Do you have to be religious to be spiritual?

Here’s a question for you:  Do you have to be religious to be spiritual?  I do belong to a church, but that’s not the kind of “spiritual” I feel when I’m on the rock, halfway up and gunning for the next good rest position before the massive pump kicks in.  Whether or not I went to church services last week or the week before doesn’t affect that spirituality, either.  So what’s the answer?  I know religious folks who would say that I’d have a more intense spiritual sensation if I went to church every week instead of going climbing.  Maybe they’re right.  But then I’d be in church instead of climbing during that time…

Sprituality is something that I feel more in nature and while climbing than at any other time.  Climbing feeds my spirit and fuels the flame that keeps me going in this life here on this earth.  The PTSD can’t intrude on me while I’m climbing, but it sure can while I’m trying to pray in a quiet assembly of fellow believers during Sacrament during a church service!  Two completely different worlds!  I thank God for the ability to climb and the good times that I have with my climbing buddies.  I pray for our safety and a good time at the crag or the gym or wherever we happen to be.  I’m grateful for all that we get to experience while climbing, and I praise God that we have such a beautiful planet to climb on!  Those are spiritual things.  Religion is an institution of rules, laws, and ordinances.  Spirituality is having and sharing life-altering experiences in nature for me.

So, what’s the answer for YOU?

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