My relationship with faith and religious based faith has been an interesting one. Well, to me anyway. I mostly identify as agnostic. I grew up in a religion-free environment. My parents didn’t have the happiest experiences with religion in their childhood and wanted to spare us. They let us know throughout my upbringing that if I developed a religious faith that was more than fine, as long as I didn’t force it upon anyone else and didn’t hurt anyone. My first experience with religion was at a Church Youth Group that my friends and I attended. It was a positive one for me I had great friends, which I still have by the way. But I started working a year or so after that so Friday nights were for earning money. But what I felt was strange was that I never felt compelled to join the Church.
In my dating journey, I have met men of various faiths who were sometimes strong believers and some who were downright dismissive of faith. ‘It’s not logical’ one beau sneered. ‘How can you believe in something that you’ve never seen’?’. I saw his point and from time to time I thought the same thing. But from a more curious point of view, rather than dismissive. I had a lot of learning to do about the meaning of the word faith. My interpretation of the word faith these days, is to believe that things will be ok regardless of proof that it will or won’t be. Which is very hard for me and something I have to really work at. It’s not that I’m naturally negative, it’s just that I never really understood the role of having faith in everyday life. Without it, no one would ever take risks, be in relationships or have any trust in general. I wonder sometimes, does religion train us for the faith we need later in life, to live our lives out in relative peace? Is it easier to trust if you are of devoted spiritual faith? And how do people decide that this is the way of life for them?
I truly do admire the trust and belief that people have in their chosen deity. Wars have been fought over it and conversely, disparate people are united because of it. I am deeply fascinated with the origin stories and teachings that many religions have. Yet I find myself, like my sixteen-year-old Youth Group self, not able to commit to a religious path. I truly do believe there is likely to be some higher being. But I am ok with not knowing who that being is and being unable to get those answers. I am open to change, absolutely. But for now, having faith that things in my life will work out, without having any way of knowing exactly how or when is enough faith for me.