Discerning the depths
This is Part 2 of my personal reflection series My quest – 30 years and counting. You can read my introduction here.
I wonder sometimes how my life and the lives of my children would be different today if I had remained in the Catholic Church. Of course I can’t really know, but I am fairly confident that if nothing had changed in my spiritual life I would have been ill-equipped to pass on the spiritual truths my kids needed to live good, godly, fulfilling lives. And they would probably have become disillusioned and left the Church and be spiritually floundering as I write.
That’s not to say that I’ve done a superior job in spiritually training them, but because I was changed 30 years ago and became focused on faith and truth, they’ve had a firmer faith foundation than I otherwise would have supplied them had I remained content to be Catholic, as I wrote about last time.
So what effected this change in me? There was no traumatic event, no eye-opening revelation, no New Year’s resolution to get serious about my faith or the truth. I was not suffering through any trial or difficulty that prompted me to turn to God. Life was pretty good. But I began to discern a slightly subliminal sense of superficiality about it. Like living in a boat on the ocean and just coming to suspect that there’s more than a few feet of water beneath you.
There’s more to my existence, a greater purpose for my life, a deeper meaning in my being, and a more transcendent reality that I have yet to connect with. These were the thoughts, or perhaps more accurately the soulish senses or feelings I was experiencing.
I don’t know how others who have similarly found themselves becoming aware of a greater reality responded to it. Many, I imagine, discussed their confused disturbance with friends and family which likely helped them figure things out. But being the introspective introvert that I am, this was not the route I took. Even my husband was mostly unaware that I was struggling with something, because the one time I tried to describe my disturbance to him I only ended up frustrating us both.
Now as I said, my life was quite average and unremarkable. So if the dissonance I was discerning was authentic evidence of a bona fide truth, that the reality I had always known belied a deeper, greater, more transcendent reality, why doesn’t every average, spiritually uncommitted adult floating on the surface of life sense it? Many seem to be blissfully unaware of the depths beneath them. It’s almost unfathomable. 🙂
Or do they sense something amiss but disregard it? Perhaps reality for them is whatever they want to make of it and subsisting on the surface suits them just fine, thank you very much. Depths be damned. It is a little scary too, I guess. Any quest into unfamiliar territory is bound to engender some hesitation.
All I know is for me the turbulence could not be ignored and though there was some fear, the crucial nature of the quest that was compelling me was so apparent as to enable me to overcome any hesitation. So I stepped out of the boat and began exploring the depths.
To be continued…
Pingback: Functional agnosticism | a reasonable faith