I don’t remember learning how to swim. In my early childhood, we had a boat on Lake Erie and I am told that I was in the water since too tiny to comfortably admit in the company of more careful parents. My folks told me that I was first put in a life ring behind the boat with my Dad swimming next to me. Occasionally, the story continues, I’d slip out and my Dad would put me back on the ring, but eventually I learned to let go intentionally and swam.
Religion has many functions (see my post on Various Religiosity). For me, the function it serve me did not involve looking for salvation, prosperity, escaping my sin, desiring to fill the hole in my heart, escaping drug addiction or violence or any other forsaking any other dark element that Christian conversion stories are full of. My adult conversion was pretty simple — probably like most folks, though they may tell otherwise.
My girlfriend was Christian – she was raised in a very religious Baptist family. Hell, she was the church organist. It was awkward. My two closest friends were Christian and they had both been bugging me the last year. I was going off to college and uncertain about my future, and leery of leaving girlfriend behind and much more. THEN, I found my best friend dead — (see my post here). The year before I had lost two other friends: one to murder and one to suicide.
Pulling my dead friend’s face off his car seat caused me to embrace Christianity full go, right then and there. I grabbed the religion Life Ring. Only later after some more stability in my life and more insight into religion in general, did I deconvert. I was able to let go of the Life Ring. But before that, I was thankful for what Christianity offered me: a huge support group and a more committed girlfriend (well, for a while).
Pic credit: Life Ring