While growing up, it seemed that everyone was more concerned with the business of everyday living and seeing to their chores than discussions about the meaning of life or philosophy. I was half hoping that the elders during my childhood could shed some light about it during conversations. I didn’t attend any formal classes for religious studies either. However I was exposed to some form of religious study through illustrated works. I wasn’t convinced by the ceremonies and rituals of religious practices either. Practices that appeared to me as discriminatory, overbearing and ridiculous. I say all this without being blasphemous.
Yet somehow I felt empty. There was something missing. It was as if revelation hid behind an invisible curtain. I sought answers to my questions about existence and the meaning of life but I could not find those at home in my childhood years. Furthermore, I could not relate to religious dogma that if you do not subscribe to a particular line of uncompromising belief system, then you’re hell bound.
I can understand the need for mercy, repentance and purgatory if you need a transition place to set yourself right before venturing to a higher place. That makes sense. But I don’t believe in being compelled through the hardline posturing stance of “Swallow whole and believe all I say is true or else!”
Freewill and intelligence made us all thinking beings. We have the right and ability to weigh things before committing. I’m glad though that I am at peace and have found a great deal of those answers. Admittedly, I didn’t believe them all outright. It took time, maturity and circumstances to converge. I thought things over first and then only did I accept them. I didn’t need faith to be force fed unto me and I didn’t need to attend group gatherings or group classes either to be motivated. It was a personal encounter and effort.
Also through the privileged demonstration of grace and mercy tempered with self-discipline, amid a backdrop of uncommon circumstances, you could say that I managed in my own way to draw back that invisible curtain and had glimpses of wisdom of a higher power.