Faith is a tricky thing. It comes down to one simple fact. You either have it, or you don’t. For someone like myself it’s a very difficult concept to grasp. I wasn’t raised with religion, nor was I intentionally raised without it. My parents decided that it was up to me to choose what I believed in, with the hope that I would choose what was right for me. The area I grew up in was very WASPy, to say the least. My best friend growing up had a wonderful and very religious family, and said to me a few times that I was a great Christian. It was partially a joke, knowing that I had chosen the atheist route for myself. I had very little understanding of religion and almost no formal/firsthand knowledge of any type of religion. Growing up in the area I did, however, I was exposed to very Christian values throughout my formative years. My mother had guided me to pick my own path by teaching me at the core that as long as I was the best person I could be, and treated others with respect that it really didn’t matter what I believed. To this day that really is the value at the core of any religion. Each religion seems to me to have its stories and roots in the same tenets.
I’ve never been able to understand what religion does for people or how they could believe the stories, or in a God that clearly just isn’t available as a concrete entity. Science, I decided was my religion. I was never able to put together why anyone in their right mind would believe that there is an all-powerful and unseen being that made everything. It still seems preposterous to me, even with all the unexplainable wonders in the known universe. It still makes little sense to me, although the older I’ve become and the more I understand of the world around me I still don’t have the pieces to put together the universe we live in. As with mathematics and science, religions are based on certain givens. It wasn’t until my mid-30s that I had the epiphany that my lack of belief in a higher power must be just as bizarre to someone that does have that belief. That belief is what I now know as faith. This nebulous concept of faith eluded me my whole life. I have it, my faith is just different. I have very strong convictions of what is right and wrong that fall in line with most organized religions and the laws of the society that I have chosen to live in.
The epiphany – Faith is faith.
You either have it, or you don’t. It really is as simple as that. I woke up one morning and said to my beautiful and wonderful fiancée. “I get it!” It came down to realizing that people with faith probably look at my perspectives and think, “What’s wrong with him? Why can’t he see that God exists. It’s just crazy.” It really is as simple as that. It’s not even something that I need to understand. Faith at its core is such a strong part of our consciousness that it literally is impossible to explain to someone. Every single person has to figure it out for themselves. You can guide someone to understand what their faith is, but you can’t comprehend it for them.ƒ