Nov 25, 2022 |
Rector's Blog, Why I'm Religious and Mostly Ok with it| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Rector's Blog, Why I'm Religious and Mostly Ok with it
Let’s get the obvious reason out on the table first: I am religious because I grew up religious and it feels very natural to me. I left church for a while and stopped being religious. This happened when I decided I could not be part of an organization that wasn’t gay-friendly (which is the language we used at the time). But when I recommitted myself to the Christian faith and found a church compatible with my values, becoming religious again seemed very natural. I was raised with the understanding that believing in God meant making specific and regular time for that relationship a basic part of my life. It was easy not to be religious when I wasn’t sure I believed in God, but once, as an adult, I realized I believed – finding practical ways to practice that belief just made sense to me.
I want to be clear that this is not the same as saying religion is comforting. I hear people say that religion is comforting, and I guess if your goal is to have something that reinforces the notion of life after death and a benevolent force in the universe, then yes that is comforting. It actually is. But my experience of being religious has often been very inconvenient. It is demanding. Being religious has forced me to confront ideas that challenge and upset me, that push and confuse me. Religion means having to deal with and be invested in other people even when I don’t want to.
Another reason I am religious is that I cannot always be spiritual. As I said, I used to be spiritual but not religious. I had a spiritual awakening in my younger days, and it was not in a church – it was on a cliffside trail overlooking a beautiful body of water and it was deeply mystical and a moment of deep spiritual awe.