Sunday, October 19, 2014

More than a Concept

Religion as defined by different dictionaries can be so diverse as to cause confusion as to what it is. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary gives only two definitions, the second of which is very broad: ‘a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.’ That includes almost anything that excites and inspires us to willingly expend energy studying and practising the subject of our worship - For a religion requires practice. A religion is something that is done.

Within this definition, the study and practice of sailing and cruising small sailboats is a ‘religion’, and as with other religions there are those who study, but do not practise, and those who do both. One can be enthusiastic about the nature or concept of a belief, and yet have no real desire to put it into practice. There are those who say they are Christians and actually believe they are, and even claim they are, and yet in reality they do not do what Jesus teaches.

They accept the concept of Christianity; they love the idea and principles, but that’s as far as it gets. They are religious, but they do not ‘do’ what is required of them. They do not obey the commands of the One they purport to love and worship.

I find the same is analogous with a number of those who say they are ‘members of the sailing fraternity’, and they say they want to do this or that. They may claim it is their desire to sail around Britain, or to cross oceans, or even to live on a boat so that they can cruise when they like, but the extent of their ‘religion’ is shallow, little more than a concept. Academically, they may devotedly study their interest, and in so doing they are religious, but they never get around to actually doing what they say they want to do. They find excuses.

I’m not trying to belittle those who go no further than study a subject, for there can be great merit in doing so, but I want to point out that there are dream sailors who never sail, and the reason for this is that they have no real desire.

I have gone full circle. I had the desire. I made the effort and did what I was able, and I reaped the rewards of satisfaction and fulfilment. Now I am contented, and my lack of desire is fully understood in my contentment. My religion was more than a concept.


Oxford (Not the Concise Oxford Dictionary) definition of ‘Religion’

Oxford English Dictionary (Not the Concise Oxford Dictionary) definition of ‘Religion’

Oxford Learners Dictionary (Not the Concise Oxford Dictionary)definition of ‘Religion’

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