faith- NOT religion at nautilus teachings

 

every day
HE comes to me
every day
i talk to
HIM
in the smallest
of ways
in the tiniest of decisions
there
HE is.
not
religion
but
faith…
yes,
to some
God = religion
to me
God = faith
the big question is
can they be separate?
my answer
is
YES.
Religion is about beliefs –
how you pray
what you can
and cannot do
rituals
repeated mantras
supposedly bringing
you closer to God
to forgiveness
to healing
to grace…
but
faith
is not that.
sure
faith
is full of
unconditional love
healing
forgiveness
trust
and the knowing
someone-
God-
is always by your side
holding you
guiding you
leading you …
yet when you look
at the many different
denominations of religion
there are many differences
in exactly how
one should worship
be forgiven
and practice
their chosen ‘labeled’ denomination…
no matter if you
sit in silence for hours
praying to be filled
with the holy word,
find yourself on bended knee
week after week
repeating old mantras
or walk every day
knowing
no matter what
God is your friend
we
are
all
the
same…
but
are
we?


i am buoyant
because of my faith,
not my religion…
i was raised
in the United Church of Christ
went to Methodist churches
and Lutheran Schools…
did they differ?
was i lost?
NO
i attended free churches
non-denominational sanctuaries
i danced in the pews
listened to rock bands
was baptized as a baby in church
as a youth in a lake
an adult in the ocean
and still
my foundation
never changed…
i knew
100%
God
had my back…
so when any one person
begins with,
‘I am (lutheran, methodist, catholic, buddhist …)’
i
think to myself,
‘ok…
you have labeled yourself,
but tell me,
how
deep is your faith?’
do you talk to God?
read the Bible?
can you walk into a room of
‘christians’
and feel you are home?
or do you feel,
like me,
LOST, knowing you don’t ‘speak’ religion …
you speak faith.
i have known since i took my first breath
with God,
I
am
home…
i never questioned it
never doubted it,
i just knew
i was safe
in His presence…
my parents never
had a name for it
we never felt
different
or odd
we just knew
faith
sustained us…
but today
faith seems
to be-
almost
unmentionable.
5 years ago
in my tiny studio
as i was teaching a class
a few women and i
began a quiet conversation
about faith…
as i rounded a table
a person spoke up to me,
‘i did not come here to hear religion…’
i was stunned
mad
and thought
wtf?
this person,
never
came back…
a few years later
i began teaching
a bi-monthly faith night.
i had a small group
and it was wonderful
but,
it was short lived
and
once more
i began to believe
faith
was
taboo….


but alas,
it was not faith
they were afraid of
it was
religion
being preached to,
having to sit in a box
once a week
and be told
we are all going to hell
if we don’t repent
for all our sins,
sitting through
bible study classes,
putting on nice clothes
and wasting part of their
precious sunday
in rituals they just don’t believe in…
for me
going to church
is a gift
that i choose to be a part of
some times.
i don’t punish myself if
i miss a week or two,
in fact i took
almost 10 years off
of being a part of
any church family
in order to delve
deeper into
the spiritual side of my faith…
i learned how to meditate
to pray
to forgive
to find joy
and happiness…
i needed a break to
learn what i already knew
no matter where i was
so
was
my
faith
and for me
as you know
faith = God…
i don’t need boxed religion
to reinforce the fact
that God loves me.
i go because of
the fellowship
the hugs
smiles
and acceptance,
i go because
i love the preachers message
and the fact that he sings
and it makes me giggle
i go because a few of my dear friends
also go and some weeks
it is our ‘chick time’…
wherever you are
today
tomorrow
next week
just any day
try having a little faith
in life
in the people
you love
in yourself…
faith does not have to equal God for you
you can have faith in the sun, moon, stars, ocean…
the most important thing
is finding
what sustains you
what gives you
the calm hug
i feel
when i sit
with God
knowing
now and forever,
“it
is
well
with
my
soul…”

 

Leave a Reply