Let's see... I'm an avid cyclist and very active person. I tend to constantly be striving for improvement, in my physical self, my spiritual self, my emotional self, and just in regards to the world around me.
I found my way here as one of the steps in what has become a spiritual quest. Several years ago, I found myself very unhappy with most aspects of my life, so I set myself to the task of sort of renovating my life, trying to find who I really was and what I was really meant to be. I was raised in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, and in high school I became really involved and was quite religious. As I also began to struggle with, and attempted to deny, that I'm gay, I became increasingly involved with the church, and for a time I was kind of a homophobe. As things just kept getting worse, I finally realized I had to start identifying and addressing some of the issues in my life, and the biggest part of that was accepting that I am in fact gay, in spite of my religious inclinations.
It could be a case of revisionist history, or perhaps I'm finally making sense of some of what the Universe had and has presented me, but as I look back, I'm realizing that the first real jolts to my Christian faith came back in 2004. Since that point, my spiritual outlook has never been the same, and my journey, in whatever hobbled and meager fashion, began. I started really researching the bible and began to question a lot of what it contained. I had prayed to God for years for the strength to overcome my homosexuality, but I didn't get an answer until I prayed for the answer to who I was and the strength to live as I was intended to. By this point, with my Christian faith almost in ruins, I walked out of the closet... In what proved to be one of the most illuminating moments of my life, I came out to my pastor, and his first reaction, however brief, was as though I had revealed myself to be a monster, and that proved to be the final and decisive strike against my already beleaguered Christian faith. I discarded the bible as inconsistent and deemed it to be of little more value than maybe as a guidebook, or a doorstop.
For some time, I believed in some flavor of a God, but that belief has been waning as of late. I still believe that there is an intended balance to the universe, and I still consider myself a militant Agnostic, albeit an Atheistic one, in that although I don't necessarily believe in a god, I still suspect there are some spiritual aspects to the Universe to which I don't and can't know or understand. I certainly can't claim that my beliefs are any more valid or correct than anyone else's beliefs, and even if I don't necessarily agree with some beliefs, I try my best to be tolerant and considerate of them.
I guess at the very least, I am trying to remain open to the possibilities in spite of the fact that it seems as though the threshhold at which I'm impressed is getting higher. At this point, I have no idea if this is a temporary condition, or if this is a preview of the next leg of my spiritual journey, but I look forward to the journey.
I joined here because I've seen a number of interesting conversations, and I think being exposed to all make and manner of beliefs can only aid in my own spiritual growth. Conversely, I hope that my perspectives on the world can be of some benefit to some other seeker out there that might need a glimpse of something different.