I think to understand why someone believes in God you have to understand what it’s like to suffer. Suffering promotes a belief in God. When things are going fine I basically never think twice about my absents of faith. It seems obvious that there is not God – or at least most likely not and most certainly not a specifically Christian God.
When times get tough or when I find myself having a hard time my thoughts start to drift into “I wonder if God exists”. There’s a strong desire in my heart and soul to wish that someone/something out there is watching after me. Has my back even when times are tough. That doing the right thing – even when it doesn’t reward me now – will reward me then. That these “earthly” stresses don’t mean so much because there is something so much bigger afterward.
That’s a lot more poetic than believing everything goes black. On the other hand my life after death will probably be a lot like my life before birth. I don’t remember having a problem with that…
I think they got it right in the bible when they talked about the unlikelihood of a rich man getting into heaven. Rich men tend to surround themselves with wealth and with less problems – they don’t “need” God as much.
So is there a God that we dismiss out of human ego? Or is there some natural part of human beings that in times of crisis a chemical is activated in the brain to comfort us and give us a feeling of being “watched over”? Did we create God or did (s)he create us?
What are the odds that Christians have it right? Jews? Muslims? Buddhists? Atheists? Who’s right and who’s wrong? We certainly can’t all be correct – can we?
I’ll give you a little confession. During my 4 hour commute this evening I spoke out loud to myself/God. Basically I said the things I thought out loud. “If you are real why can’t you show me proof?” “Is having faith absent of proof and admission price to heaven.” “Isn’t believing in anything on faith a recipe for disaster?” “Give me proof!”
Yeah, I said all this out loud. Which makes me crazy I’m pretty sure. There for a second of wave of comfort came over me. I realized that all of my stresses were not as significant as I was giving them credit for. Would a less skeptical person consider that wave of comfort a sign from God when I figure it was just a result of a personal process of working things out for myself? All emotions are up for interpretation, but I can certainly see why people believe in God. How they can believe in something without “proof”. I just can’t bring myself to do that.
Honestly I doubt anything short of Jesus himself materializing in the seat next to me would convince me that the Judeo-Christian God exists. (I can hear Christian’s scolding me now!)
I’m convinced of one thing though – that religion is programmed into me. I was raised religious and was always skeptical. I tried to believe, but always had doubts. I’m most likely destined to always think about God. Whether that is a struggle that is naturally programmed into all human beings or just those exposed to religion from a young age I do not know.
Sometimes I wish I could just sell completely out to Christianity. I mean really really really believe that heaven is awaiting me. God is 100% real and watching what I do. Etc. Etc. I’ve never had that ability – does anyone? I’ve always wondered if anyone was really that convinced. I don’t think I’m convinced about anything as evangelicals claim to be about religion.
One thing is for sure – these 4 hour commutes are giving me WAY too much time to think about nothing.