My earliest religious memories are of my stepfather reading to my siblings and I from various books and pamphlets he received from fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses. I didn’t understand a word of it, which is understandable considering I was only five years old. My other memory from that time is of my stepfather dropping us off at church. Funny, he never attended with us. After a while, we didn’t either.
Growing up, religion was not a topic of conversation as a grew older, which sometimes proved to be a problem. In fact, I can remember my sophomore year playing football. Our first game, our coach gathered us for a prayer, the “Lord’s Prayer.” Everybody started reciting it in unison, but I had no idea what they were saying and just kind of mouthed along. Nobody noticed, but I was embarrassed because I didn’t know it.
Fast-forward a couple years, and I’m kind of dating a Catholic girl. She took me to mass, but I didn’t take part in Communion. I didn’t think it was appropriate for me, as a non-Catholic, to do so. Fortunately, she understood prior to me attending, and was very nice about not pressuring me one way or another.
Going into basic training, attending church on Sundays was a way for people to get away from the barracks. I went and participated, although more to contemplate it all rather than to dedicate myself to God. Even now, during various ceremonies when an invocation is given, I participate out of respect, but don’t have a particular attachment.
Early in our marriage, Kerri and I attended a Calvary Chapel in Colorado Springs. This was an extension to her attending Calvary Chapel in Chino. She really enjoyed it there, and I would attend occasionally with her. Unfortunately, the Colorado Springs experience just wasn’t the same for her, so we stopped attending. I know she wants to go, but has yet to find what she had in Chino.
Obviously I’ve never been particularly religious. Still, I do believe there is “something” bigger than us out there. While we as human beings have so much potential, it’s difficult to believe there is not a greater being (or beings), or something more to existence, than we in a world within a profoundly vast universe (which may itself be one of a vast multitude of universes).
Regardless, I do take an active interest in trying to understand our history and how religion has, and continues to, shape our lives. I try to learn about various religions through reading various articles and books, as well as the occasional Internet surfing. In particular, I enjoy the works of Dr. Karen Armstrong. She provides an insider perspective to the genesis (pun intended) of religion, including the “Big 3” of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
(Last updated 12 September 2010)