After settling in the country for the next 4 months, I noticed something very revealing about the Saudis. When it was prayer time, like clockwork they were all praying. No matter where they were, I would see groups of them on the side of the road lined-up, left to right praying to towards Mecca. I was amazed at how faithful they were to their religion. I wondered, how could there be this other “culture” of people who didn’t have Jesus as their savior? This is not possible is it? Why would god let so many people in the world stray down the wrong path? It must be horrifically unlucky to be born in a culture where Christianity hasn’t prevailed.
Over time I become to accept them for who they were. I even respected them for following their dogma so strictly. I asked someone who had lived in Saudi for a while, why the people drive so fast creating devastating accidents? He said, “If you die in an accident, it’s the will of Allah.” The will of Allah? Interesting. Sort of a “if it happens, it happens.” This same gentleman also said to me, “You know, Jesus is in the quran, not just in the bible.” “Only in the quran, he is a prophet.” I really found this interesting. What was disheartening was the fact my own beliefs, were starting to crumble.
And so there I was, five months later, sitting in my foxhole. I realized that spiritually I was no further along than I was entering the country. Instead I rode a roller coaster of doubt where fear was steering the car. This was a bad time to find faith. Faith should be found in the still waters of your life. Trying to find it hastily gives you little choice or ration in your decision. I was reaching for something that wasn’t there for me. It was pathetic. And if there were a god, he would surely see through this desperate attempt to save myself from the eternal hell that salvation offered. Oh sure Mike, come to me now when you are afraid of dying! It was true, but as I looked around at my fellow Christians, a theme started to appear. The more desperate you are, the more you need god. It is why so many find faith behind bars. What do you have to lose? I have seen so many people who live an unchristian life until something happens and boy do they drop to their knees! It’s like they pull god out of a drawer and dust him off when the shit hits the fan. The safety net is if you do commit a sin, you can always pray for forgiveness and get back on the road to salvation.
So I am here to call bullshit. I believe that evolution happened. I don’t believe in a virginal birth. I believe that it is not wise to follow or believe anything based upon one source. I believe that anyone that tells you to believe in a certain way or face eternal damnation is cruel and heartless. I believe that religion is corrupt and causes pain and death to mankind on a massive scale. I believe that no one has the answers to life’s mysteries. I believe that if you are a person of faith and live within the moral guidelines of your beliefs, then good for you. I believe that a lot of people need religion to fill the gap created by the unknown, and that is ok. But most of all, I believe in me.
Stay fearless my friends.