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Car Washes and Candy Bars for a Dollar

By Andrea ~

Seven years ago I was thirteen years old and I remember going to my church to pick up a big box of candy bars from my youth leader.She said to try to sell as many as you can around your neighborhood or to whoever you can.She said we should sell them for a dollar each.That didn't seem to hopeful if I was going to get to Mexico in four months. I thought, "What the heck am I going to do? Stand on every street corner in the summer heat and beg people to eat chocolate till I have hundreds of dollars?" But I knew that was about the biggest fundraiser the church could afford so I figured I better do what I'm supposed to do and go on a mission trip. I sold like twenty. My family bought half of them to help out, and I had the chocolate sitting in a box in my house once again haha. But when the trip got close my dad had to give me 200 extra dollars or I wouldn't have gone anywhere. My dad pretty much had to bail me out even though money was slow with his own business. I hated that.

Force Cheerleader Carwash at Sonic Drive-In-8655Image by Billy Wright photos via Flickr
I continued to try to ''serve'' God for a few more years after that.It was a constant battle of getting my mind to shut up. All I really wanted to know was why God seemed a million miles alway and I was basically doing charity work on my own. But I knew thats not a question you ask God or the church so I tried to turn off my mind.I went to a Christian school, my parents had most of their social life at church and were pretty sincere in their faith, and my best friend was the daughter of a preacher and I'd been there since I was six. Naturally I stopped questioning my faith because I didn't want to risk my entire social life. Plus, the fear of hell was there. And, as anyone who's been in that situation of being indoctrinated would know, you do whatever the hell you have to do to avoid hell!

So life carried on... I went around in one big circle and was on my way to Mexico again. But this time I was eighteen and doing a car wash to raise money. I stood outside this store and held signs for it, watching car after car pull in and people getting out to buy food, not get a car washed. I looked over at another boy who was holding signs by the door and telling bad jokes to get people's attention. They just looked confused. I had to laugh cause I knew this was getting pathetic. We barely made it to the trip, and my dad bailed me out once again. This time he had to give 800 dollars. It was hard (he still had his own business to run), but as a Christian he felt he had to do it for God's word to be spread. I still didn't want to question God, but I was pretty angry about my dad going through that again.

On the trip something in me started to snap. We had a worship time every morning and they said we should enjoy time with "the creator of the universe." At that point it was pretty much impossible not to think, "Do they mean to tell me that the God of the entire universe sent me on this trip and he is so 'powerful' that he has no better plan to save the world then to raise money at some stupid car wash? Or to sell candy for a dollar like last time?" Sadly I was stuck in Mexico for five more days after that doing plays about Adam and Eve. I was the tree. Exciting, huh? But as I did the lame play I started to notice that all we could give these kids was lunch. These kids needed a lot more then lunch and God didn't bring much money with his "car wash plan."

It took me about another year after that to totally leave my faith.It had been such a huge part of all my life after all. Other things pushed me away too, like reading the whole Old Testament (yikes!). And, finally meeting people who were not believers that pretty much encouraged me to get the hell out of there. But God's total inactivity on the mission trip really sealed it for me. If thats not a sign of his absence in the Christian world I don't know what is. So that's my story of Christianity being a dead end. I agnostic now and I don't have all the answers but I would say it beats running around in endless circles trying to serve a God who clearly isn't there.