Experts seem to dictate our lives — and I suppose rightly so in a lot of ways. What else can we expect? People go to school to become knowledgeable professionals who either assist the world in either a professional service of some kind (where they are the expert and we are the client or patient), or who teach others the knowledge they have procured for themselves.
I do, however, draw a line in the sand when it comes to who dictates the events of my life, and when.
Religion. Faith. Spirituality. We are taught from a young age something of faith by our parents, who supposedly have more knowledge than we do as children. We are taught by our preachers and pastors or other types of religious officials. We are taught by the school system (whether we like it or not), and our peers (again, whether we like it or not). We learn something of religion from multiple facets of life on a regular basis.
One of the most powerful ways many of us learn on an individual basis, is from a variety of literature. Taking the time out to educate myself through books borrowed or purchased in my spare time is invigorating. It’s nice to learn just for the sake of learning. The “experts” write the books, and we read them and absorb their assumedly-profound knowledge on whatever the subject matter may be. [An added bonus: The "experts" then argue amongst themselves (the newest trend in religion books seems to be a necessity to "answer" one expert's book, with whom you have disagreed, with a book of your own -- typically flogging them repeatedly for his or her failure as an "expert" in the subject at all.).]
I could have written articles that discussed other books and authors, and what they believed, and why it relates to me. That is, in essence, how many “examining religion” sites and books seem to play out. You hear from the author, a presumed expert with many degrees and much experience, and then you hear the author quote other sites and books in hearty agreement or strong dislike. One of the two, rarely a middle-ground it seems. I suppose that is the nature of religion as a subject matter, mind you.
At the end of the day, I couldn’t understand the purpose of my writing about other people’s beliefs, when I have beliefs that are strictly my own. I suppose the facts are as follows: I don’t have a “profound” job, I have no fancy degrees, and I’m not currently doing anything in particular to change the world or the lives in it. What am I good for? Why would anyone want to read a pre-compiled list of quotations and citations from other resources for the sole purpose of defending my own personal viewpoint on religion?
Therein lies the problem, though. Personal viewpoint is everything when it comes to spirituality. Or at least, it should be.
I wrote these articles, and I will continue to write in similar, to give you a glimpse into the life, thoughts, feelings, and belief system of just an ordinary, run of the mill individual. Someone who loves God, but falls short. Someone who unfortunately didn’t live her life to the fullest for the majority of her younger days, and ended up at the bottom of the food-chain of life. Someone who doesn’t have a PhD or a Master’s Degree. Someone who probably eats at your local McDonald’s twice a week. Some ordinary girl, who remains extraordinary in the eyes of her Creator. Unique.. “just like everyone else”.
Someone who has some fairly strong personal thoughts and opinions on God, and someone who would like to share that with the world in an honest manner. These writings are a compilation of individual opinion and personal thought. And I hope by being just an average unknown individual writing on such topics, perhaps it will empower some other unique, amazing, and ordinary individuals to do the same.
In a world of experts, we often fail to recognize the power and beauty of the individual paths of each and every one of us. Our carved nooks in life are not limited in relevance to our own perceptions. Not only do our beliefs and opinions have importance and meaning to ourselves, but these same personal opinions, feelings, and thoughts can be relevant to others as well. Not every good thought comes from the perfect school, and not every piece of sound advice comes strictly from the classroom. There is more to the world value in the world than expert-opinion alone.
God created everyone to be equal, and God also created us all to be perfectly unique. In reality, we are each an individual expert. The one and only expert of the path each of us will live out until the day we cease to exist.
If you want your path to be heard? Speak up.
Some of us are actually listening.