Moving on, letting go, and the conflict of religious holidays


Let’s say you are standing on the banks of a river and decide that you’d like to live in the land on the other side. So, you find a canoe, start paddling, and successfully make the journey there. Once you make it to the other side, would it be necessary to strap the canoe to your back and lug it around on your back all the time? Of course not, the canoe did it’s job by getting you there; it served its purpose.

Likewise on our spiritual journey, there are many different tools that help us get unstuck, resolve or address something, or stretch out into new dimensions of freedom. Once you get unstuck, resolve the issue, or find the freedom, that tool (concept, teaching, understanding, practice) did its job and served its purpose. My point here is that it is okay to move on. You may start to feel a bit bored or empty with some of the concepts, teachings, understandings, and practices that were once very significant and worthwhile for you. It’s okay. That’s what happens. There’s nothing wrong with that. The letting go part can be a bit uncomfortable, and sometimes you’re not quite sure what’s next. But holding on too long when it’s time to move on will only deepen that emptiness, and make you sick inside.

I’ve been wondering this week if this even applies to religious holidays. The thought crossed my mind with Easter approaching. My personal interest in Jesus has steadily grown over the years as I have personally become less and less connected to organized Christianity. But despite my interest in Jesus, the idea of celebrating religious holidays doesn’t resonate with me personally anymore. Even for a period before now it seemed like I was simply going though the motions. Can anyone else relate to this? How has it played out for you? I don’t think this is a “right” or “wrong” thing. I’m just sharing where I am.


Latest Comments

  1. james says:

    Your not alone on the path you walk….If people want to celebrate religious holidays, ( so be it ) Im not going to judge their beliefs. As for me Im free.

  2. Samantha says:

    Agreed about the holidays. I “do the stuff” because it means something to my family members still, and it’s more about the “gathering” than the holiday for us anyways. I think it’s okay to do whatever is on your heart to do- or not do!

  3. silvia says:

    I am totally with you on that, though ive never celebreated religious holidays. And yes is nothing bad to move on and to let behind what you feel is just emptying you. People dont realize that this is exactly what it must happen to you: you are going from glory to glory, we can not stay too long on one road, there is alot to discover, to feel and to enjoy about God and with God. We are his sons and daughters now, not someday in the future when we will got it all right! Now is the time!

  4. BarbN says:

    I’m finding myself really conflicted about Easter this year. I still attend church in spite of all my reservations about it, and at our Maundy Thursday service last night, I found myself really turned off. I can’t imagine that Jesus would want this endless re-hashing of his crucifixion. It’s a strange form of narcissistic groveling. But I don’t mind the religious aspects of Christmas. The incarnation is endlessly interesting to me, even if I interpret it metaphorically instead of literally. (and btw, Hi. I’m new here, but I’m in the middle of reading the third book of yours I’ve read, and I thought I might come hang out a little.)

    • Samantha says:

      BarbN! Which third book? Notes from Over the Edge? How are you liking it? And can I ask what you are talking about when you say “metaphorically instead of literally”? I’m very interested to hear your perspective if you are willing to share! (Oh, and I agree with what you said about the “strange form of narcissistic groveling. I was just talking about that yesterday.)

      • BarbN says:

        Hi, Samantha– I was raised to believe the Bible is the literal word of God, without error, and that the authors were inspired by God to write what they did, therefore –according to the way I was raised– every word of it is as relevant to each individual reader today as it was when it was written. But as an adult, I just can’t believe that anymore, it ties us up in too many knots trying to make excuses for difficult verses that would make complete sense in their historical context. But I was raised with a great love of the Bible, which I still have. So now I read it metaphorically, which is short hand for saying that I try to read it for the truth beneath the literal words. I just can’t believe that God thinks an intelligent, educated woman should not be allowed to teach a man that knows less than she does, but in a historical setting where the vast majority of women didn’t know how to read and had no education, it makes more sense. Interpreting those verses metaphorically, I read them to mean that God wants us to handle the scriptures with respect and care. Does that make sense? How do you read the Bible? Oh, and Jim’s 3rd book–I read Divine Nobodies, Wide Open Spaces, and Jesus in Nashville. I downloaded Notes from Over the Edge yesterday but haven’t started it yet.

      • Samantha says:

        Barb! Thanks for your reply! I like what you shared here with me! Thank you for taking the time to do that! I appreciate what you wrote, and yes it makes a great deal of sense!
        To answer your question- I read the Bible rarely and with caution. The reason is that I was involved in a very abusive church for 6 years and I still have trouble “un-hearing” the cruel ways in which it was preached. I get my “spiritual fill” from places, people and books that haven’t been used against me in the past. I hope that makes sense. Actually, since I had to memorize most of the Bible anyways (you know- to be a “good” Christian woman), I feel like most of the verses pop up in my mind when I *experience* the reality of truth that a verse pointed to! Do you know what I mean?
        I hope you like the new book- (notes from over the edge). I finished it YESTERDAY and it is pretty fantastic. Especially for those of us who have endured abuse in any form- it sheds a lot of light on truth and getting out from under that oppression of an abusive mentality! I’m excited for you to read it!

      • BarbN says:

        oh, yes, I definitely get that. I often think that the way I was raised was spiritual abuse, and the bible was used more as a means of control than anything else. Although in my parents’ defense, it was an entirely different world back in the 60s. Probably most of us born in the 50s and early 60s experienced spiritual abuse. I don’t read my bible very often anymore, either (see JP’s post today), but I have that same experience of certain verses coming to mind when I need them. I’m looking forward to reading “Notes,” too, but I have a couple of other books I have to finish first. Thanks for your questions/answers, since I’m new here it’s nice to have a conversation with someone!

      • Samantha says:

        Yes, I can only imagine the differences in our “era’s”. I actually didn’t get involved in religion by my parents; I was mostly agnostic until I was 18 and had an experience with God that opened me to the possibility of a God/ spiritual life. Even learning so late, I still somehow got wrapped up in religion. It takes time to get away from that “muscle memory” way of living, but MAN is it awesome to be free!!! I so enjoyed this chat too!! Hope your day is going well!! *hugs*

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