Friday, August 22, 2008

'Something beautiful for God'*

Religion can be full of obstacles, rife with rules that serve an ulterior motive. Politics and religion have long been known to become intertwined.

In my home country of South Africa the Christian church I grew up with (Dutch Reformed Church) supported racial divisions through the philosophy of apartheid and even claimed that there was divine support for it. I doubt many SA Christians knew that the World Alliance of Reformed Churches expelled the Dutch Reformed Church in the early 80’s, declaring apartheid to be a heresy.

When I was old enough to think for myself and more truths came to light as Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1994, the church became repulsive to me. God became just another lie fed to me by the government. So I decided to go and find my own truth. One could say that, in a sense, that makes me a Buddhist, as Buddhists believe in finding personal enlightenment.

Yet, what I found at the end of every silence, hope and fear was a God of Love. Which takes me full circle right back to Christianity.

I believe that it is important to be true to oneself, because the truth lies inside of us and not in the rules and regulations that we are taught to believe and follow. This is one thing that I realise as I walk through Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. Throughout this humble convent it is reiterated that she followed the voice of God, a calling inside of her to serve the poor, sick, orphaned and dying.

Although not half as profound, I understand this calling: mine is to travel and to write. I may not have any exceptional talents, great ambitions or a humble alms bag but I know that I have to follow my calling no matter what.

And perhaps I don't have to be a saint to accomplish something beautiful.

* The title of a book about the life of Mother Teresa, by Malcolm Muggeridge

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

being true to oneself...if only it was that easy... my life for one would have been easier if I was true to myself three years ago...