When we lived in New York I used to take the Long Island Railroad to work every day. I knew the destination I wanted to travel as it was clearly communicated by the Railroad company. I followed their posted times so I could get on the train I wanted and get to the location I planned. If I was running late, the train would not wait. If I was in need of a different route, the train would not stop there. If I was unhappy with my experience riding the train, there are people available to contact and a process available for me to administer my complaint.

A woman was in the paper today for being excommunicated from the religion I am also a member of. The notion of a train came to mind for some reason when I thought about my deeply personal decision to join this organized religion. You either get on and follow its destination or get off. When I was interviewed by the assigned person and discussed my desire to be baptized all those years ago, I agreed I would not actively take part in any movement that operated against the church and its teachings. A church I fully believe (which may sound silly to some) is run by inspiration from God. He's the conductor. His train's moving forward with or without me. I may not always understand the path, but I know what I agreed to when I got on and it's a privileged to be on this journey. Not an obligation. We believe our destination is eternal life with God in heaven. With our families. We also believe we are perfect in the afterlife (which is important to note considering the kids are home all summer fighting with each other). That being said, I can't imagine anything more awesome than being with my family forever. That's a pretty rad final destination I don't want to derail. 

There are some people who may only hear of this gospel I dearly love from the perspective of an excommunicated, disgruntled woman. Having lived in a place where few know about us, this hurts my soul. These headlines may be someone's first exposure to something so much bigger and more important than one lady's unsettling feelings about a religion she chose to be part of.

Organized religion isn't perfect. The people who run it and follow it are not perfect. But it's an option and it comes with guidelines you agree to when you become part of it. It is run by God. And He is perfect.