Just because you are a grown-up does not mean you cannot change. Where physical growth may plateau is just the time when the opportunity for spiritual growth may be ripest. Especially in today’s troubled times, people can read or hear the latest headlines and then feel a wash of discouragement about the state of the world that eventually trickles down into despondency about personal opportunities for healing. However, this need not be. We can find the power to change at any point in our lives.
Heeding the Cycle
Life is a complicated journey with multiple stages. Studies show that religious observance and spiritual dedication typically vary during modern people’s lives. Many people return to spirituality and religion in their 40s and later, whether it be what they were taught in childhood or perhaps it is a new path that speaks to who they have discovered they are and a vitally fresh way to connect to God, to the Great Creator.
Another group of adults may have discovered religion and a spiritual connection for the first time. Perhaps they have tried many other ways and sought comfort and fulfillment by exploring multiple paths. If everything keeps coming up dry, however, those honestly seeking the divine often eventually settle into an established faith practice. Groups including The Way International guide people toward focused study and offer them ways to actively live out their faith.
Perhaps one of the hardest points faith seekers wrestle with is the question of where a loving God is in the midst of suffering and sorrow around the planet. Perhaps those who are older and have experienced highs, as well as lows in life, are better able to finally grasp the ultimate mystery that is religious faith. Religion does not offer hard-and-fast answers. Religion is based on faith. Many adults—at least the fortunate ones—understand that life is not neat and precise, with happily-ever-after endings. Life is ambiguous.
Many Western religions, unfortunately, have adopted simpler outlooks focusing on rules and modes of behavior that identify people as members of this or that religious tribe. However, authentic religion is much deeper than these superficial interpretations.
As humans, we cannot know God’s business or plans, or how justice is unfolding even now. This is not ours to know. Humans, it seems, have enough on our hands as it is. God is in the midst of every difficult situation, for every person, everywhere. People cannot know how or see a Presence, but this is so, else the human race would have destroyed itself long ago, based on unfortunate patterns of human behavior. Adults can more easily see the open-mindedness of existence and be comfortable with it. With this attitude of open heart, religious epiphanies are invited in.
Never Too Late
Nobody is ever too old to take a new path, and it is never too late to change. In fact, adults may be able to more easily grasp the subtle nuances of religion’s ambiguity based on faith rather than intellectual proof. Western religion has evolved to emphasize logic and rules rather than deep in-your-bones faith. However, when those who truly seek to begin practicing deep religion at any age, Jesus assures them they will find what they are looking for.