From one extreme to another.
I definitely wouldn’t call myself religious as the very word has negative connotations in my mind. When I think of the word “religious” brings to mind duty and obligation. Two things that do not describe my faith walk.
I would call myself spiritual or a person of faith. That description brings to my mind a person who lives a lifestyle of faith or spirituality, a life not driven by duty or obligation.
I was raised Catholic as a child, I attended Catechism for a year or two in elementary school. I have some weird childhood memories of my experiences in the Catholic church. For example when kneeling on the kneelers I always thought “I can’t wait till I’m old enough to lean over the back of the pew in front of me!”
And when the priest would read letters to the church in Corinth or Ephesus, I thought he was reading a letter to a church in my town. My thoughts always were, “Why is reading a letter to another church. Shouldn’t he be reading from the Bible?” It annoyed me at the time.
And I rarely heard anyone speak of Jesus. It was always “Mother Mary this..” “Mother Mary that…” I though she was a sort of god herself.
We were always sitting down, standing up, sitting down, standing up. Repeat this, repeat that. I was amazed that my parents, and the rest of the adults in the church, knew the right thing to say and the right time to say it. “How did they know that?” were my thoughts. “Was it something they were born with cuz I don’t have “it” yet. I can’t wait to get ‘it,'” whatever “it” was.
Such is the memories of 6-7 year old.
When my parents separated, no more rituals, no more kneelers, no more listening to letters to other churches. At the age of 9 (1974) my mom and me were swept up in the 70’s Jesus Movement. I was introduced to the Bible and Jesus in a new way. It was great and I have never turned away from the faith since. My faith and hope are what keep me going and happy and make up, in part, of who I am to day. And I like who I am today.