This will be my final post for the night, and I look forward to hearing your opinions on it.
I know borrowing strength from Christ to overcome obstacles is a common practice amongst Christians; I heard it from that preacher at my friends memorial, and I've seen it repeated literally dozens of times on these forums.
As an Atheist, I have no connection to your God, nor anyone elses. As such, I have no "Strength" to "Borrow" from anyone. Its all my own strength. My own willpower. And its something I fight with every waking minute - and theoretically sleeping minute, if I want to get up on time
I'm not sure how to put this, really. Basically, I have not grown up in a "Normal" household, and do not live a "Normal" life. While my (few) friends my age are off at parties, having relationships, and attending school, I'm writing articles for magazine publication, attending racing car events, and doing other things that get me accused of being "too grown up" for my age.
You would think in my situation that I would have the strength to make the most of what I have, for I can really build myself a unique and grand future. But, at the slightest moment of relaxed attention, I find myself slipping; slacking off when I shouldnt, procrastinating when I'm overworked, etc.
Sometimes, I dont realise it until its too late, and then I have to play catch-up for the time I've lost. When I do realise what I'm doing, its a concious struggle to overcome it. I fight primarily with procrastination and weight-loss; while I do a lot of work (more than most kids my age), its never enough, and I know that not only can I push myself harder, but I can make better use of my time. As for weight-loss, I am not an "obese" kid; furthermore, I've been doing medium-intensity workouts every day for the past two years, and am in the best shape of anyone in the family - I just dont look it. (Just today I hauled most of a cord of wood over to the garage and stacked it.) As an Italian with a love of cooking and food, its pretty hard
Now, I know what you're all going to say... I should convert and use His strength through prayer and worship to overcome my problems.
I dont believe in that.
I've found, through a great deal of thought, that I prize my independance and would rather stand or fall on my own strength; as such, I've taken to thinking of most of my daily actions as both a test and as a battle. Instead of looking at a daunting task with the mindset of "How am I going to get all this work done", I spawn a fiendish grin and think, "Now its a challenge".
Its a hard mindset to keep up, but it has yet to truly fail me; Rather, I think that I have always failed it by not using it enough. I do not believe in those cheesy self-help tips, nor in some divine strength from the Almighty; I want to continue on my strength, and my strength alone.
I know I havnt put this as well as I could have; its hard to really express how I feel. When I was listening to that sermon at our friends memorial, and listening to how "we can pull on the Lord for all our strength; all the strength we will ever need,", all I could do was harden my own determination to find a way to overcome my own problems without drawing on anyone elses aid - even the "Lord"'s.
As such, I find reading the God Squad forums invigorating to my own cause; In what is, I suppose, a rather perverse way, it just re-affirms my commitment to my own strength. I would rather prove that I can overcome any obstacle using my own skills, talents, and wits than "Trust in the Lord" to guide me. I often find myself lacking, but all I can do is try harder. There are times when I really want to ask for help - but I refuse.
So, like I said, I often find reading this little community here supportive of my own strength, just like the rest of you do - but certainly not in the same way the rest of you do
I really wish I could have said this better, but... oh well. I hope you got my point.
Its a hard battle, but one I'm going to keep fighting - Alone.