This I Believe

James - Morehead, Kentucky
Entered on December 14, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

It’s interesting, to sit back and ask yourself, initially, what you believe. It seems like a small thing, a simple, basic question. But why do we hesitate? I guess I would have to go back to the basics; who I am, how I got to be who I am and what I think led to that occurrence. I grew up in a Christian home, although not an avid one. I believe, pretty firmly, that a person is a product of their environment. A lot of problems that I see in people from day-to-day lead me to believe this. I am a very laid back, perceptive person. I don’t want that to sound arrogant or self-promoting, but I feel like I take things in and compute them at methodically and thoroughly as I can. It’s the only way I know how to trust in things, to see if they are truly legit.

I don’t consider myself an overly religious person, but I do consider myself a very spiritual person. The journey in my life has been the age-old story. Enjoy life based on what you are told is true up until you reach an age at which you begin to think for yourself, then take a couple steps backward in order to step forward. The unfortunate thing, for some, is that they never realize that this is taking place. I think the best way to cement who you are and cultivate the person that will grow in the future is to constantly reassess who you are and why you live for the things you do. To blindly invest into something as important as your life is like walking on hot coals for a long time and hoping you don’t suffer some kind of burns or repercussions. Bad comparison, but I think it’s true.

I am a Christian by trial. It took a lot of soul searching and wandering aimlessly within my own existence to realize that God was real, whether I chose to believe in Him or not. My parents raised me the way that Christian parents usually do, but they aren’t overly spiritual people. They don’t pray, they don’t force any of my siblings to go to church, and they don’t seem to have a lot of philosophical interest in the world, past working and family time. I always wished I were as oblivious. I spent a lot of my teenage years distressed — strike that — depressed over the possibility that I could be living a pointless existence. I guess that’s where God met me, for the first time. Through my experiences, I’ve realized that the single most important thing that any of us can do is to interact with other people and to give away whatever God has blessed us with.

I believe, most importantly, that life is too incredible a miracle to be an accident. People constantly ask for incredible signs that point to the supernatural, but I think I feel like that is an oversight. The fact that I can exist, a living, breathing, loving, thinking, creative, capable person, can live among billions with similar complexities is nothing short of a miracle. I’m only 21, so I have a lot more to iron out in as much time, but as of now, that’s about where I am now.