Midway through my life’s journey, I saw the lights of a police car in my rear view mirror. I managed to get to the side of the road and go through a proper arrest. I recall refusing the sobriety test, not because I wanted to contest the policeman’s assessment in court, but because I could barely stand up. I had been driving 35 miles per hour on a 65 mile-per-hour highway, at 4 AM, with no shirt and no shoes. I was taken to detox, then to jail. It was the best day of my life.
How I Got There
I was raised Catholic, but lost faith when I discovered drinking. I was into sports and church, but those interests shifted over to drinking and books.
While I went to church often, I was simultaneously learning a great deal of science and math. Moreover, the idea of “questioning everything” became a prominent point in education. To search and explore questions about the natural world is a moral good. But science was slowly undermining my faith — not by its own fault, because science is a search for truth, just like faith, but on a different level. I recall a major “Easter” moment, when I asked an adult about the rock being rolled back at Jesus’s tomb. Surely, if someone rolled the rock in front of the tomb to close it, then a person or persons also could have rolled the rock away from the tomb. Even if the tomb was sealed, metal tools could have unsealed it just as easily. The respected elder person told me: “Don’t ask questions, just believe it.”
That comment caused an earthquake in me. Science seemed to question and correct itself, but the faithful appeared to not want any arguments or have a need to explain itself. Even in its wild tangents throughout history, given enough time, science did seem to right the ship if the findings changed. The response of “don’t ask questions” shook me, because prior to that I had been coming to faith like a child — because I was a child. In school, having been in “gifted” programs (still not sure how I was selected into these programs), we read books critically and asked questions. The same notions of reading seemed applicable to the weekly readings at Church, but being rebuffed in such a fashion, I started to doubt and even secretly laugh at some of the stories. Along with the rock at the tomb, I had many other questions, but if they could not be discussed or took a long time for me to explore, I didn’t have time or interest enough for the pursuit. I was of a generation that got a “lite” version of understanding faith; hence the major drift of unaffiliated people today. With my lack of deep understanding, it was sports, school, and parties that filled the vacuum.
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