I must confess, this is my first blog. I’m not entirely sure how these things work let alone what I am supposed to say, I only know I have this overwhelming need to write, so here we are. At the moment I feel the need to write about something very particular: religion.
Recently, I reached this terrifying tipping point in regards to my beliefs. I had been heading in that direction for a while, not realizing how far away I had gotten from where I started. Or maybe it was realizing my starting place wasn’t as solid as I expected it to be, but regardless, I had the acute realization that I had absolutely no idea what I believed in.
I was raised Catholic. I went to church every Sunday. I prayed. I’ve always considered myself a very spiritual person, even in a self righteous kind of way at times (though morally speaking I had no more right to be self righteous than the next person). Faith wasn’t a question in my life, it was just there. Sure, I had doubts here and there but they generally weren’t terribly substantial. My faith mimicked my life. It wasn’t that I was sheltered, but my life view was very narrow. Religion fit comfortably in my idea of what the world was and my idea of who I was.
Things changed my first year of college. The world suddenly became a lot bigger. I went to a liberal arts college that challenged all of my beliefs and ideas and even the constructs through which I viewed the world. I was no longer able to accept knowledge and truth as concrete fixed entities. They taught us to look for the biases, to challenge author’s and even teacher’s ideas. They taught us to think independently and to not accept things blindly. They taught us to always question. It radically changed my thinking. It didn’t take long for all of this to start permeating my faith. It was as if all at once every doubt I ever had about faith and religion came bubbling to the surface, and it was unavoidable. I had spent years driving on a neatly paved road and all of a sudden there were road blocks and giant manholes looming at every turn. I tried to just keep my eyes focused ahead and to keep moving forward, but I has already gone off-road. Sometimes I could convince myself that my faith was still strong. I think at times it still was even with the foundation horribly cracked, but the more time that passed my doubts only got more apparent until I reached the tipping point. Well, it wasn’t really one point so much as a bunch of different points adding up the realization that I had no idea if God even existed. If he did I had no idea if I believed in the bible, or Jesus for that matter, or any of it. Not a clue. Horrible and terrifying and uncomfortable as it was, I stayed in this place for quite some time. I think really a more accurate way of describing it was that one side of my brain believed very strongly in God, and the logical reasoning side didn’t believe at all. I went back and forth constantly. I had felt a presence in my life that was distinct from me, but I could never bridge the ever expanding gap between faith and my intellectual side. A couple of months ago, I got really fed up with this and decided that whatever the truth was (if there was such a thing anyway) I owed it to myself to at least try to figure it out.
I don’t know where I’m going to end up with this, or how conclusive it will be. I don’t know if this journey will turn me into a Buddhist or Christian or Jew or agnostic or atheist. I don’t know if it will send me into hope or despair. I just know how important it is that I find out. I hope this resonates with some of you. That’s all I have for now, just a rather large question I hope I can answer 🙂