What If I Settled Down…?

I love this Congregation. In fact, I love it so much that I’m considering getting t-shirts made.

One of my favorite aspects of Project Conversion is how the community nourishes one another. This initiative has even motivated Congregation members like Lauren Elizabeth and Niki Whiting to begin their own quests, and I could not be more proud of their decision. Be sure to check them out.

Another one of our brethren, who goes by the name Editor B, has also caught the exploration fever. In one of his recent blog posts, he mentions a fascination and connection with my self-imposed status as a “spiritual rogue.”

I’ve always taken this title for granted, until recently.

99.9% of all comments received by this site are positive and inspiring. Scouts honor. In fact, it’s creepy how happy Project Conversion makes people. But there is one gentleman–we’ll call him Joe–who, since the beginning, contacts me every couple of weeks. He’s a Christian who belongs to a church not too far from my home and he has one thing on his mind in every email…

The fate of my eternal soul.

“Joe” says he prays for me tirelessly, and not only him, but his whole church. I’ve received emails from the church leadership as well. Each message usually bears a challenge of some sort regarding Project Conversion: Why I’m doing it? Am I searching for truth? When will I recognize Jesus as truth? What are my theological positions? Do I think I’ll ever find peace?

The list goes on. Most of the time I answer with something funny or ambiguous. For example, I might recognize Jesus as truth once I get to that month! Get it?


Seriously though, I appreciate the prayers of “Joe” and his church, however “Joe’s” request to spiritually settle down and my shared conflict/pleasure with Editor B’s spiritual rogue status got me thinking…

What if I settled down? Not at the end of Project Conversion, but right now?


Sorry, I never get enough of that video.

The temptation to settle down is ever-present. What’s strange about this concept is that I didn’t start this journey for personal reasons. I wasn’t a spiritual person. In fact, I was on the verge of hating religion. Meeting all of the wonderful folks involved with Project Conversion pulled me out of that brooding malice and watered a love for faith long dormant.

Now that I’m a rogue–a spiritual tramp–I have the opportunity to sow the oats of my renewed curiosity. Some months have nearly ended my “whoring” days of promiscuity, but I’ve resisted temptation and soldiered on. The conflict doesn’t escape me, especially during this month of limbo when I have no one to flirt with, no lover to keep me warm for 30 days and tempt me to stay “just one more night…”

Such is love.

Will the game ever end for me? And let’s suppose there is a God(s). If God made me in this way, am I meant to settle down? I don’t know, but every time I’m tempted to stay and call Project Conversion quits, something a little stronger nudges me out the door.

I recently revisited one of my favorite books, The Last Temptation of Christ, in which Satan says to Jesus “There is but one woman in the world, but she has many faces.” I’m paraphrasing of course, but Satan’s remark harkens back to my time with Hinduism where I read in the Rig Veda that “Truth is one, but the wise call it many names.”

In the end, Lady Faith is a wiley one, and always gets her prize. For as long as I am in the arms of one faith, I am in the arms of the divine and therefore, all.

One woman, with many faces.

As for you “Joe,” don’t hate the player, or the game. If you are reading this post, I hope this answers your prayers. God truly moves with alluring curves and in mysterious ways.


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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DYMQ74VK55RPNRARHMDV5UNFEE V2Blast

    It’s good for atheists (like myself and, I assume, you) to recognize that religion isn’t inherently evil or anything, and to be familiar with the various religions, even if we don’t believe in them.

    • Anonymous

      Interesting that you assume I’m an atheist. What gives you that impression? Great point about being familiar with others, by the way.

  • janine van rooij

    Lovely post Andrew! Keep going on with what you feel from your core that you have to do. If it is settling down and stop being a spiritual rogue, then so it is. If it is to continue with your journey and sharing your experiences with us, wonderful as well!

  • http://myownashram.wordpress.com Niki Whiting

    Thank you for the shout out! I am going to read through Lauren’s blog over the weekend.

    I’ve wondered what you might ‘settle on/into’ at the end of the year. I hope this blog will continue past the year – not with new religions to try but to explore the reverberations from what you’ve experienced this year. I wonder – will you wake up in March missing Hinduism? Will you roll over in February and not want anything to do with religion at all? Maybe you’ll decide that going to church with your wife is a really good fit. I don’t know, but I am interested in how this all shakes out into your life.

    • Anonymous

      My pleasure Niki!

      At this point, I probably won’t settle into anything. I guess I’ll always be a tramp, and yes, I’ve even had times where I didn’t believe anything at all. This is one of those trips where you enjoy the ride and don’t worry about the destination.

  • Beth Irwin

    Love the ground hog video! Rodent of DOOM….Bwaa ha ha ha.

    Perhaps Joe and his church need to contemplate what it is they are afraid of. What kind of religion do they follow that it cannot be respectfully questioned and investigated?

    I’m pleased that you continue your own spiritual progress towards the Creator. So long as your relationship strengthens and you come closer, the face or “brand” that gest you there doesn’t matter. All the religions are one. It’s YOUR journey.

    • Anonymous

      In all fairness to Joe, he is being compassionate in his own way. He thinks that my journey is leading me to Hell and he sees it as his duty to help me see the light. But the light he offers is more like a fluorescent bulb, which gives me headaches.

  • Christopher(Guest)


    Sorry, when you said the phrase “spiritual tramp,” I had to post this clip from one of my favorites (especially since you included some great videos in your post).

    I think the fact that you are contacted so much shows that you are moving and shaking the way your readers think about faith issues and about our relationships to God. And if I recall correctly, that was part of your goal upon beginning the project.

    Just my $.02, but for what it’s worth, you can count me in among those who love reading your blog, and for purely selfish reasons I hope you keep writing. :)

    • Anonymous

      That’s a great clip! Why didn’t I think of that?

      You are right, my friend. Stirring up the people is one of my missions in this project. I’ve faced harsh critique-especially in the beginning–and I suppose that’s evidence that I’m doing something worth while.

      Your two cents is worth a million bucks to me pal. Thanks for joining me.

  • Patty

    Hi Andrew, I fell off the bandwagon reading your posts during your zoroastrianism (sp?) month because it was WAY over my head and I couldn’t relate to it at all, but I’m all caught up now, and back following your journey.  I’ve enjoyed reading your posts from June so much.  And I also enjoyed the post from your wife.  I would most definitely not want my husband spending all his time on this project, and she is to be commended for trudging through and picking up the extra pieces at home.  I have young kids too, so I felt I could relate to her in a way.  I’m happy that your daughter pulled through surgery well.  My 1 yr. old
    little girl had surgery for ear tubes last week so I completely understand the anxiety you felt. 

    On this post, I love your analogy – I, too, think that there are many
    paths to the truth.  And it’s the people like “Joe” who drive me further
    and further away from organized religion.  Can’t we just all get along????  Oh wait, I guess that’s the whole point of this, right?

    Have a great weekend!!  – Patty in NC

    • Anonymous

      Hey there Patty. It doesn’t matter that you left, only that you returned.

      I hope your little one is doing well now. One year old too! Poor thing.

      And yeah, we can get along, all we have to do is realize it.

  • Denise

    To quote a local rabbi “There are many paths up the mountain, all will get you to the top.” It’s your choice or calling which one. I like that idea in regards to religion/spirituality (as well as most aspects of life).

  • ChrisH

    Amen! Gotta love the videos. I particularly like this post, and I would agree with everything in it. Makes me wonder what you’ll do at the end… and what the congregation will do… but that’s still a half a year away.

    • Anonymous

      I wonder about the same thing all the time Chris. There are a few ideas floating around in my head, but who knows until we get there, right? I’m just relishing the fact that we’re all here now, in this brief moment of peace and exploration.

  • dee moffet

    hey andrew, i just found you and skimmed thru all the blogs.  Im hoping you dont mind if this is an answered question.  You are dedicating yourself to spirituality, so would you say you have conversations with any spirits?  Some suggestions I have been given recommend telling God my problems and my appreciation for his blessings and also saying I want him to tell me what he thinks about my issues.  I do get messages that appear as random thoughts and I dont realize their significance until I have been mulling them over for a while.  He recently said “You dont have to remember to breathe because its involuntary but you do have to remember to breathe deeply to enjoy life.”  That is not really a new concept for me but it was in my thoughts like a catchy song, 5 minutes after I had requested some advice about something.  

    • Anonymous

      Hey there Dee!

      I have different methods of communicating with the divine depending on the month I find myself in. Do I ever “hear” anything? No. As I’m sure you’ve noticed through the blog, there have been points of insight which one might see as divine speech, however I’m not much on labels either. I really dig that breath quote!

  • Anonymous

    It does seems odd, doesn’t it? But alas, he’s the only one (not complaining).

    You make a very good point, but rest assured, I’m not settling down. I’m hard to get and I enjoy the wide open road.