The children are learning about all the different holidays right now, and last night Ally asked me if we could have a menorah next year. Sure, why not? We are not Jewish, but arguably I am not a very good Greek Orthodox either, and that hasn’t stopped me from celebrating Christmas all these years.
I am not bad at it because I don’t believe, I am just bad at the practicing part. Because I do believe. I believe anything, and nothing, and everything. I believe life is meaningless, while simultaneously believing everything happens for a reason. I believe in randomness and that God has a master plan, and that He is just as confused as the rest of us and His master plan makes no sense.
When you pray nothing happens because God hears you and hasn’t the slightest clue what to do about it. He created a universe that was already here, and everything ran away from Him and is running without Him. Besides, if everything is predetermined, what is the point of praying? Did you think something was going to change?
But no one understands the literal definition of predetermination. It means just that. Pre, as in before, and determined. It does not mean that there is some sort of well thought out, flawless map. It simply means things were thought up beforehand and then set into motion. For all we know it could be a chain of random events in a never ending sequence.
Belief and faith, or trust are also misconstrued as the same thing. To believe does not mean to trust. I believe the man next door exists. I see him almost every day. That doesn’t mean I trust him with my life. In fact, I am not sure I would even trust him with my purse.
So you can believe all of these things together. They are not mutually exclusive. And if I can believe all of this, then if my daughter wants a menorah, she can have one. As long as I don’t burn down our living room with the shemash, and if I do, well, it was predetermined. For no reason whatsoever.