Just over a year ago, I managed to get a new church music job: it pays better (and I've gotten two raises in the past year); the people I work with are very cool; my kids and wife love it there, and truthfully, I love it there. There's just one thing I realized today: in my heart of hearts, I don't actually believe in God. I pray out loud with my choir every week, I participate in Sunday School and talk about the Bible with other Christians, I often pay a lot of lip service to God. It's part of my job, and I really love my job. But when I am really honest with myself, and think about whether I really believe that there's a God, that prayer actually works, that there is an afterlife, all that stuff--when I really examine it, I realize that I don't buy it. If the Church as an institution suddenly ceased to exist, I would be out of a job, and that would be unfortunate for me and my family, but I don't think it would change my life in any other way.
Before I have a bunch of people comment that I'm being dishonest with my friends and family, and with myself, let me state that I have absolutely no intention of telling others in my life about this new realization. If you've read any of my earlier blog posts (I haven't check in here in over a year), you can read about my struggle with this issue. As I said above, I genuinely enjoy working with the people at my church. They're cool people. Sure, there's a few of the folks that spout the usual party line about "being blessed" and about how much they "love Jesus," but most of them are people that I would want to hang out with, even if I didn't work at that church.
I certainly respect atheists who have been able to "come out of the closet," but that's not gonna happen any time in my near future. It's a free country, and I have the right to pretend to be Christian as much as I want. I worked twenty years in retail, and I spent most of that time pretending in front of customers that the company I worked for was GREAT, so I don't see any difference in this job. I'm good at the church music I do, and I enjoy it. But today was a bit of an epiphany, because I've been speaking the language of faith long enough that I really thought I was believing it. And all of a sudden today, I realized that simply wasn't the case.
So, life goes on...and so do I.