Faith, belief & religion

December 18, 2011

Can you prove
any of the stuff you believe in?
my son asked me
& when I said
that’s not how belief works,
he nodded & said
that’s what he thought
but he was just checking
to make sure
he hadn’t missed a key point.
~Storypeople

It’s taken me a long time to learn what I believe in, I said to one of my wise mentors the other day, a woman with much life experience. She nodded with understanding.

It wasn’t that I heard a sermon or read the Bible or succumbed to exortations to “be saved!” It wasn’t like that at all, not for me.

It seems like one day in my 50s I woke up and saw that all of the input I’d had along the way–reading, church, personal experience, conversations with friends–had coalesced into something that I firmly believed. You might say the Holy Spirit sneaked up on me and hit me with its magic wand.

I wasn’t really sure what I believed. Never really thought that much about it, either. Then, this belief thing, this faith, tiptoed up and ambushed me –without conscious awareness on my part. But the processing was going on all along, just like a computer program that running invisibly in the background.

I was born into a religion but not a faith. Catholic rituals are comforting in their familiarity, but the belief structure itself just never took and I’ve always considered myself more of an ethnic Catholic than anything else. Other organized religions were an uncomfortable fit. {and still are}

Here’s what I believe: that it doesn’t matter how we worship. Or what we call a deity. Or how we even think of one. The details of our faith are unimportant. What is important is that we believe and that we live our lives with love. Because life doesn’t just stop; there is something after and we are going to look back at this place and time. It would be good to be able to do that without cringing. {at least not too much}

Rather than force it, if we leave ourselves room enough, and time, we come to what we believe to be true.

I’m awed at how that works.

2 comments on “Faith, belief & religion
  1. Chief Wiz says:

    There is something special, might I say divine, about coming to grip with and acceptance that you know your own mind.

    Thanks for being brave enough to share your beliefs.

  2. Thank you. I’m still in awe of how it just “appeared” the way it did… 😉

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