Last night the final class for the Interfaith trip was held. We are now as ready as we will be to embark on a wonderful adventure of discovery. It was an interesting night, the culmination of presentations and discussions from the many faith traditions represented on the trip.

We began with a discussion and meditation led by the Buddhist Chaplain. This was followed by a presentation by the Christian students on what Christianity is and their personal connection to their faith. The last presentation was by a young woman who is not affiliated with any faith tradition – she is simply a seeker. It was her talk that made me think the most. In one sense she is a guide to the rest of us.

To seek truth, your own truth, is a beautiful thing. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up what you have been taught since birth. Not at all, it means taking the time to understand what it is you believe and to question those parts of “faith” that others may accept without question. By seeking our truth we delve deeper into ourselves and our own spiritual being. Something that I think most people on earth would benefit from. She talked about expressing her thoughts to her mother that she didn’t agree with the “rules” and teachings and didn’t want to participate in the tradition any more. A brave thing to do, but one that she felt compelled to do at a young age. The wonderful part is that her mother understood and allowed her to explore. In a sense she was given permission to question the truth that she was being taught. What greater gift could you give to a child? This trip in a sense is giving each participant permission to question, learn, and understand themselves and each other a little bit better.

This made me think about what this trip means and what is it I wish to take away from it.  I thought I would share my answers. My goal is first to learn and understand how the other faith traditions express their beliefs. It’s not simply the trappings that I am interested in; but rather to see how their faith is expressed in their lives and how that may or may not change when entering their places of worship. That seems odd as I say it, but I can only imagine how I will feel when stepping into the stones. I’ve tried to imagine it, but I don’t know what it will be like. In some sense it will be like going home for me – only different. I want to see the different faiths come to life and the energy that it gives each of us as we walk our own truths. My second goal is to take what I see and learn where we can find common ground. I want to look for common ground that allows us to see common goals while at the same time understanding that we represent a multitude of differences that should be celebrated and appreciated. I don’t want everyone to be like me – that would be boring. I want to find strength through our differences so that we can accept each other for our individuality.

Two “simple” goals that will take me years to work on, so wish me luck as we take off this Sunday. I’ll be posting some before we go on some other subjects and while we are exploring I’ll be posting as we go.