Can one possibly prove the truth without challenging it first? I don’t think so. Many religious people would have called me blasphemous had they heard my thoughts that night I lay on my mattress. “Lord… If you really exist prove it. I don’t believe you”. That night was one of my worst nights. My mother was gone, my father was busy, and none of my friends could’ve helped me with what I was going through. I used to rely merely on myself but that night, I just felt so weak. My fighting spirit and self reliance just abandoned me. Without anyone else to rely on, not even myself, who else could’ve save me from the hell I was on? That night I boldly questioned him. Spirituality vs Religion, what’s the real difference?
As a child, I grew up in a religious home and was perfectly aware of the moral do’s and don’ts, bible stories were my bedtime stories, plus my mother was always there reminding me to do the moral thing no matter what. So as a child, I was pretty religious. Just that…
If you’ll ask me, there’s a big difference between being religious and being spiritual. Being religious is going to church regularly, giving exact tithes, saying your regular prayers and the likes. On the other hand, being spiritual is harder to define. Being spiritual has more to do with your inner and invisible bond with the God you believe in.
Feeling his presence…
When I was little, (even now), I was clumsy. When I was 5 years old, I was alone playing near a deep well, and I almost fell. I almost fell off a building (where my father was working) while playing. When I was in high school, I almost fell off the tower my classmates and I had climbed. In all those times, just when I thought that I’m gonna fall, a hand or two would grab me in time. I used to think it was all luck but luck again and again? That made me think twice.
I’m also prone to vehicle accidents… for how many times had I almost been hit by a car… can’t even count. When I was little, I met a car accident during my first birthday, my head was badly injured. My parents consider it a miracle that I’m still alive.
Looking back at those, I can say that my God had really protected me all those times. And how many times had I face a major disasters in my life, all those times, he pushed me forward. And look where I am now? Struggling but still pushing through. Those disasters turned out to be the best opportunities I’d ever had. At that time the events were so heartbreaking and they don’t make any sense. As Steve Jobs said “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever…” looking back, the dots are indeed perfectly connected. They now make perfect sense.
There is God…
So what am I saying is, He’s up there. I don’t know if he’s Jesus, if he’s Allah, or whoever. But I know he’s there. He spoke to me not through the bible, not through any prophet. He spoke to my heart and told me he’s there. I don’t see him, yes, but I know that when trouble comes, when I can’t stand anymore, he’ll pick me up and push me forward, I’m sure of that.
I don’t know if my GOD is the same as the God of the Christians, or of the Muslim. As I said, I’m no longer religious. As blasphemous as this sound, I believe that belief is relative. God reveals himself to each one of us individually and not through any official religion.
I’ve went to church a hundred times praising him as I was raised to, calling his name in times of trouble, praying to him piously each night… but it was only that night, when I faced all my fears and boldly stood up to question him, that night when I decided to break loose from the dogma I was raised to believe… it was that night that I’ve felt him entered my life for the first time.
Well, I didn’t see any apparition or any dramatic and miraculous answer to my question. But he answered alright. I was so hurt that I felt numb. And because of the numbness, I let go of everything. I was in so much pain that I reached the point where I don’t care about anything anymore. And finally, when my mind was emptying all the terrible thoughts, he entered and showed me the truth.
Spirituality vs Religion
So if ask, what matters more between spirituality vs religion? Yes, Religion is a good foundation. But in the heart of religion should be the individual spirituality. Religion is to school, as spirituality is to learning. My point is, religion is important. It helps a lot… But you don’t have to enter one particular sect to develop your spirituality. Nevertheless, Religion guides us in developing our faith, and faith is another component of spirituality. What I’m saying is, spirituality is superior to religion. Spirituality can exist without religion, but never the other way around.
If the God I believe in created me with amazing components such as heart and mind, for sure he’ll use each component to introduce himself right? He’ll talk to me through my heart and mind, for it was him who has given me those. Thus, God is connected to me no matter what because I have my heart and mind. I’ll never lose my connection with him… We just ignore him at times but really, he’s always inside us.
He also gifted us with “conscience”. Despite the influence of environment, I believe that conscience is innate in each one of us the moment we are born. We have innate knowledge of right and wrong. However, because of some external factors, our conscience gets smeared. The more we practice living without it, the more it gets buried at the back of our consciousness. We eventually lose our connection with God when we bury our conscience.
My point is, God may use our pastors, or some religious materials to reach us. But primarily, He speaks to us inside our hearts and minds. All we have to do is listen, stop and look around. He always reveals himself to those who sincerely seek him.
I created this write-up years ago and this is actually a repost from my tumblr account “Spirituality vs Religion”. Since I am developing this blog, I thought I should gather all my write-ups here. I will also posts updates on tumblr though so you may check out www.nazgarcia.tumblr.com.
Like this post? You might also like “Live life, Take Courage” & “7 Toxic Things to Avoid to Protect your Inner Peace”. Have fun reading! 🙂