Sunday, January 2, 2011

Will the Real God Please Stand Up? (01/02/2011)

Talking with a friend recently, he said, "you probably need to know I am an Atheist and believe that everyone can and should be allowed to believe whatever they want and should be accepted by all." He added, "Atheists are not necessarily bad people and may be better than many so-called "Christians" who are so full of hypocrisy."

I couldn’t agree more.

I was raised in a Christian, politically conservative home. The older I get, the less comfortable I am with much of organized "religion", although I consider myself a strongly spiritual person. Lately, I have begun to describe myself as a "Red Letter" Christian Conservative Liberal. Is there such a thing? Maybe I have coined a new phrase/category.      :)

I’ve never had to struggle over whether I believed in God or not even though I frequently question the motives and behavior of His followers.

The hypocrisy and intolerance of some so-called Christians is hard to fathom. How long have we been reading and listening to the words of Jesus now? Shouldn’t we be past the baby stage and living as mature believers?

Too many of us speak and act as though we are the Judge instead of the Judgee. Ooops! Now I am judging.

(My second husband, an Agnostic, and I attended the First Unitarian Church in Nashville for several years. Unitarians are known, among other things, for their tolerance. The "inside joke" among them being, "is it intolerant to be intolerant of intolerance?"

With regard to my belief in God, it starts with not being able to grasp the idea that something came from nothing. I believe something came from something. And that’s what I call God.  I know, I know, if you take this idea to its logical conclusion . . . you can't.  No matter how far back you go, there is something and who created something.  So finally your boggled mind says, I can't think anymore.  So you either accept it (God) or not.  So I did.

Yeshua, Dieu, God, Vishnu, Allah, Krishna – these are simply the words that mean "God" in different languages. There are as many names of God as there are languages/cultures that believe in Him. What we call Him is a reflection of the language we speak. What we believe about Him, however, is a reflection of us.

I believe God can be as personal – or impersonal – as we wish Him to be.

I have had a lifetime of personal experiences and examples of what seem to me to be Divine intervention and protection for me and my family. So for me, my relationship with Him has always been personal and rewarding. In fact, the latest known miracle in our family occurred just two months ago.

My oldest son was riding his Harley in the left lane on Hwy 412 a few miles West of 65 heading toward his home in Mt. Pleasant. He was driving 60 mph when suddenly the little red truck in the right lane swerved into his lane. He had two nano seconds to realize what was happening and tried to speed past it, but the truck clipped the back end of his motorcycle and he and the bike careened 300 feet down the road before stopping.

Somewhere along the way, he and his bike parted company. The bike, we learned later, was "totaled" (per the insurance company). Tom, on the other hand, though dazed and bruised, picked himself up and called a friend to come and get him. A check-up at the hospital revealed nothing more than a broken bone in the tip of his left index finger, a couple of cracked ribs, and road rash all over his arms.

Now THAT’S what I call a miracle!
* * * * *
Recently I was painting my living room and had the TV turned to NATGEO, my favorite channel. I was listening to a program called, "Journey To the Edge of the Universe", or something like that. Alex Baldwin was the narrator. The concept for the program was that we were in a space ship going across the universe to the edge. When we got to the latest planet recently discovered, the narrator said, "to get some semblance of distance perspective, imagine that the universe is one mile across. Now that we have arrived at this planet, we are approximately three inches across the mile."

Trying to comprehend this is also mind-boggling. But it does increase my sense of humility for what I know and think and believe and increases my awe and amazement for Whoever/Whatever created it all. In fact, I would say that what I know about anything is the size of a grain of sand on the beach compared to what there is to know.

To oversimplify my own perspective, bring to mind every word or concept that is positive. Love, peace, joy, beauty, goodness, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, truth, long-suffering, et cetera et cetera. That is GOD.

Then conjure up every negative word or concept you can think of – hate, jealousy, self-righteousness, selfishness, intolerance et cetera et cetera. That is NOTGOD.

A few years ago I was watching one of Dr. Wayne Dyer's Specials on NPT.  He was discussing the Creator and our relationship to Him.  Suddenly I had this "light bulb" moment illuminating the connection between us and God.  Mentally, I pictured a Spiritual Umbilical Cord tying us to God when we are born. As we learn and live out our lives, every positive thing we do or say shortens the cord and brings us closer to the Creator, the Ultimate of all that is goodness and love. Every negative thing we think or do or say stretches the cord and moves us farther away from Him.

I do believe the reason we are here, in this place, in this time, is to learn to love. And that God is the Ultimate LOVE. And that NOTLOVE does not exist where LOVE is.

Finally, I DO believe that good is greater than not good, that there IS more good than not, and that God whoever/whatever He is, is Standing Up for me and mine.

And that's why I can sleep at night.


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