We are all on the threshold of one of the most recognized Christian celebrations of the year.
For some people, Easter is just a long weekend. Schools, on the other hand, generally plan a week-long break for children. For others, the observance of Easter spans several weeks with specific parts that include Lent, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost. Devout Christians view Easter as part of a lifelong walk of faith.
Not all who attend church are Christians, and many of the Christians do not attend organized religious services.
Reginald Bibby, known for his research through the University of Lethbridge, wrote a book entitled “Fragmented Gods” in which he describes his three-decade study of the beliefs of Canadians. In it, he states that Canadians have changed their routines and practices from those of past generations. Instead of attending church services on a weekly basis like our ancestors, we now tend to engage in a la carte spiritual activities according to our needs for things like weddings and funerals. Bibby found that people often name their grandparents’ denomination as their own even if they are not members or active in the denomination.
Canada is classified as a pagan nation, but that does not mean, however, that Canadians do not believe in God or seek spiritual answers, especially during difficult times.
There are several things that Christians believe form the basis of their lives:
1. God has a story – From the beginning of time, God made the earth and everything in it. They challenge proponents of the “big bang” theory simply by stating that God lit the fuse that created the bang. The Bible, which is a book written by dozens of authors, offers Christians principles, life strategies and narratives about the lives of other Christians.
2. God is everywhere, all the time: Christians are never alone. Not only do they believe this a few days a year, but they have faith that they are never truly alone. They argue that although God is greater than all their problems, He is a gentleman. He does not cause evil, but goes through it as a best friend, always offering comfort, maturity, and good lessons for those who are observant.
3. God promises a future that is eternal. Christians do not believe that heaven is earned with good works, but rather that it is given as an invitation to those who believe.
Sometimes clients book an appointment with a therapist because they are trying to find the answers to big spiritual questions like “What is my purpose?” or “Why do bad things happen to children?” Some reject the idea of being a God, but need the human support of someone who has experience as a problem solver. Many have trouble understanding how spiritual things fit together on a personal level and others have been asking how they can deal with others.
No matter what your spiritual perspective is, all clients want hope. I hope things will be better. I hope your pain stops and you can enjoy the peace. Hope for the future.
I am often asked “Is there hope for me?” and I answer that I would not be in this business if I did not believe that things can change.
The sad thing for those who do not have faith is that it means two things: one is that they have to be their own God and that brings a lot of pressure. Second, your life has a time limit. When it’s over, it’s over!
No matter what you think, I hope the upcoming Easter weekend will be calm and thoughtful for you.
Happy Easter everyone!