Swapping Beliefs for Faith

I’ve noticed that whenever I ask for something out of need, I’ve gotten it. Whenever I’ve asked for something out of fear, I’ve ended up having to face the fear. I don’t ask for much. But I’m always provided for.
And whether you call it God, Christ, Allah, Zen, Tao, Gaia, the Goddess, I Am, That, the Universe, the all-consuming-flow-that-runs-this-whirligig-we-call-life, whatever it is, I have faith in it. I still couldn’t tell you what I believe about it, but I can tell you what I don’t.
My family and I have shared words over the last few months, and it has made me look more deeply at my feelings toward the Christian faith (my fingers labored over this keyboard for quite a while before I could put those two words together) I adopted. The Fundamentalist Christian belief system that I was a part of is not faith, but a system created for the alleviation of fears; but it’s a paradox in that it manifests the fears in the first place. Granted, the religion was spawned from the life of a holy man. But even the most wonderful children can turn out to be lawyers and politicians.
When I left home, I was encouraged to take a Bible. When one is preparing to backpack across the country, one gets in the mindset of weight and necessity. How much does the book of Numbers weigh, and will I need to know who begat whom? How many ounces is Leviticus, and will I need to clean a tunic? And what do I need to carry Paul’s letters around for when I am writing my own? I took a course on the Gospels in college and gave up on Revelation a long time ago. What was the point in taking the book with me? Life is a journey. I can’t carry one book around with me all of the time just as I can’t only read one book all of the time. Sometimes, you just gotta let go.

This is an excerpt of The Rucksack Letters by Steve McAllister. Buy your copy of the eBook on Amazon.com.

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