Hi there! First off, happy Easter everyone! Hope y’all are having a great day!
After going to church this morning, one particular (Omani-related) thought bubbled to the surface after several weeks of simmering quietly in the back of my head. What about my faith? In this past year or so, I’ve come to know myself better in many ways, including my relationship with God. I was confirmed in my church recently, and I feel as if I’ve grown closer to God.
I’ve been wondering how my experiences next year will change the way I look at my religion. As you probably guessed, I’m a Christian, and most of Oman is Muslim. That being said, I have little doubt that the Omani people will be accepting to my religion. (As I will be accepting of theirs, as well.)
That being said, I will be surrounded by other ideas for a year. Of course, I won’t be converted or anything ridiculous like that, but I am excited that I will be able to compare another religion to my own in depth. Although this might scare a few people, I think this opportunity to study my faith, in comparison to another, will make it only stronger.
I’ve always felt that most religions are different interpretations of the same story, the same goal, the same God. Despite what many radicals believe, I think all believers of any religion are “right”. Maybe that doesn’t make me a perfect Christian, but I simply refuse to believe that the rest of the world is wrong and destined to burn in hell.
A couple weeks ago, my pastor gave an amazing sermon. It was based on the beatitude: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” He compared several pictures. Three of them were ones of radical violence (from all different religions). The last one was the following:
This depicts Coptic Christians locking hands to protect Muslims as they prayed in Tahrir Square in Egypt. His words were so profound they moved me to tears. The peace he described gave me chills, and I want it so badly to be true. It felt so right that I was going to Oman in that moment, so that maybe I could do my part to make the idilic peace a reality.
His words helped to dispel some of the apprehension and nervousness I’ve had about going abroad. I know this is right.
On another note, I am intrigued to know if I will be able to attend a church while in Oman. Regardless of my attendance, I think I will be capable of growing my faith outside of church. I do wonder, though, whether or not my host family would be uncomfortable with me keeping a bible on my bedside table, or wearing a small cross around my neck, or watching sermons online.
Even if they aren’t comfortable with any of that, I’m not worried. God will not desert me, nor will I Him! Religion isn’t dependent upon anything other than oneself.
Hope I didn’t scare anyone with my Bible-talk! I’m not a crazy weirdo, I promise.
Don’t forget to be a peacemaker today. Whatever your religion, peace is beautiful.