Losing My Religion, Again . . .

I am losing my religion, again. I have found it happens every now and then.

It is kind of like a spiritual housecleaning as I sort out the attic of my faith. My faith starts feeling cluttered and a bit confused, so I find it helpful to pick out a few things and hold them up in the light of day to see what I believe.

Like any kind of housecleaning it can be a scary thing to do, but I find it helps me keep my faith fresh and honest.

We all change and our faith should change, too.

I have been trying to follow the footsteps of Jesus for more than forty years. Sometimes, those footsteps are very hard to find and I feel like I need some sort of bloodhound to sniff out his path.

Even when I lose the trail, I keep looking and believing that I will find it again. I am doing that right now.

I do know that the person I am today is a very different person than the one who first started trying to follow Jesus as a twelve year old boy. I have changed a lot and the world has changed a lot so my twelve year old boy faith doesn’t work and hasn’t for a long time.

My high school faith doesn’t work, nor does my twenty or thirty or forty something faith. Neither does my young husband or father faith. My pre-9/11 faith. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

I have to keep sorting out what I believe in relationship to God, the world I live in, and the person I am becoming.

Losing my religion usually starts with a kind of inner restlessness.

I get fidgety in my faith. I cannot focus and I am easily distracted. Everything about my faith starts to feel dry and kind of crusty.

It is not comfortable and it rubs me the wrong way–not in a prophetic “be more faithful” way but in an “ill-fitting clothes” kind of way.

When I look in the mirror I realize my faith doesn’t fit me any more.

Losing my religion means rethinking what I believe.

This part of losing my religion is really scary, because I wonder “what will people think of me” if I begin to believe differently.

When I first experienced this one of the things I learned was that what I believed wasn’t about what other people thought about me, but about my relationship to God.

That was very liberating.

This first happened to me, almost twenty-five years ago, and I had to rethink what I believe about Scripture. It meant embracing ideas differently from what people I respect had taught me, but it renewed my faith in God’s word.

When I rethink what I believe my faith deepens.

Losing my religion means renewing spiritual discipline.

I have learned that the key to losing my religion is renewing my spiritual discipline. It means returning to Scripture, to prayer, and to regular spiritual practices.

Starting last week I began to focus on renewing my spiritual discipline with writings on this site. I have invited my readers along on this journey. I am also doing a “Three Minute Bible Study” each day on my Facebook page to dig deeper into spiritual disciplines. This week we’re focusing on meditation.

This is my way of rethinking what I believe and renewing my spiritual discipline. I hope you’ll join me.

When I renew my spiritual discipline I rediscover my faith.

Losing my religion always is a journey for me. It doesn’t happen overnight, my beliefs don’t change quickly, and my faith isn’t renewed easily. It is, however, what has kept me following Jesus all these years.

Losing my religion saves my relationship to God.

How about you? Have you ever lost your religion? What have been the keys for you to renew your faith?