I remember from as young as age 6 to age 25 going to Church quite frequently. I suppose half of that time period I bought into the teachings and ideology’s of Christianity. I went through things with friends who believed the same things I did. Always knowing that this part of my life probably would never change. And I was completely ok with doing things blindly without questions. Giving little bit of resistance, and just going forward apart of something that I figured was bigger than me. I always assumed that to be a good person, you had to attend some sort of Church function frequently. Otherwise, you were some how not all that you could be as a human being.
Working with people that I trusted, making all of the right moves that I myself thought were the best way to go about living. I remember for along time, especially from age 14 to 19 or maybe even 20 years old. Making some of the best friendships I could have ever made, and always thinking that apart from Church, it wasn’t possible to have it as good as I did. Was I brainwashed? I suppose one could make such a claim, you could have said that all that was for nothing. But, it was real to me at the time, and I was assured that what I was doing was justified. Even if half the time I was looking down on people, and ridiculing them for their short comings in there own lives.
I remember when I decided that what I was doing, may not be good enough anymore. And I desperately needed to explore things outside of that institution. Which I am sure to this day, many of those peers inside the church look down on me for doing so. I suppose why I chose to do such a thing, was deep down to make sort of an example. Of the things that could be accomplished in one person’s life outside of such a place. I wonder sometimes where id be if it weren’t for those times inside the Church. Would I have truly become the person I am today? I am not ashamed of my times in those moments with those individuals. Whom can probably say that hey shaped me into what you may see before you. But, as much as that is probably a complete fact of life. I do know this to be true, I defined myself outside of it just as much as I did inside.
I always felt a stronger version of myself outside of it, and became something that I wasn’t completely ashamed of because of the choices and decisions I had made. I realize something, and have certainly for a very long time. I know I am a flawed person, I have a ton of issue’s that all may not be addressed in my lifetime. But, I do know that what I am doing in my life now. Could actually be considered even more productive than when I was on the inside looking outward. I am in no way defined by Religion or any faith in any way shape or form. I am however an individual, whom is completely content with being something more than that outside of it all. I live my life to the beat of my own drum, and from here on out that is the kind of person I will remain. Am I defending religion? No, but I am also not going against it either. Because like all things in this life, it has its purpose. I suppose that’s all I’ve really got to say, until next time…. =)
Contributor- Chris Ballenger