Though the memory is vague, I can recall the time when I first declared I didn’t believe in God. I was nine or ten years old and began questioning the existence of something that couldn’t be seen, felt, tasted, heard, or smelled (so I thought). Mom was the recipient of this announcement and unflinching, responded that she believed in God, and it didn’t matter that I doubted because God loved me anyway.
I don’t remember what else she said, but I remember her gentle reaction. I’m sure she thought I would come around someday. She was right, of course. However, many years passed before I fully learned to appreciate the nature of God, eventually leading me to understand that I don’t know Jack Crap about the Almighty. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a decent relationship with Her.
I come from a family of Presbyterian preachers, so it was more or less expected of us to accept God. A little questioning was encouraged, but my parents raised us as Christians and hoped we would all continue to be Christians as adults. For the record, I haven’t belonged to a church for many years, although I attend different ones periodically. When I left home for college I continued to go to church for a couple of years.
Eventually, church began to feel more ritualistic than spiritually fulfilling. Besides, it ate into my Sunday morning free time, so I stopped going. It wasn’t that I had a problem with God, I just couldn’t feel the strong relationship I had expected.Chalk it up to indifference or ignorance or a little of both. For whatever reason I just wasn’t feeling compelled.
Over the years I explored different ways of connecting to a supreme force, mostly through what is sometimes pejoratively referred to as New Age practices: books, meditation gatherings, lectures, physio-spiritual healing (I just made up that term), whatever came my way via encountered kindred souls. I even hung out with Buddhists for a while. These experiences began to strengthen my belief in, and relationship with, the universal force I choose to call God.
They also strengthened my conviction that there is no single True Religion.
That doesn’t mean everybody is wrong; it actually means everybody is right! Everyone is free to practice the spiritual path of…