Journey: Today's destination
July 9, 2005

This is part six in a six part series. You can find part one here. And part two here. And part three here. You can find part four here. And part five here.
NEW: Read the whole series on one page (if you're so inclined).
This is a post about . . . well, it touches on religion. It's not about conversion - either mine or anyone else's. It's just a post about experiences and personal conclusions. (Sorry for the disclaimer, but I believe in truth in advertising.) Every year at my church, instead of a sermon one day, a couple of people stand up and talk about their faith journey and how they got to Southside (our church). After listening to the stories this year, I thought I would write a part of my own.

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Instead of any kind of revelation, several things happened over the course of a few years. One, was joining a book discussion group at church (Kelly convinced me to join) and a comic book by J. M. DeMatteis called Seekers Into the Mystery started publication. Also, A was pestering me to define what I believed. And, The Matrix came out. It seemed everywhere I turned, something or someone was asking me to examine my ghost-faith, leave the land of the shades and my isolation and join the conversation and community.

All I knew at that time was that I was not a traditional Christian.

There were two comments made in particular that kept echoing in my head. During one of our book discussions, I began writing some of my questions and concerns about Christianity to Carrie (our book leader and also an ordained minister). At the time I was stymied, confused and even hurt by the folks who claimed to have a personal relationship, a give and take relationship, with God. And it just made me mad.

It wasn't until during one of our letter-writing sessions, Carrie simply said to me, "given your background, you'll probably never feel that way, that type of of connection. You're a seeker."

I should have been mad. I tend not to react well when people tell me I won't something, even if it's true and I know it.

Instead, Carrie's comments was very freeing.

A few weeks or months later, again in book discussion, Martha made some comment about God making mistakes and revising plans. (We were talking about the major shift between the Old and New Testaments.) As much as I tried to hide it at the time, I was pole-axed. I started reading some more on my own and started talking with Martha more and discovered that while my concepts of God are not really the norm, evidently they're not so far out of line with some theologians, either.

What I came to realize very, very slowly, was that despite our common language and use of shared symbols, our ultimate picture/conception of the Godhead is intensely personal for each one of us. Few of us probably have the same exact concept - and that's okay. And I found out that my concept, while not common, is not completely unorthodox, either.

My great, sudden epiphany was actually a slow and dawning realization that I was not ever going to have that epiphany of light where it all becomes so clear. Instead, I was going to be far more like Joan of Arcadia, constantly questioning and seeking "the" right path and constantly having to remind myself that "the" right path doesn't exist - it's about the journey we take and what we try and fail to accomplish and what we try and succeed.

- - - -

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six

I just want to take a quick moment to say again that these were my experiences -- I'm in no way condemning any religion or faith or generalizing about any of them. Just talking about my journeys.

Posted by Red Monkey at July 9, 2005 5:53 PM | Storytelling: She was, of course, supposed to be sleeping. | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


Andy T. said:

There is a lot of pain and healing in these words. I'm glad you are my friend and so happy to have both you and Amber in my life. Thanks for opening yourself and your life to us.

July 11, 2005 10:31 PM
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