When you don't have to think of anything, when your mind isn't being taking to think by the environment, where does your mind go? What gives you the most comfort to fantasize about? That's your God. Your religion is what you do with your solitude. -- Archbishop William Temple.
Despite the century, place of birth or age, human beings had always questioned everything that was going on around them. Spiritual searching and existence of God was and still is one of the most questionable aspects in history. What fascinates me the most is, why people, who have experienced loneliness, solitude or losses, more than anybody else consider themselves the believers? And what brings them into religion in the first place?
I am sure that everyone of us felt loneliness at some point in our lives. Some people feel it from times to times, others constantly. When one person enjoys it, the other would like to run away from it as far as possible. Every person has it's own way of dealing with this strong feeling. For me, the state of solitude has become a constant companion, but also a powerful force to start caring for others.
During hard times, for example when people feel abandoned. fragile and isolated, some might find an answer to their questions in religious books and spiritual searching. Many feel at ease, knowing that there is a higher power, which will guide them through difficulties, and that in the end we might be forgiven for our mistakes.
Fear not. Indeed, I am with you both; I hear and I see. -- The Quran, Sura Taha, verse 46.
Unfortunately in our modern society, spiritual values have been replaced by materialistic concerns. A lot of those values are ignored and, sometimes, are even considered to be shameful, especially among young people.
Probably one of the reasons why lonely people are more spiritual and religious, is because they have enough time to explore the deepest self and to pay attention to the world outside. When person is connected spiritually and has a strong belief in something greater, it gives the sense of presence, a meaning to every action. It provides a new self-image and self-awareness. It also leads to tolerance toward other people and nature. The beauty of this phenomena is in the process of its forming. With some people it can take days and years, with others it strikes out of nowhere, in a single moment, when you enter a Cathedral or a Mosque, and emotions overwhelm you and suddenly everything seems different.
You are no longer in a state of solitude. You are no longer separate. Everything is a puzzle of one big picture and you are a part of it. It is hard to explain to a nonbeliever, how religion and God can help through tough times. As it is said,
Say, For those who have faith, it is a guidance and healing; but for those who are faithless, there is a deafness in their ears and it is lost to their sight. They are [ as if they were ] called from a distant place. -- The Quran, Surah Fussilat, verse 44.
Major survey by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life finds that most Americans, nowadays, have a non-dogmatic approach to faith. A strong majority of those, who are connected to religion do not believe it is the only way to salvation, and at the same time, almost all of this majority regularly goes to churches and mosques. But is it helpful and meaningful at all, when you do something repeatedly, without giving it any thought? I don't think so. I hope that my generation will soon realize that it is not a bad thing to stay close to your traditional values, explore yourself and that you do not have to feel ashamed or different.