I was born a Catholic; baptised before I knew what baptism was. For four years between 1992 and 1996 I attended Cathecism class. I stopped going when I started secondary school in 1997. My mom was not happy about this.
Why did I stop? Because I was tired. Mondays to Fridays were school days, and Saturdays were taken by my involvement in Scouts. The only day I could sleep-in was Sunday, and God wasn’t going to take that away from me. Surely, He would understand.
Since circa 1997, I always said some form of prayer before I slept. Perhaps it was due to my not attending church. These nightly prayers always made me feel safe. Some nights I skipped my prayers; those nights I would awaken for seemingly no reason, except to pray and go back to sleep.
My prayers had a structure to them. I would greet God; a “hey God”. I would thank Him for the day I had, no matter how bad it was. I would ask Him to bless me, my family, relatives, friends (of whom I might occasionally mention by name, especially if they needed assistance in some form,) as well as “everyone in this world.”
After my grandma died, I included a “and my grandma who is in Heaven, bless her soul” in to my prayers as well. Everytime I said this, I would imagine her with my grandpa whom I had never seen, together in the clouds, walking, talking and laughing. Then I would think to myself, “I hope she’s in Heaven”, and carry on with one “Our Father”, one “Hail Mary” and one “Glory Be”, finally finished off with the sign of the cross.
Then one day, I had a conversation with a Christian. What he said did not fit in at all with that I believed. I thought he was an idiot.
And if I thought that about him, would others not think that about me too, when I spoke about my religion? Granted, I am not pushy about my religious beliefs, and have been open to the fact that there is no such thing as “God”. But that didn’t give me the right to think him an idiot, while believing myself as enlightened. I needed to re-think my spirituality.
Over the next couple of weeks, I had a re-evaluation of what religion meant to me; of what God meant to me. I realised God had died within me, long ago.
My nightly prayers were superstition. I wanted to believe. God gave structure to my life. My prayers allowed me to sleep in peace. But all this at what price? To believe simply out of faith? I cannot buy that, not anymore.
But allow me to clarify: I’m not an atheist. I’m an agnostic. I cannot say I believe in Him, but nor can I say He doesn’t exist.
If you’re going to tell me God exists, show me the proof; until then, don’t ask me to believe in your ghosts.