"I love when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit." -Kahlil Gibran
I've labeled myself a Christian all my life.
I actually found the Spirit of Christ when I was 12. It changed my life. I was raised to know right from wrong and follow the rules. I didn't know why I did until I really knew Christ. Since that time, I've done my best to question my beliefs, research my religion, and argue respectfully with my peers about their own faith. Sometimes, I have even more questions about what I consider the ultimate guide for life. And sometimes, it reinforces that deep down feeling of "I just know this is what I'm supposed to be doing." You can't explain it really. Faith is funny that way. It's not something that can be taught, argued about or a rule to follow. It just...is.
There are many quotes trying to explain faith. "If you believe, it will happen." "If you have faith, no explanation is necessary." I don't buy it. I'm not a scientist, and I don't need facts, statistics, or something tangible in order to explain why I am here; living, breathing, hurting. But, I do need to hear it all. From the well known religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism to lesser known faiths such as Cao Dai, Shinto, and Jainaism. The fact is that most of these religions have a creed of non-violence, a path towards less greed, and a practice of helping others. It makes me realize that my religion isn't the only one that wants to make the world a better palce.
I want to be like that.
I want to be less selfish and more thankful, less worried about self and have a greater concern for others. I want to have my own form of Salah every day. Salah is practiced to totally focus the mind on God and have a time of complete thankfulness and worship...five times every day. I have a difficlut time remembering to thank God for a new day when I wake up in the morning! I want to have as my creed "True believers are those that feel fear in their hearts every time God is mentioned." Not because He is something to literally be scared of, but because I am so fearful that I am not doing enough for Him.
Don't get me wrong, I am a Christian. I believe in the Bible and it's prophecy and commandments. I believe that Jesus died on the cross to save my sins all those years ago. I believe that God will come back to earth one day and take me back to heaven with Him to live forever. I'm not ashamed of my beliefs. I don't take them lightly. But, I do question them. I do live like I'm trying to prove them to everyone....especially to God. I am grateful that as a young child I was not taught to believe things just because someone said it was true. Questioning and research was okay in my house. I was supposed to doubt, fear, and pray for understanding. That's something that I should be thankful for five times every day. Otherwise, I wouldn't be the person I am. A person who tries her very best to do what she can for others, who loves her family and friends with her whole heart, and a girl who has a fearful heart that she isn't using even the smallest amount of her God given ability to be what He wants her to be. So see, in my life...
Jesus is pretty much winning.