Clarity of Faith

There’s been a video going around on Facebook recently that shows some beagles being released outside to run around a grassy yard. The dogs had been used for animal testing since birth, and had spent their lives in cages. Their joy was unmistakable as they ran around the yard, stopping only briefly to share their excitement with a fellow dog pals.

I can relate to those beagles and the freedoms they now enjoy

For over 40 years, I’ve allowed someone else to tell me what is and isn’t permissible, down to my thoughts, actions, and words. Then there’s a number of inside baseball rules I was expected to follow that included selecting the appropriate color (white) of church shirt. Before long you have a group of people who begin to behave and sound the same.

This level of control works for many. There’s safety in rules and structure. Keep these rules and you can expect these blessings. And if the blessing don’t come, it’s because you didn’t have enough faith.

Instead of looking to others for how I should act I’m using my own mind, and it’s working out surprisingly well. I’m not afraid to try new things, and explore subjects I was told for decades to avoid. I feel like those beagles whose world has expanded from a tiny cage to a large field of lush green grass, ready to be explored.

Some people call what I’m going through a faith crisis. But I’d call it a clarity of faith. The more I research, the more I realize how much I was living someone else’s life. It’s never too late to begin living your own life.

There’s no going back in the cage.

Comments

  1. I knew you questioning from reading a post here or there, but I seemed to have missed a lot of your posts about the changes in your life. Your in my feed reader (and I’m using it again!) so I hope that doesn’t happen in the future. I just read up on your ‘church’ posts. Good for you to do what feels right to you, even though it means stepping away from people you care about.

    I spent my first 30+ years in a not very religious Jewish family. I went to religious school, got confirmed (which is basically a graduation from religious school in 10th grade) and went to temple for the two big holidays each year. I started questioning if I believed in God by high school, and struggled with wanting to live up to family traditions vs what I believed. A few years ago I decided to stop practicing any of the religious traditions I had been doing for years – keeping dietary rules during Passover and going to temple for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I still attend holiday family dinners, including the Passover sedar, but that’s really about being with family more than recognizing the holiday. Luckily for me, my family isn’t religious and the subject of God never comes up. I think your path has been much harder.

    Appreciate you sharing and respect you even more for taking a hard path.

  2. Steve Cook says:

    I too was in a cage, though I claimed non-conformity, I did a lot of conforming. So my faith was not MY faith. Since I did a reset and started looking from a new perspective, I’m finding a true joy in my devotion and connection with God.

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