I just returned to Spokane last week after spending time with my family for the holidays. Even though they only live 300 miles away, I only get back to see everyone two or three times each year. It seems that my nephews grow a lot between each of my visits. Beyond just their height, they are making great progress in learning how to read, write and many other arenas educationally, mentally and physically.
As much of a joy as it is to see my family and friends, there are some in my peer group who remark about my life and my "spiritual state." And, while I understand their perceptions, they are misplaced at best and feel inappropriate. The simple truth is that I am on a journey — a personal, spiritual journey — that is my own. And I believe that these journeys must be personal. It is not sufficient to just follow someone else's footsteps. Nor is it sufficient to blindly adopt a church doctrine without grappling and learning for oneself.
What looks to some like me choosing to disbelieve, I grapple with belief systems and church doctrine in a whole-hearted effort to grow in wisdom — not just knowledge — and determine what truth means for me. I cannot be satisfied with another person's reality. It is something that I have to put into practice, testing the waters and measuring beliefs to my own satisfaction. And it's a process! There will never be a day when I wake up and just have it all figured out, but I will grapple every single day.
The spiritual journey is not one people can observe — like my nephews getting bigger — but it is one that needs to be personally nurtured and respected by all. While this journey is mine, your journey belongs to you.