To Believe, Or Not
My most beloved friend is an atheist. He does not believe in God. He is highly educated and thinks deeply about things. He does not make snap judgments or come to emotionally charged conclusions. He carefully weighs subject matter with great attention to detail. I admire him for thinking deeply so he is truly comfortable with his beliefs, to the point he does not try to get others to believe as he does.
In fact his calm and peaceful conviction for what is true for him caused me to appreciate him on an even deeper level because our discussions about God challenged me to question why I do believe in God. Without being challenged to think outside the box of the rote answers programmed into me by my religious upbringing, I would not have come to accept the Divine as I do today. And, just because my friend does not believe in the Divine does not stop me from loving him.
I appreciate differing points of view. When taken as an opportunity to grow and expand ourselves they always prove very beneficial. The challenge we face in learning from differing with one another is keeping our ego in check. To benefit from differing we must stop ourselves from automatically ego-defending what we think we believe as truth must be truth for everyone. As ambassadors of love we choose to remain open to thinking deeply about what we believe so we peacefully and calmly stand firm, while not attempting to convince others they too must believe as we do. I believe to believe, or not, is the free will aspect God put into each of our hearts.