If it wasn’t clear in the title, I am not religious. I was never brought up in a religious family and although I’ve been to church, went to a Jewish nursery school and followed the Buddhist principles from a certain amount of time, I have never conformed to religion. The reality of the situation is that I probably never will follow a religion, it’s simply not in my nature.
I may not have a religion, but that does not mean I don’t try my hardest to learn and understand the word of faith and religion. An example of this is yesterday and today I went to a youth and young adults convention. I had been invited by a good friend of mine and had decided to go for the experience, and what an experience it was.
The conference had two guest speakers and spanned over yesterday evening and most of today. Multiple interesting topics, ideas, themes and stories arose during each pastor’s preaching. Some ideas and things said I agreed with and others I didn’t – and that’s okay. I went in with an open mind, met some amazing people that I had an amazing time with and learnt and heard some pretty cool things. I’m not a changed woman, I’m not converted and I will continue to be agnostic – if anything the conference pushed me more to be an agnostic than anything else.
This may sound strange. How could being in a room filled with two thousand people who believe and spread the word of what they believe to be God make me even more certain that I do not and will not conform to a religion? Simple, I did not believe nor feel what both of those guest pastors spoke about experiencing and believing, but that doesn’t make them wrong. Even though I didn’t feel or believe it that doesn’t mean the other 1999 lives didn’t. Lives were touched in that room this weekend and I can’t deny it, I saw it on their faces and I felt it in their breath. I could not, however, sing the same song as them for I am a completely different bird in itself.
The most important thing about giving someone or yourself the label of agnostic is that you are wholeheartedly admitting you don’t know, that you don’t have the answer and that can be one of the scariest things in life. Saying that I don’t know doesn’t make me wrong. It also doesn’t make me untruthful but saying I do know wouldn’t make me wrong either. If you had asked me a year ago and I would have – without a skip in my words – told you that I was an atheist. The truth is I’ve had too many weird things happen in my life to say that there is nothing out there. You may call it God, or Allah or the many forms God takes in the Hindu religion, you can call it Buddha or Zeus, you can all it Odin or Devine intervention. I call it energy and I think energy doesn’t need to be explained – it just needs to be accepted.
My biggest take away from this short-lived journey is that you can never stop learning about something. Whether it be religion or creationism or evolution or even your dog’s breed. I will, however, bring it back to religion. No matter whether you were born into a religion or just joined a new religion, whether you believe in nothing or everything or just simply don’t know – never, NEVER settle for one thing. Learn, read and ask questions, go to a conference or a church, or a mosque or even a synagogue. Stop by the temple or pick up a book on Buddha. The biggest reasons we have wars between religion is because of fear and because people don’t take the time to stop and learn.
I challenge you to stop and learn about a new religion this week and you may surprise yourself at what you learn. I will never stop seeking knowledge on new and old religions but that does not mean I am wrong.