There comes in everyone’s life a point of time when faith and religion have to pass a test, simply because doubt creeps in. Being brought up in a religious yet free Catholic household, my own faith can be attributed to my upbringing than to my choice or acquired knowledge. Bringing a frown to the foreheads of staunch believers, let me confess that I had a severe case of skepticism some time back. It happened when I was around 17 years of age. I’m quite sure the perceived notions of “coolness quotient” had nothing to do with it. Atheism was “in”(it still is). Agnosticism was the creed to follow though no one was really sure what it meant! Neither of these had anything to do with my questions.They just sprouted out of my fertile mind, slowly and steadily. Did God exist? Was God really a spirit or was He or She an emotion we were trained to experience? Did religion arise out of society’s need to control and curb human behavior through the worship of a force ‘beyond’ us? What if scriptures were simply stories? In fact, different accounts of the same occurrence have been known to contradict each other. Did God actually have so many avatars? Why was the habit of writing ‘God’ with a capital G so deeply ingrained in me? But most of all, why was I so afraid to voice these thoughts, thinking that in case God really existed He wouldn’t be very pleased with what was going on in my mind. I have to admit at this point of time that a certain book acted as a catalyst to this phase.
As the consequence of unspoken doubts, I began to find prayers monotonous. Religion became this endless cycle of Sunday rituals and beliefs no one could truly vouch for. God wasn’t famous for granting wishes instantaneously, so why bother? In short, spirituality became boring and petty to me that I started ignoring it completely. Since parables and Bible stories are something Christian parents teach their children along with the alphabet, they didn’t appeal to me either. I wanted a fairytale. I wanted my faith to be romanticized.
I don’t remember where I read or heard this story. Call it luck. It was just what I needed. It was about a rebel. This man had been the target of various conspiracies plotted to kill him since birth, because there were legends and soothsayers of old who foretold his glory. It was widely acknowledged and feared that he would use his growing popularity to usurp the throne. He rebelled against every law man-made. He interpreted oracles so as to proclaim himself as the long awaited warrior who would save his people. He was his own law and ruler. He was to begin one of the greatest revolutions the world had ever seen. Where religion was more than a way of life, he blissfully ignored the rules, broke them when necessary and preached his philosophies. He loved unconditionally. And when he knew the time had come for him to be king, he went and died. And rose from the dead. The rest, as we know is history…
This was what my hormone-filled rebellious teenage mind had been searching for. The same book with a different cover. It suited me. This story made God the idealistic, brave conqueror of Arthurian legends, of which my fantasy-loving soul was a fan.
This was not about Jesus Christ and his love for humanity. Or about how a lost sheep regained her faith and was converted into a better person. No, it was about how the ordinary, portrayed in an extraordinary way could transform someone…
P.S : This is my first blog. It’s dedicated to my friend, Aiba, for inspiring me to do so in the first place. She’s become a seasoned blogger and I’m an ardent follower!…thanx gurl! 🙂