Constantly evaluating my faith and belief system is a bit of an exhausting experience. Life is so much simpler the more things I can put on automatic pilot: get ready for work, drive son to school, what to order the family at McDonald's, transactions at the bank, and so on. If I had to reevaluate every decision and opinion before acting on them every single time, I would go crazy. We all would. So, it comes as no surprise that our religious life tends to be automatic, ritualized, and unevaluated.
Which brings me to my question. How do you handle new evidence in light of your religious belief system (or lack there of)? I'm always interested in the way both I and others respond. In the blogosphere, you find reflexive types who don't seem capable of introspecting about their own views; they are too busy defending, reacting, and attacking. Mercifully, you have others who really seem interested in finding answers and who willingly change their minds about things in light of new evidence.
I've gone through quite a journey in terms of my emotional reactions during this faith crisis. At first I experienced a fair amount of anxiety about challenging old beliefs. I wasn't looking to discard Christianity, I just wanted to finally address my doubts so I wouldn't be hounded by them. As I adjusted to this new openness to ideas, facts, and worldviews, I became much more detached from the final outcome of my exploration and more willing to go where the evidence led. It was quite freeing not to feel the need to rationalize or ignore information that didn't fit a particular belief system.
However, I admit, I am getting a bit tired. There are times when I just want answers and I don't want to continue to reevaluate. There are times when I want to just go with my preference, or emotional reaction, rather than continue to search. There are times when I really want the data to fit a certain belief system. Some days I'd rather remain a Christian. Some days I'd rather not. I've been thinking of individuals who change their worldviews more than once. Like Ann Rice, who went from atheism to Christianity. Recently, she has given up the religion of Christianity, but still considers herself a follower of Jesus. I would really prefer to not continually change my worldview. If I were to reject Christianity, it would probably be hard to be perpetually open to new evidence and to be as willing to change as I am now. I would like to believe that I am a lifelong seeker of the truth, but sometimes it just wears me out.