This post is one I have been working on for weeks. It’s hard for me to come up with something like this because I am so unaccustomed to talking about it publicly.
Now, when people think of me, “devout” and “righteous” aren’t the first two words that come to mind. In fact, I doubt they come to mind at all. You see, I work very hard to separate my personal from my public life. My faith is a very personal thing to me. I was born and raised a Catholic and, despite my usual borderline contempt for strict guidelines and authority, for the most part I will adhere to that domination. I am not an avid church-goer, though I imagine that will change once Elizabeth is old enough to take to church regularly. I want her to get an understanding of the faith that I grew up in. Or, maybe she won’t like the Catholic Church, but perhaps a Baptist or Methodist service. It won’t matter to me, so long as she has faith in her life.
To the outside world, I am at best a secularist, at worst a bad Christian. I don’t openly discuss the subject of my faith (unless it is discussed on one the local radios shows I’m on, Natchitoches Blessings). It’s not out of fear of persecution or anything, it’s just personal. What happens between me and my God stays between me and my God. All too often, we see people who force their beliefs onto others and the result is never pretty. If someone wants to know about what I can believe in, they can ask.
However, having faith, in anything, is important. I don’t care what you believe in, just so long as you have something you can turn to in your darkest hour. There have been plenty of times I have had to break down in the middle of the day and just pray because I had so much on my chest, and prayer is nothing more than talking to God. He (or she or they) will be there for you. You know there is something that returns the love you feel for it, that you can trust and hold on to. Someone is there to give you support, whether you feel it or not. And, yes, you can even become truly inspired by it. Now, I know that some of my friends who end up reading this don’t have a religion at all, which is fine. The irony of atheism is that it is a belief structure that can also be helpful to those who take part in it. You cannot be a part-time atheist just like you can’t be a part-time Christian, Muslim, etc.
My faith is important to me. My God is important to me. They keep me going when nothing else can, when everything else seems pointless. We all have one of those moments, and it is how we deal with those moments that defines who we are, spiritually. Faith itself is the most important thing, not faith in a specific deity. I have no doubt that any person who is good and does good will end up in some eternal reward, no matter who they worship.
Of course, that last statement got me a C- on a paper in a religion class at a Catholic school, but that didn’t deter me too much.