Well, I am officially agnostic.
I have been doing a lot of introspection. For the past year or so, I sincerely asked questions, sought answers, reached out in "prayer" (as much as I could when I felt like I was just speaking to a void), listened for whatever might come my way. I do not know what else I should have been trying.
And I've grown tired of it. I have worked on this more than I have worked on almost anything. Or let me re-phrase that: more than I have worked at least on anything for which I have seen so little progress. For most things, when you put time and energy into them, you can see yourself improving, growing stronger or faster or more sensitive (or whatever quality you are working to cultivate). It seems that personal connection to a sentient "God" is unrelated to effort or desire on my part or anything I can control. And yet, I know of intelligent, thoughtful people who would swear there is a God, would swear that they have felt his presence or heard his voice in their lives, directing them towards the Good. So, while I haven't confirmed the existence of such a being, neither have I ruled out the possibility either, because I cannot discount the words and experiences of such wise and loving people.
I believe in humanity. I believe in love, in beauty, in virtue. I see a miracle in the world around us, in my fellow brothers and sisters. I wish to pass on a legacy of hope and rich tradition to the next generation, and I hope -- in some small or big way -- that my life may have an impact for good in this world. It just seems to me that if there is any type of divinity, if there is anything supernatural, it exists only as a non-intelligent force in the universe. It exists when two people laugh from some shared joy. It exists at the birth of a child. In a seed. It exists within the heart of an ancient man or a young girl. In earth worms. It can be found when we tell our children the stories of our ancestors. In song. In poetry. In art. It is the pattern found in the genetic code. It is a creative force, constantly refining and organizing chaos. But I cannot tell you whether it is anything or anyone "aware" or "omnipotent," as many others would claim.
Anyway though, I am thinking I will continue to participate in my church community. I do care about people immensely. I do want to make this world a better place. I certainly have the desire to change society for the better, but I have learned that I really do shine best within an existing framework. And there is a tremendous infrastructure for service already set up in this organization. It is a place where I have found many other good people who are striving to live better, more virtuous and loving lives. It is a place which welcomes my offering of service and efficiently puts it to use to benefit other people.
Maybe this new state of belief isn't so different from where I was before. I did not know then either. But it does FEEL different. Before, I was still seeking for some sort of intelligent connection. I guess not anymore. I guess I have lost hope in one type of god but am redoubling my efforts in finding (or cultivating???) another.
So, for now, this is my choice.