Don’t be afraid to believe, but also don’t be afraid to question everything you have ever been told about religion
I have been a seeker my entire life, although I didn’t realize it until much later in my life. There is an old saying that God doesn’t leave you, you leave God, and this has been true for me during the course of my life and I have had a personal quest to find a way back since I was a lost teenager.
In my younger days at home with my mother, we visited many churches and were part of many religions, which I came to realize through the years are just different ways to seek and approach God.
My mother tried many churches, but she was eventually disappointed in each one, and my brothers and I were part of this progressive pilgrimage to find the perfect church, with the perfect group of worshippers, something that never existed, but never the less she kept looking until her final days.
We were Catholics as young kids, Baptists, Pentecosts, independents, and even attended a small black church because it was walking distance from our home. We were welcomed, we loved the music and hospitality, but we moved on from that one too.
The value in this was that I was exposed to different ways to seek out God and often sat with my mouth open in church marveling, or at times in terror, at the many different ways people decide to worship.
While this quest proved to be important in my never-ending search for questions that hadn’t even revealed themselves to me yet, there was never a final moment when I knew that this person, or this approach, was the answer for me.
Everyone at every church preached that their way was the only way, yet how could a God capable of creating this world of billions of people hand out so few keys to his door? Preaching absolutes always drove me away from any church, but I never lost the need to find the answers for myself, nor did I ever lose sight that I believed in a higher power, although I was often in my youth a terrible example of the true nature of a caring and giving God.
Perhaps the enlightenment that will come to you will be the same that eventually appeared to me: there is no one way to seek God, and most of what man says about God was said to benefit man, and the selfish course the writer or speaker wants you to take
This self-righteous position has little to do about recognizing that a higher power exists, and should be part of your life, and is more about man’s ego and need to control others through inciting a fear of a God that only this church or person knows, and if you simply follow this alleged conduit to the hidden gods of the universe, and send a big donation too, all will be revealed to you and you will be forgiven.
The personal enlightenment for me was when I used most of what was written by man as merely guides to help me along the journey and to rise above the pettiness in those books that create a life lived in someone else’s mold. There hasn’t ever been a day in my life without a conversation with God, but I had to seek Him on my own, and learn about what the universe has to offer someone willing to spend the time needed to dedicate his life to the quest.
During this search, I read the Bible, the Koran, a large number of Buddhists books, many writings on the teachings and interpretations of Jesus and a varied other litany of works on most of the major religions in the world. This search gave me confidence that the quest was valid, and to find God you have to rise above man and seek Him personally.
My life has been blessed, and when I have failed there was always another solution or way to move forward that presented itself when most needed; to me the touch of forgiving God who once again forgave me for stupidity and bailed me out of yet another seemingly hopeless predicament.
My business success has been based upon a weird eclectic variety of talents that have kept me fed and financially able to live life on my own terms for most of my adult life. Whatever creativity, talent or skills I possess I always felt I owed for and this always led me back to focusing on what I had to do every day, which was to help people change their lives when what they were doing just wasn’t working for them
There is a higher power, but the journey to find Him will, and should, take the rest of your life. Don’t be afraid to believe, but also don’t be afraid to question everything. Your life has to be your own journey and make sure that part of that exploration is seeking a higher truth not ruined by any single man or religion.