Thursday, January 15, 2009

Confessions of a Monotheist Part 2- Roots

Within the last few years I've experienced an awakening to my spirituality. I felt as if my soul has opened its eyes and ears for the first time. I do not pretend to walk closely with God or to have achieved an elevated level of spirituality. I am just becoming aware of it as if I have just awakened from a deep sleep. I do not mean to offend those that may stumble upon this but to tell my tale to those that are willing to listen to my spiritual journey thus far. This is my story.

Spring 2006
I had left everything and everyone and moved to Murfreesboro to finish my degree at MTSU. After four years of living at a boarding school you get over homesickness quickly. I lived in a cozy apartment across the street from campus where I spent my days studying for class while working at the local Wal-mart at night. I wasn't much of a social butterfly either but I did have one person that I talked with daily, Samantha. She jokes that we were meant for each other and I believe her. We later realized that if we married we would carry the same exact initials and if not for our middle names our full names would be exactly the same. We met innocently at work one day in 2004 when we both realized we shared the same first name. "You're Sam, I'm Sam too," we grinned. At that moment it never crossed my mind that we were about to embark on a lifelong journey together.

It was almost heartbreaking to leave her behind to finish school at MTSU after almost a year of dating. But I knew he needed me, they needed me, to finish growing up and get a decent education. I did not know them yet but I decided soon after high school that if were to one day raise a family I needed to find and complete myself. While living alone I taught myself how to cook, clean, slowly becoming organized and responsible. The phone rang while I was cooking supper. Samantha sounded worried, scared, and after we talked for awhile she said she'd call back in a minute. She didn't have to tell me because somehow I already knew she was calling her mother to tell her she was pregnant. She didn't know what I would say and I guess I surprised her when I said that it was great news and that everything would be OK. He was finally here.

The seed that I'd been slowly watering was taking root. I couldn't focus on my studies and all I could think about was him. For months I was obsessed with the idea of future generations hundreds of years from now descended from my children. I kept daydreaming of how my descendants would look like? Would they even know my name? Great, great, great, great grandfather Sam! What I wouldn't give to know them, to see what they see, to live in their time for a day! I even spawned an idea that would tie us across time. In my last semester at GCA I was obsessed with symbols and tattoos. I finally designed one of my own and after months of research realized that it truly is unique. I would stare at it for what seemed like hours at a time. I made a poster, bookmarks, t-shirt, flag, and anything else I could find to display my symbol. When I had the symbol tattooed onto my back I decided then that I would start a tradition where my children and their children would one day have this symbol tattooed somewhere onto their body. Of course I could not force them but I envisioned a family reunion photo with all the family members showing off our family mark.

Around the same time we found out about our son my spiritual seed was germinating. I had decided that if I'm going to be a father someday then I need to get my spirituality back on track. Since I wasn't sure which religion to follow (if any) I decided to start with what I know, Monotheism. I read through books comparing the three monotheistic faiths (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) and I soon realized that I knew next to nothing about any other religions. It became a hobby, an obsession, and a quest. I even obtained a copy of the Qu'ran and was amazed that another religion held Jesus in such high regard even though Muslims only consider him a prophet. Until then I never knew how much Christians and Muslims actually fought. In fact all I knew about Muslims at the time was that they prayed a lot and they have a prophet named Muhammad. My ignorance about other religions blossomed into lack of intolerance which benefited me greatly. It enabled me to increase my love towards my neighbor regardless of their beliefs. This acted as oxygen and light towards my spiritual seed which allowed it to take root and grow. And then my son, Isaac, was born. I knew then that every action I take must be to his benefit. I will become his guardian, mentor, friend, and most importantly, father.

Everything was good for a time never realizing what was slowly enveloping my seedling. I had become enamored with Islam drawn to its message and concepts of God. My religious study continued relentlessly in pursuit of a suitable religion never noticing the warning signs, the darkening clouds that were casting a terrible shadow over my soul. Soon I would be caught in a personal hell, imprisoned behind bars fashioned by my blind pursuit. If I wanted to keep my new family intact I would first have to suffer, die, and arise from the ashes as a new creature.

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