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My Faith Journey
by Pat

I sometimes look at my life's faith journey these past 47 years as if it were a trip to a foreign country. 

The first 18 years was a guided tour.  My guides told me what to see, what to do, where to go, and all of the local traditions to observe.  One did not deviate from the itinerary.

During the next 15 years I began to venture off more on my own.  I relied on many of my past tour experiences and fell into some of those old tourist traps, but I also did begin to discover some of those special people and places which exist off the beaten path.

The last 14 years, I have begun to feel more like a seasoned traveler.  My trip does not take nearly as much planning and I can usually pick up and go at a moment's notice.  I look forward to renewing acquaintances and I can even act as a tour guide when required.  Unfortunately, I can also fall into the complacency of "seen it, done it, been there."  In addition, I have also discovered that the more you sometimes know about a place, the more you want to learn about it.  I know that many people have had a much more perilous faith journey than I.  To be truthful, reconciling my sexual orientation with my religion has never really presented a problem for me.  Since I never heard the words "gay" or "homosexual" while growing up, they didn't exist for me.  So, in my simplified black and white world, I didn't have to deal with the matter.

In actuality, I came to terms with being Gay long before I came to terms with being a Christian.  The real struggle in this faith journey of mine has not been being Gay in a Christian community, but rather, being a Christian in the Gay community.

I expect that this faith journey I'm on will be a long and ever changing one.  I'm also sure that I will always question certain doctrines and teachings.  I believe strongly, though, that this world needs good faith communities and that positive change in the existing ones can only come from within and not by running away from them.

I am not now, and may never be, a person of great religious faith.  My religious experiences as an adult have often centered on studying and appreciating the obvious faith of others.  I tend to surround myself with people of strong faith.  As I listen to and worship with these true Christians, I can only hope that it will somehow direct me to that solid and comforting faith to which so many of us aspire…the end of a journey that was well worth taking. 

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