My Answer to “There is no god!”

May 27, 2019

I get comments from time to time questioning my beliefs about God, that we can’t see Him, that He doesn’t exist. I don’t usually answer them, but I do think about what I would say to them.

 

I look at the universe, its beauty and its depth, its complexity and its interdependence, and I know that there is an intelligence far greater than my own. I look at our planet and know that Someone or Something designed the interaction and interplay of some 8,000,000 + species of plants and animals that scientists project exist here on earth.[1]  To date, we’ve only identified better than one million species. Perhaps our science has a lot to learn about reality!

 

I think that the Mind which designed this system is exhaustive and loves variety. I see how one species feeds another which feeds another(animal or plant) which feeds another and marvel at the Mind that created this interdependent system. And made it harmonious and yet competitive. I think of the provision to meet the needs of every single species of the 8,000,000 here(If people did not interfere with the distribution by hoarding.). That’s an issue today as we lose one species after another due to human beings’ actions.[2]

 

I think of the beauty just of the trees, especially in spring and fall when they are leafing out and the leaves are dying in an unbelievable color display. I think of the complexity of the trees which in a natural forest act like a community in fending off pests and in promoting growth.[3] And then in the winter, I marvel at the underlying structures of branches and limbs which are revealed in the barest trees.

 

I revel in the gift of life on this planet that I have received. It’s been rich and beautiful and scary and hard, but it’s always been full of life and companions who accompany me along the way and whom I accompany, too. I think of the richness of the variety of human beings, each one is unique and different from everyone else, even as we might try to emulate others.

 

To me as one who is an observer of the life around me, I trust that what I have been given in trust for this lifetime I can contribute to the whole creation. That I, just like one pebble of sand on a beach, still have a role to play in this great mystery of life: Who is our creator and how do we relate to Him.

 

I assume that God is beyond gender, but is still active, as I see it, in the evolution of consciousness which is apparent over the centuries. I don’t think that God is just a much bigger man/god who rides in a chariot in the skies. I believe that God is a pervasive force in the universe still. As I open my eyes to see the work that He does on my behalf and on others’ behalf, I am thrilled to be companioned throughout my life. When I allow Him to lead my life, I find adventure and freedom and love and so much more. When I let Him show me who I am, I became a writer, something that was never evident in my whole life until some 12 years ago.

 

I was brought up on a fearsome, capricious, punitive God who couldn’t wait for a time to punish us, but I long ago decided I couldn’t live with that image of God. So I went on a life-long search for a God I could believe in, the One I believe created this universe and me and everyone else. I have no evidence that will prove to anyone else that God exists, but I do know that I lead a peace-filled, purposeful life that I would not trade for anything else, that I look to God for everything.

 

I believe that God is essentially Mystery, beyond human comprehension. That our small minds cannot fully grasp all that God is to us and to the Universe.

 

All this came to me before I even moved to the Bible as the source of wisdom about God. It is easy to interpret the Bible in so many different ways. And it is easy to find justification for all sorts of wrongs, like slavery, not taking care of others, of discriminating against all kinds of differences, of feeling like we’ve got the right beliefs and none of the rest of you will go to heaven, and so much more, including pride, and many other sins. We humans are very good at justifying what our egos want to do. Just think of the slave-owners here who not only cited the Biblical justifications, but pressured the churches at the time to not preach against slavery, even when they must have known it was wrong. After all, every human being is made in the image of God.[4]

 

All of this I see clearly, just as I see clearly that I gave my life to Christ more than 35 years ago, and have done my best(and failed at times) to live up to my commitment faithfully and with love. I do not mind the challenges of some readers, I always learn from them. I think that we’re all entitled to believe what we want. After all, God gave us free will! But I want a life of peace and a growing understanding of what love really means, what a fulfilling life for me would be; I will always choose God and His ways, no matter what.

 

Questions to ponder over the week: How do I define God? What is most important about God to me? Least important? Have my beliefs about God gotten in the way of me hearing God’s “still, small voice” and following it? Do I trust God with my life? With everything?

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Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who believe in Him and follow Him wherever He leads us. May we live with great trust in how God will take care of all the areas of our lives. May we love God with all that we are.

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Check out my other website, deepeningyourfaith.com, for information about spiritual practices and more writings about the spiritual life.

 

[1] www.calacademy.org/explore-science/how-many-species-on-earth

[2] http://wwf.panda.org/our_work/biodiversity/biodiversity/

 

[3] See Peter Wohlleben, Jane Billinghurst, et al,  The Hidden Life of Trees.

[4] Genesis 1:27

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