- Ryan Choy
God and Other Questions
Updated: Aug 17, 2021
Before I start, I think it’s important to make very clear that this is not meant to offend or question your respective faiths. As the title of this article suggests, it is merely the epitome of my curiosity. It’s also important to share that while some of my close friends may know about some of the things I’m about to share, this is still the first time that I’m publicly expressing this. So here goes - God, and other questions.
I’ve had some pockets of my time during my day in the last 2 weeks or so to think about my sis in law who passed away recently - inevitably, that triggered memories of my mother, along with everyone else that I have lost in my life. Naturally, it gave me perspective to treasure what I have because it can be taken from me in an instant. It also led me back to religion and wondering about faith. I’ve been here before, just not as publicly as I will be now. As a kid, my sister used to take me to Trinity Church. I went to Sunday school, attended service and read the bible. My mother was, what I’d call a believer of a universal God. She taught me to be understanding of all faiths and as a kid I had read books covering judaism, christianity, islam, Hinduism, buddhism and more. She told me that it was important to understand that no matter which faith you belong to, to be respectful of the other and that there are lessons to learn from every religion; that they’re all beautiful. Having gone to church at a young age, I loved it all. I loved attending service, I loved the friends I made, I loved the songs and worship - so obviously, I leaned towards Christianity at a young age. When I was in Secondary School, I had joined the Boys’ Brigade, and while it was fun with sports such as soccer, table tennis, carom, archery and the like, we also had bible study sessions and worship. My relationship with God was strong. Inevitably (and I use this word a lot here), things changed when my mother passed. My faith was tested and soon broken. I was young, angry and reluctant to understand the concept of death. I stopped going to church and throughout the years as I reconciled with my mother’s death, I wasn’t angry anymore. I still “spoke to him” every now and then and I prayed too - but only when the going was tough. Perhaps a part of me felt ashamed that God, or religion was only something I turned to when things weren’t going well. The bigger truth was that I didn’t have it in me to go consistently. I had been to some churches before but decided they weren’t for me; the loud worships, the passionate sessions when I just couldn’t get to it, being introduced to people for the first time and having to stand up to say this is my first time at a certain church seemed all too overwhelming. I also didn’t want to have to explain everything that happened before.
In 2015, something traumatic happened to me which I won’t go into detail here but it was a testament to me that God never left - in essence, I had felt a nudge from somewhere to do something. I acted on that and a life was saved. In some way, I believe my life was saved too. A week after that incident, I met my wife. It wasn’t planned, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to be dating after what happened but the rest as they say, is history. We’re parents to a 2 year old now, and have been married for almost 5 years. My wife is a buddhist and not a Christian, although she is possibly the most supportive person in the world - she’s told me that she’d go back to church with me if I wanted company.
Here comes the questions: I’ve been told, more than once, that if my wife and I do not share the same faith, we will not be together in the afterlife. Now I think that for a start, we have to speak on the premise that there is an afterlife (yes I believe in heaven) and if this is true, if God loves us all as his children, is it true that my wife won’t be accepted because she has a different faith or that truly, we will not be together? It's worth mentioning that the person who encouraged me (asides from my sister) and persuaded me to go to church more often, to attend Sunday school when i was too tired or lazy, was in fact my mother. Do I get to see her when my time is up? If not, where would she be? Is there a church, that respects the fact that the people I love have different faiths? Is there a church that allows me to quietly make my own peace with God, at my own pace? What does it truly mean to be a devoted Christian? Does it mean that you serve the church in every capacity, or that you attend cell groups and bible study sessions and/or introduce more people to Church and Christianity? What if I was one who only occasionally read the bible, who only attended service every now and then and never did any cell groups or bible studies - does that make me less of a Christian? Finally, as a parent, I believe it’s important to give my children the freedom to explore what they may be interested in - that goes for everything in life including religion. If I do not encourage my kids to go to Church and I allow them to explore whatever religions they want (just as my mother did), is that wrong? What happens to my family in the afterlife then, if my wife is a buddhist, my son marries a muslim woman and I am a Christian?
I don’t expect to have a golden answer for all my questions. But I do hope to find some through all of you. I’ve had some big moments with God, and I’m so thankful that he was there for me in the worst possible moments of my life; moments that I do not like talking about. Having said so, there are these tiny little question marks that are in the way. While I endeavour to find my way back to Christianity, I feel that it is important to have these questions answered. Hit me up - I’ll be waiting.