All tagged religious

The day after we quit ministry, we hit the road for an undetermined amount of time and, unbeknownst to me, a chasm as vast as the Grand Canyon began to grow between what I believed and what the church had always taught me to believe. I didn't fall into it, I jumped into it.

I will continue to write as clearly as I can, and I can tell you this: I won't hide my words behind fluffy sentences or vague mentions, alluding to hidden meanings using cleverly crafted innuendos. These words will represent me as fully as I am in the moment they are typed, and I will be unafraid to publish those that may or may not offend. I cannot worry about offense and shield my truth.

The seeking is what fills me; the longing a romantic relationship of mine that I ache for. Landing on answers has never been the point of my quest. With every year I age, things change, and I have to accept each leg of my journey as explorative and beneficial to the next. What I know today will only be added to with my continued learning tomorrow, so why stop? Why be satisfied with there being only one way, only one answer?

"I want to have a lasting experience with God. Sometimes I feel like I understand divinity of this world, but then I lose it because I get distracted by my petty desires and fears. I want to be with God all the time. But I don't want to be a monk, or totally give up worldly pleasures. I guess what I want to learn is how to live in this world and enjoy it's delights, but also devote myself to God."

I'm working my way to the core of myself; unearthing the years spent putting on layers - adapting other's thoughts as my own - and dirt is flying, the layers peeling away in long, flimsy remnants. I am revealing myself to myself. I'm no longer living in the confines of rules and labels, conforming to be someone who is just good enough for group think. I am living outside of those things, breaking down the actions I thought necessary. There is no title, no status when there is only me. My soul is thriving outside of the small, confined spaces I kept it slave to - to please others, to belong, to feel accepted.

The rumors of misinformation are one thing, but rumors about what we do or don't believe are simply a waste. Why does it matter? What if we don't believe in God anymore? The rumor stops there, and you have to decide if you care that much about something as personal as our beliefs. And then what?

I'm almost halfway through The Discovery Project and as I uncover what I believe, I have found church is an easy tradition to discard. What I believe has nothing to do with church, and how I experience God cannot be found within a church - not in the sense of attending a building every week to sit through a timed, routine program.

When I was working at a church, I felt like people were only my friend because of what I did. Real or imagined, that was my perception of the kindness and attention I received. The value I had was derived from how well I performed and how great a result I could manufacture. People would extend more praise when I did what they wanted. So I did what they wanted. I gave and gave until I ran dry; my spiritual bank account read zero and I was emotionally bankrupt.