It’s official—our daughter is an adult.
Never mind that she’s twelve.
But once she completed her Coming of Age program at our church this past weekend, it’s clear she’s a young woman who knows what she believes.
A few posts ago I gave an overview of what this program’s all about. The facilitators and mentors guide the twelve to fourteen year olds through life’s Big Questions:
What do you believe about god-with-a-capital G, gods or other deities?
What’s the purpose of life?
What happens to us after we die?
Why do bad things happen to good people?
They make it clear there are no “right” answers—only what’s right for the individual. Their role as facilitators and mentors is to get the kids thinking about their answers to these questions, and what or who they have faith in.
This is some heavy stuff, folks. I didn’t tackle these questions, with any real seriousness and without fear and pressure until I was in my 40s. I didn’t grow up with any specific religious practice or community in my life, so I fumbled around in the dark for a while, trying to find something that fit.
Some of my closest friends from grade school and high school who were actively involved in religion of some sort have told me the same thing, oddly enough. From their perspective, there’s a big difference between being told what to believe because of the family you were born into and figuring it out on your own.
I’ve always equated their experience with being forced to wear skinny jeans when you’d really like to wear sweatpants—you can squeeze your ass into the former for the sake of fashion but you’d be much more comfortable in the latter. Keep reading for more awesomeness…