The first existential question since the beginning of time: Does God really exist?
I don't know about you, but I seem to find proof of it everyday. I'm reminded of what the renowned philosopher of science and quantum consciousness, Ervin Laszlo, said in Croatia last September.
Yes, I heard it with my own ears. I'll paraphrase.
Believing that there is no supreme being can be likened to believing that a tornado could whip through a junk yard, and in the midst of its chaotic whirl, somehow manage to create a Boeing 747.
I think we'd all agree that such an outcome sounds ridiculous. Yet, when we look around at our world and the multiple complex systems that exist around us, how is it that we somehow hold the belief that much of it is random?
To hear a scientist acknowledge the complexity of creation and boldly state that our universe didn't come into being by mere happenstance was reassuring.
So, for anyone who doesn't yet believe in God or the power of prayer, I'm offering this: Just because something doesn't fit into your experience or understanding, doesn't mean it doesn’t exist. It just means that you haven't experienced it yet.
What Might Change if You Stayed Open and Curious?
Okay, so I'm not trying to convert you to some religious system or belief. The beauty of acknowledging a supreme being is that this being is available to all. And how we access and build upon that relationship looks different for each of us.
Ryan Holiday speaks to the flexibility of will:
"The point is not to have an iron will, but an adaptable will—a will that makes full use of reason to clarify perception, impulse, and judgment to act effectively for the right purpose."
The hardest part about coming to know God is that he/she doesn't fit into our box of reason.
Holiday goes on to say that flexibility is its own kind of strength. It's what makes us resilient as circumstances continue to rise up and change.
Maybe you don't believe in the all-punishing God that comes out of the heavens wreaking of judgment and wrath. I don't believe in that God either. But, I do believe in a God that is mighty and just, one who is the creator of all things. A empathetic God who wants us to have an abundant life. A God who loves us enough to give us the free will to either choose him or not.
For me, it's about being open and curious enough such that I build upon my relationship with God. I want to be ever-watchful for him in the mist of the most mundane moments of my life even as I feel the power and presence of him while in the midst of the greatest suffering and pain.
It is my belief and faith that has helped me integrate the joy and pain of my own story into the best version of who I am even as I recognize that I am far from complete—hardly yet finished— the best part of me yet to be revealed.
The Second Question
The second existential question that often arises is, if God exists, why does he allow bad things to happen?
These are definitely two questions well beyond my pay grade, but here's what I'm thinking.
Yes, God is omniscient and all-powerful. Yes, he could intercede on our behalf at any given moment (and, in fact, already has, but that's another blog post). He could stop an accident from happening, but having control and being controlling are two different things.
If God were to control our every moment, where then is our free will? Dare I suggest that beyond the gift of life itself is the bonus of free will?
Maybe, just maybe, something quite amazing is destined to emerge from even the most tragic moments in our life. We don't yet know the whole story, so for now, all we can do is take this very complex life one step at a time.
We can do our very best to plan and prepare and save and worry, but in the end, nothing is for certain. In one moment, all of life can change. It is the deep and abiding love of God that secures our wholeness no matter how many storms knock us sideways.
I think of all these things because earlier this week my nephew-by-marriage was hit by a car while riding a motorcycle. He is currently in ICU. As tragic as this incident is, I see God's hand in the midst of it all. Jacob's life has been spared, and for now, this has to be enough.
I have experienced the power of prayer first hand. What I know is that this power is restorative and healing. Healing, however, comes in many different ways. Even when—no especially when—the person is a non-believer.
The good news is, we don’t have to believe in God for him to believe in us.
Today, I pray for Jacob and my niece Hayley. I pray for them to have eyes to see God in the midst of it all. To have hearts to feel and love well. I pray for Jacob's recovery, for his heart, mind, and body to be healed. For this most tragic event to bring him and Hayley to a far greater place of unconditional love such that they never take one moment of their young lives for granted.
I ask you to pray, also. For them and for your own loved ones because in one fleeting moment, all of life can be forever changed.
I'm not taking this to Facebook. I'm bringing it to those who share my passion for a better world. To those of you who believe in the power of prayer and even to those of you who don’t.
In the end, we all gotta believe in something. Why not something bigger and more powerful than yourself? After all, could you create a Boeing 747 from a junkyard heap?