This is a long read I know. It is my hope that you or someone you know finds some value in here.
I am not overly religious. Truth be told, I am not even moderately religious. Or, at least I wasn’t up until recently. In fact, the better half of my life I have refused to acknowledge God’s existence. I even question the purpose in writing this argument considering my relationship with God is severely lacking. Perhaps recent personal events led me questioning my own beliefs. However, I have always found it strange when things begin to go south in our lives, especially mine, we tend to look to God as if He holds the secrets to our problems and is responsible for them. My narrative typically goes something like this, “why God are you letting this happen?” Over the years I have grown to think of God as a puppet master where we are being danced around on strings for His entertainment.
Throughout my years as a teenager and a young adult, not once have I looked to God when times have been great. I only ever seem to acknowledge His existence at all when I am at low points in my life. I suppose you could say God to me is like a friend I take for granted. I am sure people at one point in their lives experienced a similar relationship where they took someone for granted or felt like they were being taken for granted. Like a friend you would only call when you and your girlfriend or boyfriend were having problems. Or that person you really didn’t care to hang out with but he had a car. Or that person you knew that would sit and listen while you talked about everything going on in your life, however, you didn’t much care to listen to his story or would interrupt when they tried to speak.
We pray when we want something but don’t pray when things are stable. We are extremely good at rejecting or blaming God when things are bad in our lives, we are even better at not even acknowledging Him when things are good. Almost as if we refuse to accept any responsibility for what has happened. I suppose it is easier to blame others for our problems and when there is no one here on Earth we look to God to point the finger at.
Perhaps your car broke down at a time when you can’t afford to fix it or you lost your job because of downsizing. Maybe your spouse cheated on you and now your home and everything you know is broken. Or, your child is addicted to crack cocaine and you feel like you have lost her. Why would God allow such a thing? I think a more appropriate question to ask is could you have done more? These situations are tough and it is easy to point the blame towards someone or something else. But let’s be real. There are many times where we have control but fail to seize the opportunity. Maybe it was just a busy day at work and you were too tired to recognize your child was struggling. Maybe you didn’t have the money or the time to have the car checked out when the engine light came on.
Worse events where we have absolutely no control can take us even further away from God. Abuse, rape, death, victims of violent crimes. If this is you I am truly sorry for your tragedy. I am in no way qualified to give advice and I wouldn’t try to. All I can say is this, sometimes evil creeps into our lives with no explanation. I understand completely this is not the answer you may be looking for. However, is it God that should be blamed or is it the perpetrator? All I can really offer is that if it were me I would try to place blame where it should rightfully go. I know this is easier said than done.
I suppose this leads me into the next question. Why would God allow such things to happen? Just as God can represent everything good, couldn’t there be forces that introduce evil into our otherwise normal lives? If we blame God or insist on believing there is no God because of these tragedies, why would it be so difficult to blame Satan? I think it is because it sounds too silly like Bobby Boucher’s mother saying, “foosball is of the devil.” If you have seen The Waterboy with Adam Sandler you will know what I am talking about. I certainly wouldn’t blame the devil out of fear of looking like a Bible thumper or whatever you want to call it.
If you even slightly come close to believing in God, or have begun to reject his existence, which would indicate you did have faith at one point, and you also accept scientific principles, then one could argue for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. If there is good, God, then there is evil, the devil. Even for me that is hard to accept, and I can fully understand if you are cringing or laughing or calling me a fool as you read this. But as I look around, read and watch the news, witness this growing separation from God, see how at every turn there is some other article rejecting His very existence, some other person drifting away from faith, I question if there is something deeply sinister at work. If you were on the fence as to whether God existed or not, the constant tragic news that is shown 24/7 on television is more than enough to convince anyone that God is just a myth.
This thought frightens me to the core. Several years ago, I wouldn’t have even thought about it. Now at a time where my kids are teenagers and the world is becoming increasingly violent, less and less people accept God, where individuals are more self-interested than ever and put their needs above others, I feel an overwhelming need to readjust my moral compass and introduce God back into my life.
Please tell me you don’t feel this world we live in is growing more chaotic by the day. I would be amazed to hear from anyone who felt that everything is peaches and cream. I am not referring to the folks you see on MTV Cribs. Those are people who get paid to make people like myself and others feel like we are below average. I am not saying it works I am just saying they try to make us believe money is the answer to our problems because, hey, look at them their rich and happy or so they claim.
Imagine a world where everyone, absolutely everyone, put their own needs before anyone else’s. Imagine a place where the selfish and hateful dominate. Is this not where we are heading? If you are one of the few that happens to agree with this assessment then what should we do about it? I have always been a contrarian and cannot fall in line with what feels like the dominant ideology where it is every man for himself. It seems the only logical answer is to align with God and pray that we are on His side. Fight to do what is morally right rather than by what today’s society would dictate.
At the beginning I mentioned I am not remotely religious. I stated I was skeptic and a cynic. I have always been selfish, and I have never concerned myself with anything outside my personal interests. I have used and taken people for granted. I have said hateful things to my wife and disrespected my parents. I have done awful things throughout my life. I was raised in a religious home but never accepted God and always found a way to rebuke any religious claim. If there is a God, and I hope and pray there is, I would be the last person He would ever accept into the Kingdom of Heaven.
I know I have been naïve and narrow-minded. I know now that the only way we can protect what we love in this world is not by being selfish but through compassion and caring of others. When confronted with evil we confront it back not through violence but through love and forgiveness. We may experience tragedy but at least we will know in our hearts we did the morally right thing and we are on God’s side. Will it be hard? Absolutely, hell yes. But having faith has never been easy. You ask all the most faithful and they will say the same thing. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the most faithful which is probably the reason I haven’t fully let go of religion all together.
You may think I sound crazier than ever, having gotten this far, I don’t blame you. But whether you believe me or not there is a case for God. If anything at all our society should embrace that type of ideology because it is sure as hell better than the alternative which we are living in right now, a godless one. I am not proposing we return to the crusades but at the very least readjust the moral compass. It is my opinion the only way to do so is through the acceptance of God. I know people can be moral without believing in God, I have met plenty of people that are but God is the uniting factor, the common denominator among a world of individually thinking minds.
Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts.