Well, this post doesn't really have anything to do with nature...except that it kind of grew out of my evening ski through the fields tonight. 'Twas a splendid evening out there!
Often when I speak with people about spiritual things, they comment, “I’m not religious.” Usually I say something like, “Oh, I’m not either, I just believe the Bible and have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.”
But I wonder if I should answer differently. Maybe I am religious after all. Is it religion to have a friend who loves you, and whom you love? A friend whom you love to think about, and who loves to think about you? A friend who lives daily life with you, who knows and really cares what you’re going through? Then I am religious, because God is that Friend to me.
Is it religion for a girl to read and re-read and read again, letters from a lover who must for a time be separated? To find in every word and stroke of the pen, reference to the character of her beloved? To memorize his words of love to her? Then I am religious, because the Bible is a love letter to me.
Is it religion for a child to climb up on her daddy’s lap, and sob on his shoulder because of the things that hurt her and which she can’t understand? Then I am religious, because God is that Father to me.
Is it religion to tell a friend the things that are on your mind, to ask for some of their wisdom, to prattle on about all the events of your day, knowing that the friend wants to hear it? Then I am religious, because prayer is the only way that I have to express some of my thoughts and emotions.
Is it religion to heed the warnings, and follow the instructions, of one who is wiser than you? Then I am religious, because God’s commandments are the teachings that I try to observe.
Is it religion to attend a gathering to celebrate the accomplishments of a mutual friend? To rehearse the ways in which that friend has excelled, to rejoice together in his successes and the nobility of his character? Then I am religious, because I gather once a week with other believers in the Lord Jesus, to remember together everything that He has done for us, and just how wonderful He is.
Is it religion to believe one who has always been faithful, and to take his word over that of other people—who have been known to make mistakes or fail? Then I am religious, because I have staked everything upon God’s word.
Is it religion to tell other people about the one who has made your life bright and full of joy and love? Then I am religious, because there’s no other cause that would induce me to risk the ridicule and scorn of those who don’t yet know my Savior.
So I guess maybe I am religious after all, if that’s the kind of life that you would consider religious. But wait—you said you aren’t?