This I Believe

Charlotte - Dallas, Texas
Entered on January 5, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that religion and spiritual beliefs should be probed and questioned as well as embraced on faith.

When I was very young, I talked to God and naturally felt His presence. I also believed my Chatty Cathy and Baby-First Step dolls were real, and that my gray kitten was my new little sister. None of these ideas were exactly false; in fact, such imaginings are normal for children, even essential for their development. So what of spirituality, fantasy, imagination, conviction can and should continue into adulthood?

I am 48 years old. It was not until three years ago I began to study the Bible from a multi-faceted, theological perspective. I realized that during my upbringing the stories of Noah’s ark and Adam and Eve had been for me like Aesop’s Fables: long-ago entertainment for me, the child. Now as an adult I am looking at liturgy and the Old and New Testaments historically and contextually through a non-biased theology class. I find there is still plenty of room for belief, mystery, and even more delightful: interpretation. Such gives new meaning to the possibility of the Bible as “Living Word.” I can, as an adult, in this country, have the freedom to delve into scriptures with no mandate, no dogma, no fear of persecution. I enjoy doing this with others of several persuasions and an excellent moderator. While doing so, we claim no necessary connection to a political party or candidate…or even to a certain denomination or religious institution. Through this group, I have finally successfully carried my experience of God and Christ into my adult life and therefore into my future. I believe this would have not been possible had Biblical tenets never been questioned.

We are put on this earth to travel a journey of faith and understanding. Narrowness of belief does not protect the work of God, the Holy Spirit, Christ, or the Church. I believe that it is only by putting aside fear, arrogance, pettiness, and daring to expand one’s thoughts that we come close to knowing what may lie beyond ourselves and our current world. It is also through a healthy mix of thought and feeling that we know how to pray, believe, and respect others.