Inspired: A faith journey

I'm trying to be more open to experiencing God in new and maybe uncomfortable ways without losing the faith that's important to me.

While I was traveling, it was easy to seek out new religious experiences. I loved learning the histories of synagogues, mosques and temples and how the structures aide and inform worship. It was inspiring to see how similar the faith experience is across the continents, and it gave me confidence that though I will never know all the answers, I can be assured that the desire to connect to something greater than myself is universal and therefore True.

One of the big lessons for me was to see how important culture was to religious experiences. How can I chastise or challenge someone on their belief structure if that's the cultural structure they know and trust? This also means that I have to be aware of the cultural influences on my own religious experiences. And if that's true for the foreign lands I visited, it means I have to afford the same respect for the different belief and cultural structures I come across in my own country and my own faith. It's harder for me to willingly expose myself to more literal interpretations of Christianity. It was a stretch for me, then, to attend the more conservative Women of Faith conference with Beth Moore as a speaker with my visiting aunts a week ago. I was reminded, though, that while I may disagree on some of the particulars, the connection with my aunts and grandmother was wholly ecumenical.

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