I’d always been a spiritual person but my practices had been somewhat ad-hoc in nature. Then, in my late 20s, I met a group of people that seemed to speak my language. They belonged to a local church and so I went along. I converted soon thereafter and have been devout for more than a decade. However, it has been a somewhat rocky road. So much so that I recently went to see my local pastor.
I told him that no matter how often I practiced, how hard I prayed, or how diligently I followed the rituals, I still encountered problems I couldn’t resolve. That not everything I turned my hand to was a success. I told him that I was beginning to have my doubts. That there didn’t seem to be any scientific proof for any of his beliefs or for that matter anything written in the scriptures. That I sometimes preferred to meditate alone and that I found the gatherings to be succumbing to a kind of group-think. In reply he offered some words of advice.
He told me that no matter what, I should believe. That scientific evidence was unnecessary and that what mattered most was that I believed and followed all the practices as set out in the scriptures. He urged me to read and study the scriptures and to attend church gatherings to discuss my understanding with others wiser than I, who may have more insight into my spirituality. God is there, he said, to help those that are willing to take the time to understand his teachings. That I should not be disappointed if my prayers were not answered, and that not everything I do will turn out for the best, as I am not yet enlightened. For when I am able to worship fully and sincerely and in the correct manner, all will be revealed.
Actually, I’ve never been particularly spiritual, I’ve certainly never joined a church, and I think the only time I’ve ever had any kind of religious instruction was at High School – although I have read various parts of the Old and New Testaments. That said, I have been witness to this kind of discussion both in person and via blogs, Twitter, etc. only you’ll need to replace Religion with Agile, Pastor with Coach, Church with XP User Group, etc.