Many who know me closely know my struggle with religion. Or rather... organized religion.
With a really difficult to understand end to 2014 - and so many questions for God, for life, for the Universe (which yes I capitalize as well) - I started January off with a little determination to try to understand, to have questions answered, and move forward.
For whatever reason, a duo of Jehovah's Witnesses came to my doorstep right at the beginning of the year wanting to chat. I remember my mom saying really awful things to these people when I was younger (sorry Mom, but you did) and I thought I'd listen for a bit. I did give them a warning that I'm not converting into anything and I am one of those people who questions everything. They accepted my challenge with a laugh and have come back to chat with me three weeks in a row. I think they like the challenge.
I am not becoming a Jehovah's Witness.
I asked them why they don't celebrate birthdays or Santa or anything that I hold dear to me and they answered that they choose to celebrate year 'round. That's fair I guess. They gave me a pamphlet to read and it starts out by saying "God wants people to enjoy life on earth." but then goes on to say that there's going to be an overthrowing of government and that God is going to come down and clear the earth of bad people (what if the bad people are enjoying their time on earth?) And so every time they come I ask about evolution and why they feel every word of the Bible is true. I don't. And so these ladies continue to come and I continue to question and realize that whenever we read anything, we can take things literally or we can take bits that we believe whole hearted and move on. "God wants people to enjoy life on earth." and enjoyment comes in so many forms - pure or sinful. It's all part of a world of some giant experiment.
A Facebook friend recommended I read a book called Holy Cow and it's a tale of an Aussie woman who has to move to India for her boyfriend's work and she's on a mission to learn of the various faiths in India - Muslim, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism. All the religions share a common core - decent human values and being good. But there is this one line in the book that hit me like a rocket. The scene takes place with the main character, Sarah, talking to an elderly woman about being Hindu and the woman, Gayatri, tells Sarah that to find her faith, she should walk 108 times around a tree. Then Gayatri's daughter tells her she should feed a cow for a year. And thinking this is all quite silly, Sarah is going to move on but then Gayatri says to her, "I like your Jesus and such, and there's no doubt he was a great sadhu, most likely trained in India, but you know, he was wrong about God. God isn't a judgmental giant sitting up in heaven, it's a force within us all - we are lightbulbs in the electrical system of the universe." Wow, wow, wow. That hits home for me big time.
Be it God, Allah, the Universe, I truly feel that they are one in the same. And as beings we have power. So every time I kiss my kids, or swim in the ocean, or tell Peter I love him, I am celebrating. I am a light bulb. I have power.