I wonder if the Amish are on to something? Are they right to send the young men out into the world. By forcing them to make their beliefs system their own, nobody can then take it away from them. What they claim to believe isn’t just because of what their parents, friends, or family believe, but they are forced to make a choice. To either accept or reject the beliefs that they have been raised with.
Is it your own?
Contrast that with the following survey from the UK http://richarddawkinsfoundation.org/
“Asked why they had been recorded as Christian in the 2011 Census, only three in ten (31%) said it was because they genuinely try to follow the Christian religion, with four in ten (41%) saying it was because they try to be a good person and associate that with Christianity.”
Can what you believe be handed to you like a family heirloom? For me I left the family beliefs behind. I searched and looked and tried so many things. Only to have a sense of emptiness that nothing could fill.
Oh I tried and trust me I worked really hard to make all kinds of things fill me up, make me feel complete. Inside of me was what I now know was a God shaped hole. But then I tried to make other religions fill that. When that didn’t work I then looked at anything, everything else. Other people, especially women, trying to make them fit that shape.
I would put someone else in that place, and for a time it would kind of sort of work. Imagine trying to make three pounds fill a twenty pound bag. There is something there, and it doesn’t feel as empty. But sooner or later you realize that there is still something missing. A life that isn’t full, isn’t complete.
The only thing big enough is God. And now, well those other things just don’t seem that important. Actually not important at all. I enjoy the company of friends and time with family. And although some of them are women I don’t use them to fill me up. In fact being involved, dating, even the idea of marriage doesn’t really fit, at least for now.