I have been part of the Religious Recovery Group for about a year now. Having met Wayne Holmes years ago at a Toastmasters Club I thought that I knew something about him. I knew that he was an aspiring author, a dedicated father and husband and a loyal citizen. When I met him again as the founder of the Religious Recovery Program, I discovered his deep love for the Devine and his profound desire to help his fellow man who has been disappointed, discouraged and betrayed by their various religious experiences.
Wayne describes in Every Path Leads Home the different religions he has studied, and the many various disillusionments he has encountered. Through all this he has strengthened his faith and is dedicated to serve his God the best he knows how to.
The Religious Recovery Program described in the book follows somewhat the 12-Step (in his case 13 steps) Program of Al-Anon. These steps are complemented by 13 stones which provide a guideline to follow and challenge us to awaken to new possibilities of spirituality beyond religion.
The Religious Recovery Program encourages religious tolerance and to build relationships beyond traditional religious segregation. Therefore, Every Path Leads Home goes further than doctrines and promotes forgiveness, reconciliation and acceptance.
Even though, I am very happy with my faith, I am still working on an authentic way of life. In the past forty something years of pursuing my spiritual journey I have dealt with plenty of criticism, rejection, persecution and misunderstanding both within the church and from the outside. It is only natural when we look at human relationships that problems arise. When men lost their connection to the Divine during the Fall of Man, we also lost our connection with each other. Mankind is now like a big family of children who are fighting among each other because their parents have been absent.
Reading Wayne’s book Every Path Leads Home is one other step to bridge the gap between God and man. The book is a resourceful testimony of finding the spiritual path rather than the religious. Although religions have had their purpose throughout human history, their true purpose of bringing man back to God has often been distorted. None-the-less, the many various religions have become mainstreamed into Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Rev. Sun Myung Moon speaks about the unification of all religions on the return of the “true man.” Most major religious teachings are talking about the return of their leader/founder. This Messiah/Savior concept has Jews expect the Jewish Messiah, the Christians wait for Christ’s return, the Muslims anticipate the Mahdi or Isa (Arabic name for Jesus), while the Buddhists believe in the arrival of the Maitreya, and the Hindus wait for the Kalki.
During this time where we are all looking for connecting in a new way with the Divine, we often have a spiritual awakening where nothing of the past makes sense any more. We may interpret it as disappointment or betrayal and wait for other bad things to happen. Or we can also use it as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves to live a more authentic life.