by Bil Aulenbach

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Life is a journey, and for me, it has been an interesting one—especially the faith part. How has your life’s journey gone? Has it been good? Or has it been a bummer? Is faith a component of that journey? Has it ever been? Would you like it to be? Or do you see it as a waste of time?

My real faith journey began in the Marine Corps in 1954. How it happened was different from others’ experiences, but almost everyone’s journey is unique. My next step, after the Marines, was in an Episcopal seminary, a liberal one, studying to be a clergyman. But when a fire engine broadsided me and my buddy Brad, killing him, my journey took a very interesting, different twist. Doubt became a key component because I had learned that blind faith without lots of doubt does not build a strong faith. In my quest for solid answers, I found that my faith became even stronger. Maybe they weren’t the church’s standard answers, but the answers I found seem to make my life rich and fulfilling.

The Bible was an important ingredient, but I had to take a very different look at this document, which dates back 4,000 years and hasn’t had a word added since about 120 CE. The world has changed radically since then, especially during the 20th and 21st centuries. So I had to learn to read that book through very different eyes to make it alive and vital to my daily living.

The church’s dogma, doctrine, and tradition have not changed much since the 5th century, but with a little tweak here and there, I have been able to develop a theology that fits comfortably into the 21st century. I have lived that theology for the past ten years, and I never thought that my senior days were going to be so exciting, invigorating, and fulfilling. I look forward to each day.

So much so that I have written another book, Cramming for the Finals, an action-packed formula about how to get and make the most out of your life every day.

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