My Struggle With Religion

I think having faith in something bigger than yourself is a really comforting and beautiful thing. I respect all religions because I understand the need for a higher power. I think it’s innate in all of us because it is easier to believe that someone out there is looking out for us and knows what we’re struggling with, instead of dealing with our problems all on our own. 

I want to believe in “God,” or some higher power, and sometimes I do. Other times, I have so many doubts and only the science that we know makes sense to me.

I didn’t grow up in a very religious household. Both of my parents believe in God, and my Dad grew up going to church. I don’t think either of them really got a lot out of going, however, and didn’t really push it onto me and my siblings. We didn’t start regularly going to church until I was six and we stopped when I was about 10 or 11. I definitely learned a lot of what most kids that grow up going to church know, but it never really became something in me that I felt compelled towards. Most of it was probably because I was too young to really grasp the whole concept, but I could also tell that my Dad was fairly turned off by the idea of religion. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very philosophical thinker and I think he understands and maybe even believes in God or some kind of higher power, but he does not like organized religion as a whole. I didn’t fully understand that until later in my life, but I think he has some validity in feeling that way, which I’ll get into.

I didn’t actually feel like I had any kind of relationship with God until I started going to a religious club in high school called “Younglife.” I’m not going to extensively bash them or say that they ruined my views on religion, because that isn’t completely true. I do have some really fond memories associated with that time of my life because of going, but for the most part, I experienced a lot of subtle judgment and felt like there was a “holier than thou” mentality from a lot of people. I felt like I really developed my relationship with God while at one of their camps, and it was a really eye-opening and important moment for me, but afterward I still felt like I was missing something. I didn’t have that same devoted faith like a lot of my friends did and I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just believe fully and not question anything.

I have also always struggled with the scientific aspect of it. To me, it doesn’t seem feasible that there is this “being” up in the sky that somehow controls us and the world as a whole. I also don’t really know if I think the Big Bang could have created the world. No one explanation seems extremely likely to me. I have a hard time trusting in something that I can’t see, can’t hear, and can’t feel the presence of in my day-to-day life. Whenever I have prayed, it just doesn’t feel like anyone is at the other end listening to me. 

Since I’ve been in college, I haven’t really felt strongly one way or another. I still feel really doubtful about a lot of aspects of religion and I understand now why my Dad felt disenchanted with organized religion. I am in no way saying that this is the case for all religious people, but I find that there’s so much hypocrisy and judgment in organized religion. I know so many religious people who are accepting and kind to others, but I also know a lot that aren’t. I don’t think this is the fault of religion. Most preach kindness, acceptance, and selflessness, and I myself love that about it. I just don’t always like the “church’s” interpretations or adaptation of that. 

Nevertheless, I understand and appreciate religion for what it is, and I hope someday I can discover it in a way that works for me. I think there are a lot of young, religious people today that are straying away from the traditional ways and adapting them to our current way of life and I am excited to see how the organized religion we know now is adapted because of that.