I personally believe everything happens for a reason and that fate plays a major role in our daily lives. I also think that Karma applies to everyone! If you treat people like crap, tell lies, cheat, steal or just be an asshole; it will come back and bite you in the ass. Maybe not today, but inescapably it will hunt you down and get retribution.
My parents always taught us right from wrong, to be respectful, and obey the golden rule; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” At the time I had no idea the “golden rule” was a well-known principle of Christian living. I did my homework without being told, helped around the house constantly with chores and my mum said I was always 10 going on 40 years old.
One of her fondest memories is of me when I was about five. We were in the supermarket and there was a child lying on the floor having an emotional meltdown thrashing around and screaming at the top of his lungs. Apparently his mother wouldn’t buy him some candy, big surprise! I just stood and silently watched in fascination as this child shrieked without an end in sight. His poor mother was embarrassed beyond belief and trying desperately to get him to calm down. After a few minutes I walked away and asked my mum what he was doing and why? I couldn’t understand what was going on because I had never had a temper tantrum according to her. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of why he was doing it and what he hoped to accomplish. Yes, I know now I was an unusual child.
When I was growing up my parents divorced when I was about eleven and my father moved out so my teen years were mainly influenced by my mother, grandmother and grandfather. We were never introduced to religion or taken to church ever! Hell I never set foot in an actual church until I went on vacation to a small town in Crediton located in Devon, England. The church is called Crediton Parish Church and dates back to 1230s. When we walked by what initially intrigued me was the ancient graveyard beautifying the front lawn with crumbling gravestones dating back centuries. It was mid-afternoon and the place was empty. When we entered, it took my breath away! How could a building this old, still be standing and yet retain its original beauty? Keep in mind Vancouver is a modern city and we have nothing that even slightly compares to this.
At this point in my life my only religious sources have been an introductory art history class in college and watching the television show Supernatural. Yes feel free to giggle, I totally give you permission to! It has been something that never really crossed my mind until my friend Anthony and I ended up chatting about religion one night. I think it is accurate to say he was flabbergasted I had zero religious influences in my life! I joked saying I am a “religion virgin” and untainted by any religious beliefs, making me a little unique.
One thing led to another and I was totally shocked to find out the “Golden Rule” actually had a Christian association; I just figured my parents were attempting to raise their children with values into proper adults. I basically interrogated him on all aspects of his Christian faith and bless his heart he was patient and answered all my questions, no matter how stupid I felt they were. I remember asking him if he prayed each day and how do you pray; did he go to church; has he ever received a sign from God; and my personal favorite, how does Christianity feel about tattoos as piercings. The last question had personal meaning for me since I have numerous piercings and tattoos, which have always held great significance to me. I love being distinctive and not fitting the standard mould. He sent me a helpful link that answered the 20 most popular religious questions as a starting point.
My next question blew my mind! I always assumed there was only one bible, one grand book that all religions referenced. Again I know you are smirking to yourself. What can I say? This is something I am totally ignorant about. He enlightened me and said the bible is composed of 66 books! He explained about the Old Testament and the New Testament, which I interpreted as an original movie with a sequel. Relate to what you know folks! It was safe to say at this point my curiosity was peaked and I could feel another experiment brewing in my mind.
My train of thought when I want to learn something totally foreign to me is to buy or download a book, so my next step seemed like an obvious one. To ITunes I went in search of a Bible App! Why the hell not? ITunes has everything else so a bible should be a no brainer. To my pleasant surprise I found a great one called “Bible Gateway.” It was like a new found toy for me. I told Anthony I was actually excited to read the Bible! Yes you heard me right! I know I sound like a geek, but I don’t care.
I doubt any of you are, but if you are looking for a top notch Bible App I highly recommend it! You can read ANY of the 66 books, gives a verse of the day, can write notes, highlight and favorite sections with meaning, navigate through chapters and verses and even use an audio option. Look at me I sound like I know what I am talking about! Depending on my time constraints, I have been doing my best to read a chapter each day and I have to say I am not turned off by it and I am actually enjoying the story. It’s like all these little snippets of religion I have heard referenced in my life are coming together and making sense, instead of just being random gibberish to me.
In regards to praying, if I am being honest with everyone, I think it is safe to say I have actually prayed before. Maybe indirectly to God, but since I had no idea how to pray I never recognized or acknowledged it before. Who was I praying to then; I have no idea because I never really thought about it. If I analyse it now, I must on some level believe in something or someone, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it. Perhaps deep down, I want to believe in something, I just didn’t have the knowledge before? I think it is safe to say I am officially freaking myself out right now!
The next phase of the experiment is to go on a field trip and check out an actual church. My mum suggested Easter would be a prime time to do this and see everything in all its glory and get the full experience. I think she is probably right, so planning is in the works as we speak. I was just advised to do some research first to find the right fit.
Through all my lengthy discussions with Anthony he said to take away the following, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.” He said to love God, and your fellow man and it all resonates there. According to him everything flows from love, which to me is beautiful in itself!
“Were the Beatles onto something profound – and biblical – in 1967 when they sang “All You Need Is Love”?