A few days ago, I passed a roadside monument that caught my attention. It was a once-white cross, now moss-covered and dangling at a treacherous angle. A bouquet of brown flowers had somehow clung tight to it through winter and now hung, withered and weightless, towards the earth. Unlike many roadside monuments, this one made me smile. Its miserable abandon spoke of time’s precious healing. Someone was allowing it to die, so that they could begin to live again.
It struck me that there was a similar monument in my heart. When I left religion, I planted a sign along a busy, virtual road for all the world to see. It told a tale of anger and injustice. But I also realize that it told a tale of grief. It was my sorrow and my loss that compelled me to write about leaving religion. Maybe it was my way of grappling with my own mistakes or coming to terms with my own life changes. Or maybe I felt like Miley Cyrus did after she left the Disney Channel. I needed to make an unforgettable statement about the new me, so I shaved my head, climbed naked onto a wrecking ball, and started shouting. (At any rate, I think it’s safe to say that neither one of us will be invited to sing in a Disney musical or in a church choir anytime soon. Mission accomplished.)
Then I wondered if my monument would also be overtaken by time, the sadness of that cross and my broken heart slowly overcome with dew and sunshine. The time I spent, or wasted, tending to my roadside monument would be replaced by an inadvertent journey down my new road. Instead of spending every weekend debunking religion, I would simply begin to live religion-free. Being halfway through my life already, my time is now more precious to me than being right, or even being noticed. So I am allowing myself to fully release the me that believed in Christianity, and I am embracing the wholeness of me without religion. And part of that change might mean blogging less (if at all), although I will miss you all dearly in the slow process of my perhaps-departure.
I find that debating religion does not bring me joy. It’s difficult to have a conversation about these things without it turning into a yelling match and with members of my human family getting hurt along the way. Also like Miley, I never meant to start a war.
I do have some thoughts still to share on magic and a very special interview I simply can’t leave unpublished, so keep watch for sporadic entries. Time will tell if writing continues to be a healing process for me, or if it begins to impede my forward motion. Meanwhile, I will leave you with this blessing:
May all of your roadside monuments slowly change into milestones along the journey of life.