Religious Bridges and Spritual Destinations

Author and lecturer Joan Borysenko says that religions are bridges to spirituality. That got me thinking about how some people are very religious but somehow lacking in spirit yet others are extremely spiritual despite having no religious affiliations. I imagine the journey into spirit to be like two land masses separated by a wide and wild river. On this side is the world we know, full of joy and sorrow, buildings and televisions, careers and relationships. On the other side is a garden of hope, faith and charity. There is peace and comfort, light and wisdom, strength and courage in the garden of spirituality. My vision is a little sentimental perhaps but these are the gifts that keep us committed to spiritual growth.

I see many bridges connecting the two land masses -each with its own unique design and style. There are crowds of people moving across each bridge. Some decide to turn around and choose another bridge, others choose to forget the bridges altogether and swim for it instead. There are those who get stuck on the bridges thinking they have already reached their destination. Some shout at the people on other bridges and in the water telling them they have chosen the wrong way. Onlookers from land shake their heads in pity because they can't even see a garden and consider the journey foolish. Those who have crossed over encourage us with gentle coaxing giving us strength to go on.

Did you know there are dozens of major world religions, thousands of minor religions and over 500 Christian sects in the world today? Isn't that awe inspiring? I like to think of myself as swimming in the water, but following the direction of a very large, respected and well-known bridge. Being in the water is definitely dangerous by times because it is much easier to get caught up in a current or swim off-course but God is my lighthouse and He keeps beckoning me home to the garden. I'm certain He is happy to see me making the journey regardless of the particular path I have chosen.

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