I do not go to church. I own more than one copy of the Holy Bible. I own more than one copy of the Holy Quran. I never eat anything without giving thanks for it. I pray each day as I awaken and before I go to bed. I have passed this on to my children as well. I have no idea who or what hears me, but I believe that someone does.
Can You Lose Your Religion But Keep Faith?
I have always had a hard time embracing the thought that there is nothing more than us. Ever since I was a child, from my earliest of memories, growing up in the Virgin Islands, I would look out from the balcony to the horizon over the Caribbean Sea and wonder; what was beyond the horizon. Not simply to the next island but beyond. I would wonder as I looked out, where did humans come from? Why are we here?
While I never found an answer, I have always felt in my being that the answer is greater than us. Science never seemed like a good enough reason for leaves to be green at a particular time of year. Yet, especially of late, I have pondered the view of the atheist. I’ve yet to meet one or hear of one who’s view does not seem angry or edgy.
I do understand that religion which in virtually any form is SUPPOSED to be about peace, has been served as the scapegoat and excuse for so many atrocities in the history of the world. I also understand that many times, those who are devout will have a tone of judgment in their language or nature, especially when it comes to their opinion of others.
For example, how many people do you know that attend church on Sunday and seem more concerned with worshiping the building versus God? Or seem consumed what other parishioners are wearing or some other areas of their business? It becomes easy to see how the lines between religion and faith get blurred and as such, the very idea of religion for some, becomes a complete turn-off.
I have always found the definition of faith to be simply, a belief in the unseen. But I would think that faith, in general, has to come before religion. Without it, the words in any book become hard to absorb. Even the atheist must have some faith. Maybe not in the same things as the person who has chosen a religion but they must have faith in some form. Optimism and hope are forms of faith. It seems that one who has no faith would be at peace with the idea that there is nothing to be hopeful about. Could a person with a view that dark believe that there is something worth living for? Could they believe that there is a reason to be here? Do they love or believe in anything or anyone so much that they would be willing to die for it? I ask because I actually wonder
Personally, I find value in living a life with the thought that there exists something that is bigger than me or what I see, even if that something is the world itself. Since I can remember, I alway wanted to find the “ultimate faith.” For most of us, our first experience with religion has little to do with choice. Our circumstances dictate which religion is first put upon us. Often we follow with guilt and obligation. Noting faithful or hopeful about that. When I refer to an ultimate faith, I’m referring to a well-informed decision or choice that is made as it relates to faith. Responding to that which resonates with you, allowing it to choose you.
My father was raised in an Episcopal home. My grandmother found great comfort in the church, and I often desired the certainty with which she lived her faith. Later in life, my father found, was chosen by, and embraced Islam. He showed my brother and me how to pray in Arabic. He gave us each a copy of the Holy Quran and, over the years, has shared pearls of wisdom and teachings which have nothing to do with the hatred, cowardice, and evil that is perpetrated by certain people around the world. He has never tried to convert me, not even once. This is why I have the books that I have. I still seek. I define myself as more spiritual than religious and as I continue to search and be open to a religion, I will continue to live in faith. To live my life as best I can, as though there is a God. I would rather do so and upon my departure, find out that there is no God. Instead of living my life as though there is no God, only to learn, that there was a God all along. In faith and hope, I will keep you in prayer and whomever you may be, if you are reading this, I love you.
This is why I have the books that I do. I seek. I define myself as more spiritual than religious and as I continue to search and be open to an actual religion, I will continue to live in faith. To live my life as best I can, as though there is a God. I would rather do so and upon my departure, find out that there is not God. Instead of living my life as though there is no God, only to learn, that there was a God all along. In faith and hope, I will keep you in prayer and whomever you may be, if you are reading this, I love you.