These thoughts never come in time or in the right moment. Usually after numerous missteps and mostly when it is just about to be late. We don’t like to be tied up to the traditions of the past, neither we want to be bothered with commitments for the future. Living life of the 21st century is easy and tough as never. It is a path with no boundaries, no exclusive undivided attention and almost no time to sit back and dream.
We search when we are in urge for justice, for answers, mostly when we are in pain. Physical or mental, it might not matter as much. Any kind of pain or struggle is turning us to step on a yellow brick road of exploration. We seek because we need an explanation, something that our minds are not yet ready to process. Religion is one of the paths that I stepped on so many times and never made it to the end. All because the goal of search by my beliefs could have zero connections to any religious matter. Inspiration, balance, gratitude, faith, talent, truth – I have been searching for all of these most of my life. Stagnation and regress brings mental pain that I can’t live with. So I have been searching. Recently I stepped into a church, and believe it or not I found inspiration, balance, gratitude, faith, talent and truth. Not in some fanatic way, no. I will never be the one who goes to the church every weekend, nor I will be the one who will promote the belief and judge those who don’t. Previously, I was strictly distinctive from the idea that religion has anything to do with my life and my search. I still am, but I am also on my journey of discovery. One thing for now that I know for sure, in the epicenter of unstoppable buzz and bizarre life, church has a place in my life span. It is my silent haven.
I don’t visit church often, only when I need. Only when I urge for silence and solutions, that are always found within my own mind. Very self-centered, I know. Church for me is a tool, rather than an object of admire and respect and I know that it’s wrong. In no way I would ever disrespect or laugh at church’s statutes or beliefs, yet there is a long way for me to go till I fully believe. The picture of the world and religions, every day rhythm and circle of life is so puzzled out, that I don’t think I am going to have a clear understanding any time soon. After all, I am only 22, I think I still have a bit of time. But I can say this: church really is a place where I don’t feel judgment or pressure from no one. At the end of the day I will still be responsible for whatever I have done, but it’s only between me and the walls. No one stares, no one asks, no one is judging. I can just sit down, close my eyes, embrace myself and find a way. My way.
I am orthodox, Russian orthodox. But depending on where I am in the world I visit different churches, does it really matter? I believe that it does not. You can go ahead and tell me how we suppose to stick to whatever is our tradition but as I already mentioned: church is a silent haven. And it does not matter what kind of church. Any is better than none. Just come with good intentions and no one will judge.
St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow