Notes of a Sunday School Teacher
by Bill Rocap
Many times I have attempted to engage high schools kids in a discussion of religion…. watch them wiggle, watch them squirm, watch them space out in pursuit of the melody of some top 40 tune! Frankly, in 10 years, I can count only a handful of kids who were interested in the discussions. But, that is ok. Most kids equate a discussion of religion with being spoon-fed “my religion” or having “church” shoved into their tired, Sunday morning mush brains. I know, I really do remember Sunday school!!!
My point in sharing these notes on religion is the acknowledgment that religion is ultimately and fundamentally a personal experience…an experience that sooner or later every individual, young and old, should consider. Now I would have said, “must consider”, but I believe God counts our free will as sacred. I believe you can choose to avoid this discussion for most or all of your life. God is so loving and gracious, He does not invade the privacy of your will…. unless you ask!
There is a beautiful line that will always stay with me. “If you search for God, you search for everything. When you find God, you have found everything”.
Here are some thoughts about religion, which I have discovered:
- Religion is a personal experience. It is about relationship…you and God! Because it is personal and unique, it is expressed, seen and understood by you differently than your neighbor. I doubt that two people ever see God the same way.
- Religion is about unity, not uniformity. Like fingerprints, we all share a common relationship (children of an unseen Creator) but we each express it differently. It is my hope that someday we will embrace the best of our neighbor’s religion instead of poking with distain at the worst!
- The essential message (Gospel) of religion is that we are children of loving, spiritual parents. Jesus, as well as many ambassadors of God thru the ages, have carried the torch of truth declaring the reality of God as Creator, Father, Mother.
- Religion leads to increased social service. Having once found God, it is impossible not to want to share that inner experience with others and to increasingly live in service to your brothers and sisters.
- Every generation must make new wineskins! Most people will not accept a religion today that is out of step with the discoveries of science and inconsistent with our highest ideals of truth, beauty and goodness. In retelling the essential message, each new generation must also be willing to discard outworn information.
- Religion, like the existence of God, can never be proved by an experiment of science or by exquisite human logic. Religion, however, is reasonable to logic, plausible to philosophy and *indispensable to any hope of survival after death.
* I have used the expression “religion is indispensable to any hope of survival after death”. I understand that some believers are content to envision death as the end and that living again or living in “heaven” is just wishful speculation. What really happens to us when we die, like defining religion, is a personal reflection. Personally, I like to imagine an unlimited universe of endless possibilities of which this life is mere kindergarten. But that leads me to an important point about defining religion and God.
“Speculation about religion and the nature of God is inevitable…gaze in wonder at the night sky, the flight of a bird or the birth of a child. How can we not wonder and speculate? It is, however, vital to remember that speculation can blur reality. We begin to see things and hold to things about God as real and true, when they are merely speculations!
So a final thought of personal faith!”
“I believe there is a God…the rest is open to speculation, LOL”
These are just a few of my notes. Please feel free to share yours. Write to me at email@example.com