Tracy - Waterbury, Connecticut
Entered on July 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe

I do believe I’m lost. Wandering through life wondering if I should turn left, or right. Maybe I should just turn around.

When I entered college, conservative Christian beliefs had been so pounded into me that I didn’t think there wasn’t room for question. It was wrong to query those principles, I thought. It was sinful to be gay, to be Democrat, to go to the bar.

But I questioned them anyway because religion lured me, and not just the creed I heard at home, but all faiths – all Christian faiths, that it is. I’ve always been one to ask questions, and faith seemed like the biggest query of all. I didn’t want to just regurgitate what I learned growing up, so I switched my minor from English to theology and my eyes hung on every Greek and Hebrew word I read. I fell in love with pages.

I was a journalism major, so felt it was only natural to pursue the religion beat after I graduated. However, the beat took me places I never dreamed of and made me face issues I never thought I’d have to tackle.

I found myself in a mosque on Eid. I had never met a Muslim. Yet they welcomed me into their worship service, brought me a chair, made sure I was comfortable. When they prayed, goose bumps traveled up and down my arms. The imam’s Arabic words moved me. I fellowshipped with the women afterward and went home wondering if I had betrayed my God.

Another time I met with a rabbi and found myself nodding in awe at the symbolism that clothed the synagogue. I sang Hebrew hymns with the congregation, not knowing for sure what I was singing. I prayed with them. I read their texts. Was I betraying God again?

Most recently I found myself at a Hare Krishna practice. As a sign of respect, I followed their lead. I took my shoes off, bowed in front of their deities and carefully held the Bhagavad Gita so it didn’t touch the ground. I went home encouraged by their faith, but once again speculated if I was disloyal to God.

Now, after several years of covering religion, of studying different faiths, and meeting their people, I believe that all religions are beautiful. I’ve come to my own conclusions when it comes to theology, progressive deductions I suppose, but I believe that being lost is what’s opened my mind. I don’t want to know which path to take. I say throw life’s map out the window, because no matter what place of worship you find yourself walking into, God’s there, waiting.