Sometimes you just have to find your faith on your own, and as I look back on my early life, I figured out why. I remember when I was little, I went to Sunday School while my parents went to regular services upstairs – this was at that little white church on S. Durland in Laurel. I had a children’s book of bible stories from the Old Testament, but back then, I didn’t fully grasp it.
As I grew older, being an 80’s teen, I listened to a lot of music on the radio, and enjoyed Cyndi Lauper quite a bit. I was riding my bike around, and one of the local police officers we all knew looked down at my shirt, and said I shouldn’t wear such things, as they are not pleasing to God.
I thought this was odd, as I remember other people saying “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, and “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. Well, who was this guy judging me? As far as I knew, wearing album art was not written as being unpleasing. After my parents stopped going to church, I did as well.
It wasn’t until I was 13 before I actually went to a church again, but those days were a far better experience. I found people who were loving and happy to share experiences. Some people still judged things, such as what music I listened to though. I didn’t understand why, but then that was back in the days when people were playing records backwards to see if there were Satanic verses being uttered.
Now, if you have ever done this, admittedly, it does sound pretty freaky, but you could have anyone singing the same lyrics, and it still sounds freaky sometimes. Do I really believe Satan is influencing these people? To me, I really have no idea. All I know is….you end up replacing record needles much more frequently when you do this.
One day, I had a couple of missionaries come up to my door, asking if I knew Jesus. Well, I learned quite a bit from what I knew growing up, so I knew Him somewhat. These people tried to witness to me about what they teach, which was Mormonism. After listening to what they had to say, I knew this did not go along with what I was taught, so after they left town, I knew they were trying to do good by what they believed, but it just didn’t jive with the Bible.
Even today, I really don’t swallow the whole Book of Mormon thing. That’s just me though.
Nowadays, so much religion is getting very political, and I don’t believe it was ever meant to be a political platform. People say “Well, you aren’t (x) unless you do (y)” even. Why the different denominations, even? There are times recently that I wish I knew those ancient languages and had access to the original scrolls, because we know the Word has been translated and re-translated countless times according to whoever is in charge at the time.
What do I believe as far as what He wants for us? Essentially, love one another as He loves us. To love Him with all your heart. To basically be good people, and practice being good as well as teaching others. The Old Testament teaches us the history of our world, and what the Lord had planned for us.
Then, the New Testament shows us the life of His son, Jesus, and what His plan is for us from that time forward. There will be those who disagree with me, and I respect that. Do I hate you for that? No. Hate is such a dark emotion, and it just sucks the life out of you.
I have faced what to me was heart-wrenching tragedy in my life in recent years, and a good friend told me I should pray and ask for Him to be there for me to help fill the huge hole in my heart, and He certainly did! Sometimes it takes deep personal tragedy to make you see what is important, and when I looked back on the pattern of my life and where I have been, I realized……He has ALWAYS been there for me, even when I wasn’t actively seeking Him out.
I am in the place I was meant to be. It took moving about on a journey, but when I returned, I ended up being where I was needed. I feel I was guided back, even if I didn’t see it before.
We don’t always know where our lives will take us, but I do know this…..I have the best pilot anyone could ever want.