Losing Your Religion? Maybe this will help


AND REM SANG,

Life is bigger
It’s bigger than you                                       
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no I’ve said too much
I set it up

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion

In 1993, after a lifetime of living a life that was completely consumed by ultra-conservative beliefs and doctrines, knowing that my church was the only true church on the planet that God was guiding with infinite wisdom, love and understanding, that my life changed forever.

I lost my faith, and church organization, because the leadership of the non-denominational sect of Christianity claimed, “We are not following Jesus the way we should be.  It’s time to change our doctrinal understandings.”

Perhaps this has happened to you in a more personal moment of enlightenment?  Maybe you’ve come to realize that the faith you grew up in was filled with human foibles, hypocrisy, outright deceit and hurtful, malicious lies?  Or maybe your church had a major media event that showed the primary leader of your brand of Christianity had some major character defects and your church died on the vine?

This is for those of you that, as the rock band REM sang, are “losing your religion.”

It is important for you, my readers, to know from what attitude of mind this true story is written.  True from my point of view—which is the only one I or you can have when we write unless we learn something else along the way.  I write this with an attitude of love and understanding.  I am not bitter, but rather, appreciative of the incredible opportunities that have graced my life.  I will not enter into arguments with those that do not appreciate my opinion, because this is just an opinion, from the experiences encountered on this journey.  Those who would, and will, oppose it have a perfect right to their opinion.

We mere mortals can only understand the lives we lead from the interpretations of our acquaintances, friends, family and ourselves.  These are the days of our lives and how we see them as the sun rises and the sun sets.

From my early years my dialogue with the Creator was open and honest.  I spoke and asked and prayed and hoped and even yelled that life would be interesting and everything would be done with the proper decorum and organization that any life should have—and so life happened.  God never spoke back, but perhaps the persona in the sky has enjoyed watching with interest?

I was able to attend a Bible college along with my two brothers.  The institution was located in Pasadena, California and voted the most beautiful campus in the U. S. three years running until the organization that held the competition withdrew our campus’ right to enter because the other colleges just couldn’t compete with the dominating beauty of Ambassador College.

After I graduated from the college in 1987, I married a fellow alumnus in 1988 and we started our journey in life moving from California in 1990 to the green Viking state of Minnesota.

I am a proud father of three beautiful teenagers at present.  I have a firstborn son, a second born daughter and a third born son who have wonderful futures ahead of them in whatever fields of professional endeavour they choose.  I wanted three kids and just in the order that they came so that my handsome sons could protect my princess of a daughter as they grew up in the American educational system.  A gentleman always protects the women and so my sons have.

In 2000, my wife and I realized we could no longer be married because of political, spiritual, familial and numerous other reasons that require no commentary but to say it was time for us to go our separate ways.  We divorced.

So for the last seventeen years I have walked along a path realizing that my membership of 28 years in a church that may, or may not, have been led by a higher power was my unique life experience, but that very likely, many of us have experienced the same thing, just on a different path, that is at the center of living with love.

It was here in these past years that I came to the realization that any higher power didn’t require token observances of strict legalism, membership to an organization or dietary laws to dictate what a loving human being living on the planet earth should do when it came down to worshipping deity.

I met people who loved life, who lived life and simply required communication and discourse now again to connect and share in the short mortal span that each of us has received.  I attended funerals for friends, not weddings so much and reconnected with many friends from days gone by.

I have filled my life with reading and writing and learning that life simply requires positive response.  Losing your religion shouldn’t shatter anyone—it should strengthen you to move ahead in your journey until it ends all on its own.  Life never needs help in bringing about conclusions.

I’ve had dear friends at the end of their religious life who couldn’t reach beyond the present.  The most drastic one of them jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco while others chose ropes or guns or arduous worry to bring an abrupt end to the chapters of their lives that seemed too dark to find light ahead, even if it was far ahead.  They each became books, works that remained unfinished—unfinished symphonies of life that were tossed away before they could realize their own magnificence.  Perhaps as a moth to the flame they simply needed to go out on fire…consumed…at the end of days…ashes to ashes?

It is my hope that as the Catholic faith has its struggles with pedophilia, as televangelists reveal their homosexual natures, as speakers of tongues realize clear communication may be more important, as each Wiccan or Jehovah Witness, Lutheran or Seventh Day Adventist, Taoist or Buddhist, Islamic Imam or Sephardic Jew can all come to the understanding of love for the short existence of each companion human being that we can all call our contemporaries.  For we are all but temporary—and maybe that’s the only con—so any reason to end it early, or bring about the end of another, is not a reason.  Not even when you’re losing your religion.

AND REM SANG,

Life is bigger
It’s bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no I’ve said too much
I set it up

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion

If you wish to read the whole story from my early years you can read my first book for free here http://cid-1814f8ece6be5ed3.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/The%20Godfollowers/The%20Godfollowers%20by%20Rand%20Zacharias.doc  Just click on the two blue mountains.  You should be able to then download The Godfollowers.

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Posted in 1. 1 Comment »

One Response to “Losing Your Religion? Maybe this will help”

  1. James Newby Says:

    Hey Randy,
    Just found you on LinkedIn; glad to know your still out there.
    Peace,
    James


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