Yesterday, I was asked a question that, for once, I gave a knee-jerk response to, rather than thinking about my response, and interestingly enough, it was probably the absolute truth. The question was, “Why don’t you become a priest?” And my response was, “Because then I’d have to choose just one religion.”
I attend both a liturgical and a Biblical church here in Troy. I can appreciate the history, traditions and majesty of a Catholic service. I can understand (although not appreciate quite as much) those who attend churches simply because they have an undefined need for something in their lives, but they really aren’t interested in exploring it to an extent that they actually commit to something that would be too much of an effort. These are the ones I think have an undefined God gene – which is a topic that fascinates me entirely. I can see where Biblical churches have an appeal to both the hearts and minds of their congregations, where people are there because they believe, and not because they’re expected to be there, or because their parents dragged them to church all their lives and they don’t know any better. It’s where people will stop and pray with you, rather than for you, and that’s a completely different feeling of belonging. It’s also where there is a great deal of patriarchy involved – and the role of women tends to be confined to certain areas. Not a bad thing – simply what is.
I have explored both Judaism and the Baha’i Faith with classes, deepenings and exploration of belief; I’ve touched on Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism (that a bit more because of my college roommate, who is also my son’s godmother), the Babis, Shinto, Sikhism and Jainism. I’ve explored a variety of the philosophy of Druidism, and overviews of many pagan religions – and appreciate the awareness of God that can be found in daily, everyday, ordinary activities and things. Other than Shinto (an ancestor worship), I can see the paths that lead to God – one Supreme Deity that reigns over all. They’re not all my path – my path tends to be through Christianity (with the occasionally appreciation for and incorporation of other words and traditions that speak to me), but again – how do you choose just one? My path has always been this hodgepodge of tradition and spirit found in many different denominations. Who am I to say – this is the “one true path,” and there is no other? Not my job – by any means!
My role in life has often been that of catalyst – I’m here to make you think. And oftentimes, that thinking is not comfortable, but it will help you to find the path that is absolutely right for you. And I often wonder if that isn’t how the God gene activated in me – to explore that variety of paths, and be able to talk with each person in the place where they are, as they figure out where they need to go to feel that gene fulfilled in their lives. I don’t know. I do know that I enjoy my own explorations. 🙂