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A Fork In The Road


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Some time back, the road on my journey to spiritual awakening came to a fork. The road I took turned out to be the right choice, leading me away from traditional Catholicism and into a different way of viewing God, reality, and my place in the world. It lead me to this forum, and most recently, it lead me (at the tender age of 52) to seek a MDiv and apply for ordination in the Universal Anglican Church.

 

During the past month or so, I have been reading a lot of Borg's books: The Heart of Christianity, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (to name a few); and books on different kinds of spirituality and different spiritual paths. The odd thing is, at some point in my very traditional upbringing or in my own pursuit of knowledge, I must have been exposed to many of the themes in these books. Little, if any, of it is new to me. What IS new, however, is the way Borg and these other authors express things. Its like my head knew this, but it didn't penetrate into my heart or into my spirit. I "get it" now. Oh, that's not to say I understand it all - good grief, I would be a guru on a mountain top if that were true! But I understand things at a soul-level now that I never did before.

 

This turning, this fork, has lead me to a place inside myself that I wish i had known so much sooner. I feel I've gained a kind of wisdom that I never had before. I've had doubts, I've been through some dark places, and I've struggled. But honestly, I've grown. I'm not too sure its a road less traveled, but this new path has definitely enriched me.

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I am very glad for you Yvonne that things have turned out the way they have. I genuinely envy people that have a strong faith and feel comfortable with their meaning in life. I struggle with this.

 

Much of what the likes of Borg say resonates with me too and helps me understand why I thought the way I did when I left Christianity all those years ago. He puts the words to my foggy thoughts so to speak.

 

I do often wish that I found a different kind of Christinianity when I was 20 or so rather than just throwing out the baby with the bathwater. There are some things I miss about belonging to a Church (although I couldn't even imagine returning to the church I grew up in!).

 

That said, it seems like there's too much water under the bridge now and I'm in a situation where I don't think I even believe in God anymore, and certainly not a heavenly father sitting on a throne choosing to intervene in our lives when he sees fit (which was the God I grew up with). Maybe it's nostalgia or maybe it's something whispering to me, but I am open to there being a God of some kind (I do often think there are some things spiritual and/or unexplainable which leaves the door open IMO for the existence of something beyone what we know). So I enjoy reading and participating here to see where things go over time.

 

Cheers

Paul

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Paul - I definitely went through my own periods of agnosticism and even - for a minute or two - atheism. I'm no way saying things will change for you, I can't know that at all. I went looking. On purpose. Because I kept feeling that whisper you mentioned. I still have doubts, because I cannot ignore intellectual integrity. Its just become slightly easier to allow mystery.

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enjoyed reading your post, Yvonne. i too have found great peace of mind on this new 'path'. it is such a relief to find that there are others who, rather than throw the baby out with the fundamentalist bathwater, are keeping their christianity, yet with a new way of looking at it.

 

Paul - i share many of your feelings. for a long while i wanted to have nothing more to do with religion and didnt feel there was a god. after starting on this path to regain something of my christianity i really have focused on a few statements that i am comfortable to make. namely - 'i am open to the existence of God' and 'the teachings of Jesus make sense to me and are worth following.' I can say nothing more than that with conviction. I cannot make a statement about what god does or what he is like as it would only be my speculation. I have been reading the bible again and having been getting a lot of good from it, but it is only with the knowledge that it is not 'god breathed' that i can do this. I have been in discussions with the pastor of my church, and although he would like to convince me of bible inerrancy, jesus is god etc he feels i should remain part of the church no matter what i believe. I suppose for me i have to become comfortable with uncertainty and simply continue my path of following christ and trying to live out what he teaches.

 

Jonny

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'i am open to the existence of God' and 'the teachings of Jesus make sense to me and are worth following.'

 

I guess that's about where I am at Johnny. Much of what is attributed to Jesus makes sense to me and I feel comfortable admitting that these days. Whilst it doesn't convince me of the existence of God, I believe I am at least 'open' to the experience.

 

Sometimes I have that genuinely feeling that 'all is well', or I just 'connect' with nature even if only for a split second, or smemtimes in the company of good friends things just seem 'joyous'. Maybe that's a 'God moment'. I don't know, but I'll take them when I can get them!

 

And I am definitely a lot more comfortable with uncertainty these days. Whilst it took a while to shrug the fundamentalist fears that revisted me few years ago, I'm pretty much over them nowadays. Reading and learning more about PC and using a different lense to look at religion and the bible, has made that much easier.

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Yvonne, It makes me happy that you found a gold fork and used it nicely. Thank you for sharing your journey and enlightenment with us. May we all spread the light even when it flutters.

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Who among us haven't at least at some time in some way expressed that feeling, I wish I had known that sooner, known what I know now back then, realized that long before, how different my life might have been....certainly I have, in some really big ways.

But at some point I also realized this is kind of like, upon having successfully completed the course in introductory algeba, looking back over what you know about the subject now that you didn't when you began the course, and thinking, if only I had known that back then, I could have gone right on into intermediate algebra instead, and saved myself a whole semester in the math I've got to get through for my degree.

 

Most of the time, wishing we had known back then what we know now, thinking how different the course of our life may have had we realized something sooner, is to fail to consider that what we know now is BECAUSE of what we did back then, and for that, is how we've come to know what we know now.

 

Jenell

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