I remember a conversation I had when I was about eight years old. A kid who waited at the same bus stop as I did asked me if I believed in God. I thought about it for a moment and said “I don’t know. Maybe God’s real, and maybe not.” The boy said “Oh, you’re an agnostic.” I remembered the conversation not because it seemed important, but rather because I’d learned a new word, and that was always interesting to me as an avid and precocious reader.
My family was ‘culturally Christian’ in a small way: at Christmas, there was a nativity set on display and Christmas carols on the stereo, and my mom at one point reprimanded me for the teen habit of saying “Oh-my-God” as a verbal filler. But there was no Bible or religious books in the house, and we never went to church. As a teenager, I began to be concerned with questions of right and wrong, and felt a longing for meaning and connection, but it didn’t occur to me to explore these issues in religious terms.
In college I absorbed the prevailing idea that religion in general, and Christianity in particular, was just a historical curiosity, and that science could explain everything. By the time I was in my mid- to late twenties, I was convinced that there was no God (or any spiritual reality). I did not believe that I had a soul; I thought I was just an intelligent animal, and that when I died, my consciousness would simply blink out. I thought that there was no ultimate meaning in life, and that people who believed in any form of God were seriously self-deluded. It was a bit depressing, but I believed it to be the best explanation of the way the world is, and truth is better than false comfort.
Much more at the link. Read it, be inspired, pass it on.
And get the book.