Today is probably not the best time to make this public declaration, but here it is: I’m not in any way a religious person. You won’t find me in a church this Easter Sunday – nor on any Sunday, for that matter. It’s not that I’ve never been a churchgoer, but looking back, I mostly went for all the wrong reasons. And so I stopped. I’m occasionally tempted to try again, but only by the community offered by a congregation.
If I had to declare a religion, I would announce myself a pantheist. For a definition, I refer you to Wikipedia, if only because it most closely and simply reflects my belief: “the view that the Universe (Nature) and God are identical.” The closest I have ever been to God was in a perfectly still and heavenly scented pine forest in southern Ohio, an experience etched indelibly on my notoriously unreliable brain. On occasion I’ve even found God in a church, but only when no one else was around.
I may avoid organized religion, but I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about spirituality. It’s not a topic that I’d normally seek out, but I kept getting steered in its direction. I believe strongly in the power of signs, and so I’ve followed this little detour on my perpetual quest for more than an occasional night’s worth of quality sleep. I’m on spirituality book number two, with a third lined up in the queue.
As I’ve been reading over the last few weeks, I’ve had a surprising number of deeply personal “aha” moments. This may be a new road for me, but I’m starting to suspect that it is not a detour. Each person’s journey through life is unique, but there are common threads. Some roads lead us far afield; others lead us home. Along the way, we tread paths well worn, only to veer off into places strange and unexpected. It is on those unplanned paths, I believe, that our true journey lies.
Easter is a celebration of rebirth and renewal. But it’s not just Jesus who comes back to life: Mother Nature gets a reboot, and so, too, do we mere mortals. It’s spring, after all, when the Earth again comes alive and each new day dawns with brighter possibilities. In this season of beginnings, a new path seems like the right one to choose.