Saturday, March 24, 2012

That Moment In Life

One of my reader's recently asked me what religion I am and if I believe in a heaven. People could easily assume I'm Catholic because for nine years, I went to a Catholic school. I wore 
a uniform, studied the Holy Bible, and prayed every morning that I was at school. It just so happened that during the third grade, it was announced that my school (which was public) was closing due to nickel in the ground and that the nearest school just so happened to be Catholic. When it came time for high school, I chose the Catholic school because it was bigger. It offered more sports, classes, clubs, and opportunities. However, I am by no means religious, and I'm about to tell you why.
I think my parents raised my sister and I the right way. My dad isn't religious at all, while my mom is a little more spiritual than him. However, they never pressured my sister or I into attending church or believing what "they" thought was right. We were both free to explore
A summary of some religions in the world.
Nicely done.
and believe anything we wanted. For a while, I struggled with the idea of religion, but all of my feelings can be summed up in the video posted above, which is a poem called "Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus." I do believe in something, though. I'm content with not having a label for my beliefs, but if it makes you feel better, I guess you could call me Agnostic. But I do believe there's something. I don't believe in the Big Bang Theory (except the television show, which I watch religiously, if that counts). I do believe there's something that exists beyond this universe and that when I die in my sleep (hopefully), I'll go to heaven.
My favourite author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in Eat, Pray, Love: "It's like this - I used to have this really great dog. She came from the pound. She was a mixture of about ten different breeds, but seemed to have inherited the finest features of them all. She was brown. When people asked me, "What kind of
So holy. So divine. So giving.
dog is that?" I would always give the same answer: "She's a brown dog." Similarly, when the question is raised, "What kind of God do you believe in?" my answer is easy: "I believe in a magnificent God."
I feel the same way, Ms. Gilbert. If I were to attend church once a week, I would choose the Church of Oprah Winfrey, although it hasn't really been established yet. I'll keep you all posted on that one. Another thing is that I don't know if I can believe in a God who lets such terrible things happen in life. Where was he (or she, if that's your theory) during all of these natural disasters and wars? Everyone's suggestion was that during the Holocaust, God was "on vacation." Its hard to imagine that any God could let something so tragic happen.
I respect anyone who is religious, and understand why they feel the need to be. For loyalty to their parents, for security in the afterlife, and to feel like you belong somewhere. But for me, none of those reasons are strong enough for me to commit to just one idea. In my opinion there are far too many beliefs and paths out there to 
just accept one. I would feel ignorant if I chose to follow one religion, because that would mean not being able to question it and that none of the other's have merit to theirs. Let's just skip this argument completely and get to what I'm more eager to talk about - heaven.
I do believe in it. But I'm not expecting golden gates where a man with a beard decides whether or not I make it inside. In fact, if there are gates and a man waiting for me, I'll probably just turn back around because I refuse to believe that the stereotype is true. If heaven is a place where not everyone goes because of homosexuality, divorce, or because I didn't dedicate my Sunday's in obedience to the Lord in church, then I don't really want to go there. My theory is that when everyone dies, they go back to the time they were happiest in their life. You never feel hunger or pain, but of course there is food anyway. Endless tables of anything you would want to eat. And when your plate of pasta is done, another plate magically appears. I guess heaven is kind of like the Olive
Garden. Everything feels happy and light, except for when you see the people you left on earth in sadness. I imagine it's possible to cry in heaven.
I think the colours are more vibrant than anything that exists down here, and that your senses are heightened. Heaven isn't the same for everyone, because heaven is personal. It can look like anything you want it to look like. A field filled with lavender with the sun setting in the background that never actually sets, a river with fruit trees on either side, etc. I hope there aren't any toaster's up there, because I burned my hand on one of those today.
I don't know about hell, and I don't even know if I'm right about heaven. But that's just how I feel, and I don't intend on finding out the truth for a very long time. But a quote from the song The Tide by The Spill Canvas will forever linger in my mind when thinking about heaven:
"Heaven's not a place you go when you die, it's that moment in life when you actually feel alive." Maybe heaven is those moments in life when you feel nothing but true happiness, and maybe we take so much advantage of the beauty in life and those special moments that we don't realize that heaven is really right in front of us.

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