Sunday witnessed me in reflective mood; in particular pondering matters ecclesiastical. Amongst numerous spiritual notions crossing my mind was if God did indeed maketh man what warranty was he offering……. Not to mention, whether there’s a uniform in the afterlife, and if so does take into account clothing allergies.

I’ve written before about the faith I held in childhood borne from regular attendance at Cromer Avenue church on Low Fell, Gateshead. Beliefs which’ve waned in the past decade, predominantly courtesy of numerous s**t laden life episodes, which’ve diluted my spiritual convictions. Circumstances triggering newly found scepticism towards theism.

That being said, though, despite newly found uncertainty about the existence of a higher power, as I still ask the Almighty for intervention during troubled times, I’m clearly conflicted whether I really want to veer down an agnostic pathway.

Subsequently, of late I’ve been evaluating whether I genuinely still believe in God? Or are the disingenuous cries seeking divine intercession during times of trouble just a shameless adoption of Pascal’s wager. A gambit advocating there’s nothing to lose by feigning real faith, leading to me spouting deceitful theist beliefs prior to passing from this dysfunctional planet.

Despite behavioural traits embracing the more decent New Testament advocacies, my father was a dyed in the wool agnostic. Consequently, it was mother who walked my siblings and me along Cromer Avenue on Sunday mornings where we joined a congregation of fellow Low Fellian worshippers.

Unless I’m misinterpreting the bible teachings, one thing which’s always baffled me relates to religion’s insinuation that life’s starker episodes are penances consequential of the original sin. We’re seemingly born sick and commanded to be well. It’s not for me to tell our grand designer how to run his ship, but this always seemed a bit of a rum deal to me.

Footnote – When referencing I’m ‘always baffled me about religion’s insinuation life’s starker episodes are apparently penances consequential of the original sin’, that’s not strictly true. It was a notion whose inaugural airing in my conscious mind was only around 15 minutes ago.

According to my mum her grandma was a strict Irish catholic, from Limerick, who dressed in all black and stringently adhered to (in my opinion) the religion of guilt.

I’ve absolutely no idea what degree of influence, if any, my great grandmother had on Maggie. I do, though, wonder whether mater’s reticence towards expressing empathy to her nearest and dearest, when suffering the sling and arrows of outrageous misfortune, has its roots from being indoctrinated by the world’s oldest religion.

That being said, GJ Strachan never met his great grandma, or indeed mum’s mother (who died from breast cancer at the age of 47). Consequently, I’d be the first to admit those observations are based on nothing more than half-assed psychiatrical guess work on my part. Ergo the accuracy of my theory should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Please be aware, though, despite an ingrained hesitation at bequeathing her offspring with praise, Maggie’s been a wonderful mother, wife and friend to those whose lives she touches…… Forever and ever, Amen

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