So I am definitely someone who is spiritual and tries to be faithful to G-d.
I believe, He is my creator and sustainer and that we are here to learn and grow our soul before it goes back to Hashem.
Yet often, like so many others now-a-days, I find organized religion to be a turn-off.
1) There is a consistency and sincerity problem.
To some people, I believe it's partially the rote and robotic nature of some of the practices--where we just do it, because we are told to do it, and we do it over and over and time after time, again--even when we don't feel it in the moment, and even if we do other things that are not so right in other areas of our lives.
In contrast perhaps, there can be more spontaneous and genuine feelings and actions, in the moment and every moment--that come from the heart and the soul of the person and directly to G-d--and they are consistent whether we are in a religious setting to how we treat others and how we act in business.
In other words, we just don't follow the rules, but we live them fully and integrated with ourselves and all situations we find ourselves in.
2) There is a money and power problem.
In some religious environments, all people are not created equal or treated equal. Instead, the say, the attention, and the honor goes to the powerful and the rich, who are courted for their donations and their votes to the institution and the spiritual leader. Who gets talked up? Who is given the honors at the religious rituals, at the events and the dinners, and with their communal "peers"?
In other cases, it's not just money and power that talks, but who is outwardly the "most religious" and presumably walks the walk. If you but "seem" more religious than the next guy, then you are elevated and exalted in the religious community.
Instead, what happened to welcoming and caring for everyone--to everyone being children of G-d--to each person having a soul and their personal life challenges. Why can't we treat everyone as religiously worthwhile and give everyone a chance to learn and grow in their own way from their starting point and to their destination?
Religion should be the one place that isn't a competition with others.
Religion is ultimately between man and G-d!
And only G-d knows what is inside man's heart and in his soul--and what his actions really are all the time and what they truly mean in context and in essence.
I welcome G-d in my life, because I:
- Have faith in Him and that ultimately He has a master plan and that everything is for the good
- Love Him for giving me the chance to learn and grow my soul to be better
- Fear Him for when I do something wrong in my life and need a course correction
I wish for a time and transformation when religion would not just be based on outward manifestations but on being sincere and consistent in people's lives, and where people would no longer be superficially judged and (mis)treated because they are themselves and on their G-d given paths.
If only we could religiously love, rather than endlessly judge, each other, oh what a heartfelt and inspiring religion that would be. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)