Before I even begin, I would like to apologize if this post seems random or disjointed. It is a rainy Monday, a slow day at work, and some random thoughts have been running through my head.
Every day on the way to work, I become stalled at a traffic light outside of a church. At this time, a support group has just left out, and the attendees congregate outside, smoking, and chatting. A few people leave right away, but the majority of the group hang around. It is interesting to look at the diversity within the crowd. To me, this is proof that many commonalities exist among various ages, ethnicities, lifestyles, and personality-types. It is encouraging to see these people exude the type of light that only comes from the satisfaction of feeling understood. Not everyone has a support group to attend every day, but in my opinion support is a human need – whether or not one is giving or receiving. Seeing this group of people who I assume are struggling with and conquering issues on a daily basis, look positive and genuinely engaged with each other makes me feel better about the world. I continue to have faith in people and this faith is what gives me hope for the future and the fact that I am bringing a child into the world.
This building serves as a meeting place, and the people in this group (I assume) are not attending a religious function, I like to think that people “get” the type of experience which some people go to church to attain. I would not consider myself a deeply “religious” person. I am Christian and I believe in God. However, I would like to note that I am open to all views and perspectives as there are far more commonalities among different religions, than there are differences.
I believe that religious experiences or one’s “relationship with god” is a personal experience. Maybe teaching the literary movement of transcendentalism has made me think more about this in recent years, but I believe strongly believe in the power of individuality. I attempt to live by the morals which are so often outlined in the stories from the Bible. However, I do not rely on rituals, nor do I believe that anyone can direct me on how to repent for my mistakes. I think this is personal, and is received through thought and reflection. With that said, I also believe that community is in fact a large part of the religious experience and I think that sharing and supporting, and the act of not judging are the traits which form a community of believers.
Sorry for the religious tangent. I am surprised that I actually mentioned the topic as I rarely write or speak about my spirituality. I guess I just wanted to reinforce the human need for compassion, direction, or simply education that is so often obtained through interacting with others — whether this is being done while sitting in a pew or on the couch in your friend’s basement.
So whether your community of believers might be an AA meeting, a softball team, or a church congregation, it is important to engage with others. At this time, I am not sure that I have a community of this kind and am unsure of where to look. I do possess the urge to be part of something greater than myself but truly do not know how to satisfy this need. I guess I need to start a search. Wish me luck.