I should start this by saying that when it comes to religion I’m now Agnostic at best. I’d like to think there’s something out there but it doesn’t sit well with the scientist in me and since I struggle so much with this life, the idea of an eternal one is enough to give me nightmares! However, this wasn’t always the case. When I was 12 I went to boarding school for a year. It wasn’t planned and was a hasty decision as the result of circumstances. The Chaplain/RS teacher at the school was young, charismatic and enthusiastic and I became quite hooked. I even considered getting Confirmed but didn’t because I didn’t want the hassle of having to be baptised first (my parents never had me Christened, something I’m incredibly grateful to them for).
I struggled with homesickness – my close family were 7 hours away by plane – and it was around this time I started praying before I went to sleep. Not the forced prayers of Church services but a decision of choice. It was never much – a thank you for the day (or a thank you for getting me throught the day!), a request to sleep well free from nightmares and to have a good day the next day. Finally it was a request to protect my family, friends and myself from any damage or harm that might befall us.
As the years have gone by (wow, that makes me feel old!), the religion has faded but the prayers have remained. They’ve been a constant for the last 10 years, I could probably count the number of times I’d missed them on the finers of one hand. So, where is this story going you may legitamately ask?
Saturday was the wedding. The ceremony was beautiful, the bride looked fabulous and the sun shone. On a personal level though it was an emotional train wreck and ended up with my parents having to drive two hours to pick me up and bring me home to prevent me jumping out the top floor window of the B+B. I only include that to explain why it was that I got home and collapsed into bed, too exhausted to pray.
And since then I’ve made a conscious decision to stop, my before bed communions with the Almighty are no more. I don’t know why it was this precise event that triggered it (possibly the overly religious nature of the ceremony) but I’ve come to the conclusion that if there is a God then he’s a cruel bastard for letting my life run the way it is and also what’s the point in talking to someone who I don’t really think is there.
It seems odd writing this now. My prayers have been my little secret, I don’t think I’ve mentioned them to anyone and yet now I’m telling the world I’ve stopped.