, I am just as apt to engage in playful sarcasm at Christian faith as I am to say the blessing over the Easter dinner, I do respect that for millions yesterday is a solemn day of their faith….for me though, it is a day of FAMILY!

I am back in Oregon for the first time in  a year, and my children and I came together with other family for dinner and laughs.  I was privileged to meet my sons girlfriends, and hear how their lives and pursuits have changed since last we spoke.  It’s been near a year since I was here.

We laughed, told jokes, enjoyed a great meal, and then we all went for a long walk through the parks near the matriarch of our family’s home and fed the ducks.  The boys and I pointed out the nutria to the girls filling them with stories of how they often abscond with young children, their favorite meal!  🙂

We snapped lots of pictures, while engaging in horseplay and sarcastic banter.  It was a lot of fun.  Whenever we get together like this, it brings back memories of when they were little and they would play like this and then we would gather in the livingroom for a story or we would sing before bedtime.  I have a lot of those memories, and I am thankful to have formed yet another yesterday.

My mom, my Grandmother, and my daughter all attended morning services, while my sons, me, and my step-dad found other things to hold our interests.  In some respects, that seems fairly traditional for me, but once upon a time I made sure children were all there, and I believe it was very important in the development of who they are today.

From my perspective, it’s not the direction of their worship that I find so valuable, but the character that each of them developed and the values that each of them hold on too that their religion helped mold.  These things in my view are much more valuable then whether or not this or that is sin, whether we are in need of a Savior, and did Jesus really rise from the dead and ascend into heaven.  They can decide for themselves on those things, my view on each of those and other things has changed over the years, partly because my own studies, but more because of my own experience; the path I chose revealed Truth and in light of that I let go of once hard held beliefs because my experience taught me to do so.  I don’t question it, and I don’t insist my understandings on others, it’s just the way it is.  But the value of a strong character cannot be questioned, and having a since of honor, a value of life, and the depth to evaluate morality and self-worth are unparalleled and it can not be denied that religion offers support in the formation of such things as we grow.

All of my children have become responsible and enjoyable adults.  I will end this piece with a quote of which I am now reminded:

“It’s easier to prepare strong children, than to fix broken men.”  ~ Frederick Douglas

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