Something that I recall from a very young age is that my maternal Grandmother taught me to pray every time that I heard a fire or police siren. She told me that hearing a siren meant that someone was in trouble, injured, had some sort of need that we should pray for. I took that advice to heart, and prayed for many years whenever I heard a siren.
I have always had some sort of “spiritual” bent to my nature. I attended Sunday school classes, catechism classes, church youth groups etc. It was not just something that my parents sent us to, I really loved the time I spent at these activities. In college I was a member of the Christian group on campus, and attended many events. At some point I became a born again Christian. This gave me much support and enjoyment through my college years. I joined a strong Bible teaching church when I graduated. Part of this large church was small groups, which we called “house church”. We met on a weekly basis, switching to each member’s home on a monthly basis. I had wonderful times with my house church, and grew in my faith as a Christian.
But there was always something that really bothered me: the teaching that people who do not accept Christ are not saved, and that they do not go to heaven. I just cannot accept that there is only one “right” religion in the world, that people who may have never had an opportunity to know Christ cannot go to heaven. So as the years passed, and things in my life changed, I fell away from my strong attendance at that church, and began to explore other paths. When I came upon Buddhism, I felt like I was coming home.