There and Back

I was raised a Southern Baptist, what with mother’s father being a minister it was the natural course. I attended services every Sunday, Vacation Bible School in the summers, and was being groomed for the ministry.

My questions were brushed aside by granddad, who said for me to simply read the Bible cover to cover and all my questions would be answered. Unfortunately, I had even more questions. Specifically, I wondered how they made a religion based on the whole book when the God of the Old Testament certainly didn’t sound like the God Jesus was talking about.

His response was for me to read it again because I seemed to have missed something. Needless to say, I never made it to the ministry.

And because I could not find the answers in the Baptist church, I went looking elsewhere. Eventually, I was beyond the realms of Christianity. Islam, like Christianity, is based on the Jewish faith. It is different, for sure, but not as different as most people make it out to be. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam seem to dislike each other because they are so much alike. Like three children fighting over dad’s inheritance.

The Hindu religion was quite a refreshing change from the western religions but their many-headed pantheon of gods still has one supreme deity… all the rest stem from that one. It is very similar to a lot of the religious systems in the Americas.

Speaking of which, the Native American religions are closer to shamanism and spirituality than a strictly “one god” type of religion.

After a while, I found myself leaning more toward atheism because I could not see where God lay in any of the religions – rather there seemed to be too many of Him. And most of the religions have this concept that theirs is the only one true religion. Hand in hand with this notion was that if you did not follow their outlines to salvation, you were doomed to purgatory.

Which is one thing I don’t really think God would do.

Eventually, though, I found that atheism was not very satisfying. Even with my strong foundations in science, there was really no answers to be found there. Despite what the learned scientific community claimed: there was definitely something behind this universe of a spiritual nature.

Coming back through the realm of spiritualism, I uncovered foundations that led me back to the Almighty – though one at quite a remove from traditional religions. And from this growth, I came to understand that all the religions in the world are right – as right as they can be – at least for the people involved in them. If the religion did not answer some need in the person, they probably would not exist.

And God is fine with this. All roads lead to Him, after all, for He is everything in the universe. How could we not be led in His direction?

And if people made some mistakes along the way, no problem.

I don’t think time is really an issue for Him. He has all eternity and – as some have observed – there is no place else for us to go. In our own way and our own time we will all find our way back.

If only we could stop trying to force other people to take our path. Like I said, all roads lead back to Him anyway. Relax, mind your own steps, and let everyone else take the road they want, long or short.

The journey is as important as the destination. He created it so it must be important.

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