Small? Medium? Or Large? - Belief Part One
Let’s be honest: some people believe and some people don’t believe.
You know what I mean…beeeeelieeeeeeeve.
I am a self-described Agnostic. Once I’ve said that to someone, what usually follows is, “I just don’t know,” but Merriam-Webster does a much more thorough job at denoting this word:
ag· nos· tic | \ag-ˈnä-stik, əg-\
Definition of agnostic (Entry 1 of 2)
1: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable
broadly: one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
2: a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something
ag· nos· tic | \ag-ˈnäs-tik, əg-\
Definition of agnostic (Entry 2 of 2)
1: of, relating to, or being an agnostic : involving or characterized by agnosticism
2: NONCOMMITTAL, UNDOGMATIC
3 usually used after a noun
a: not preferring a particular device or system
Let’s rewind: I’m from the Deep South where, in my child’s eyes, religion was (is?) a business. Even so, I had a very deep yearning – unmatched by my chronological years – to soak up all I could about religion. All religions. I used to strategically plan my weekends, my Sundays; I would make plans with friends because they were fun to be with, but also because they met certain criteria regarding their religious affiliation, i.e., I had yet to visit their home-church. ;-)
My grandma was religious, although I’m not exactly sure how she specifically identified, other than as Non-denominational. After I typed this, I fell down a very long, dark and narrow Internet rabbit hole in an attempt to identify the sect. Ah…to no avail. What I do know is this: she and most of my aunts and female cousins neither cut their hair nor wore pants, jewelry or makeup. They attended “meeting” every Sunday, but only within the homes of other members. I quite liked attending with my grandmother, and it seemed to bring her much joy as well.
Also, as I recall, once or twice per year a state-wide congregation would take place at a very large campsite. This was an elaborately planned week-long Assembly. It seemed to be the highlight of the year. The women would present their best Corning Ware and fancy metal molds lined with award-winning pies and casseroles or floating-fruit gelatins.
During Assembly, everyone worshipped together, testified, asked for healing, sang from the hymnals and reveled in good old-fashioned Christian fellowship.
Fast forward to now. November 2018.
Fast forward to the grown-up Lisa. The Founder of Guided by Grief – a movement created after the tragic loss of my son, Conner. Fast forward to Me: the author of Guided by Grief, a book I wrote because I was searching for “answers” after my loss.
I still don’t have answers, and I think that is, in part, why I’m writing this now. I am in Marrakech, Morocco. A land where culture, religion and prayer are all very sacred – more sacred than the Christianity that I know appears to be. In fact, I just called my driver here in Marrakech, and he is unavailable because he “went to pray.”
Religion is both necessary and beautiful, but there are bad bits and good bits, just as with anything in this world. I choose to see the good bits: the beauty, the solidarity, and the peace.
Even so, I am still searching.
Perhaps I’ll always be searching, which is not a bad thing.