I grew up in a home without any religious education at all. My father was agnostic, and Mama was a lapsed Catholic when they married. Since she was so young when I was born (just 19), I think the difficulty of being the wife of a military officer and the mother of two young children (which eventually became six) caused it to just fall by the wayside. We moved around my whole childhood. Religion was never an issue; in fact, I never felt the lack of it when I was a youngster.
There are pictures of my sister and me dressed up for Easter when we were 4 and 7, and I guess we went to church, but maybe we just went to somebody's home and searched for Easter eggs in a backyard. It's a mystery to me -- and nobody ever told me what Easter was really about. But when I was 17 or 18, somewhere in there, I discovered religion. I read St. John of the Cross who was a Spanish mystic in the 16th century. He wrote "Dark Night of the Soul" and I was attracted to the title. Interesting what pulls us into major life shifts, isn't it? Here's a quote from my favorite source, Wikipedia:
St. John of the Cross is considered one of the foremost poets in the Spanish language. Although his complete poems add up to less than 2500 verses, two of them—the Spiritual Canticle and Dark Night of the Soul are widely considered to be among the best poems ever written in Spanish, both for their formal stylistic point of view and their rich symbolism and imagery.I immediately began to look for a church and was drawn to the Episcopal Church when we were living in Albany, Georgia. The vicar, Father Shipps, came to our home and eventually I and all my siblings were regular attendees. I then got married and moved away, but the religious seed that had been planted in my family continued to grow, and I believe all of my siblings are either Christians or agnostics (claim neither faith nor disbelief in a higher power).
As an impressionable young woman, I was always seeking out some form of spiritual guidance. I have the dubious honor of having been saved four times by Billy Graham. I went to Catholic churches, charismatic ones, Southern Baptist, you name it. I learned a lot, but I never found anything that I felt was my journey, not someone else's.
During my hippie years, I meditated and went in several different directions: Ram Dass for awhile, week-long vision quests, retreats. When I lived in Boulder I got involved with the Urantia brotherhood and read that long book. A Course in Miracles was my path for awhile and I went through the entire series. And then I started skydiving, and everything else fell by the wayside, except my job, which I needed just to keep jumping. I was no longer a hippie, I had a job, a career, and an avocation that took all my energy and extra time. That was in 1990.
Today, I jump occasionally for fun. It no longer has the central place in my life it occupied for almost two decades. I am now retired from my career. That's gone, too. But all those years as a seeker have left within me a deep and abiding faith. I call on it daily, and I also pray and believe that I am heard. No, I actually believe that God is everywhere, and that when I pray I attune myself to hear God. And now I am drawn to read books like The Intention Experiment and other books considered to be the current new-age equivalent.
What brought you to your present state? Have I got any fellow travelers who arrived here, but took another path?