I am really enjoying where this Journey of Faith has been taking me so far this year. I can’t believe it’s already been about 6 weeks since I came to the idea of learning about different religions, faiths, and beliefs, educating myself on where they came from and how they got to this point, and the many differences and similarities between them all.
Tonight was day three of a six week course on Islamic Thought and Culture. I knew nothing about this religion before this course, and now I am in awe of the similarities to other religions I know of and how many of them have a connection running through them. I love learning so much that I get an adrenaline rush or a high off of the process. I love sinking my teeth into this subject and seeing how it all feels right within this journey I am on. I am where I am supposed to be; wondering, pondering, and researching the questions about how these faiths intersect, and seeing how we aren’t all that different after all. Maybe we, as people with differences who can meld into communities, can create communities that embrace each other’s religions.
It was not long after I decided which religions or faiths I would learn about each month that I realized there would be no possible way I could stay dedicated to this timeline. How can I just learn about one religion this month when the third religion I have listed is having a festival I want to attend and write about, or this person from the end of the year’s faith is only in town in the summer. I can’t possibly expect myself to be so rigid. Religions, faiths, and beliefs are what they are because of the people who uphold them, speak about them, celebrate them, and live them in their heart and their lives. One cannot put that to a timeline. But I needed to have some structure to all of this learning in my life. How can I make both happen at once?
I have decided to not make the months rigid, but use it as a guideline for when I don’t have something in particular to go to or see on a certain date. Reading and reviewing books, journals, and religious texts can be done at any time during the months, and may stay within my loose guidelines. But I have so much to see, places to go, and people to meet. I can’t wait to schedule in more interviews, find more resources, walk into buildings of faith of all kinds, and enjoy food, clothing, languages that are completely new to me. I want to experience the joy of people talking about their rituals and customs, hearing their views of my beliefs, and meeting people who are intrigued to know about this journey I am on.
Along the way I will be able to tell my own story. I will find the words I need to tell you about how I came to this journey of mine. I will tell you about the good things and the bad, and somewhere in their my own history will come to light – both to you and to me. There comes a time when some people look back on their own life and can’t see the steps they have taken to get thus far. I need to look back because I need to appreciate who I am and how I became me. Through my learning about me, I can better teach my daughter about her mother. My journey in this life is not just my own. There are many people who have come into my life and, whether they know it or not, are an integral part of who I am. To this I give them thanks.
So, my dear readers, you are also coming on this journey with me. I hope you enjoy the adventurous ride that is to come. It’s been an incredible one getting to this point. I’m glad for your company.
Once again, it is Passionately Written…