Today’s Featured Comments
Five to Nine: I’m an agnostic and always have been but have always considered myself somewhat spiritual in that I believe that The Universe is larger and more complex than I can possibly understand and has its own system of checks and balances — well, most of the time.
One of my biggest issues with believing in a God-being was that He/She gets the credit when something good happens and none of the blame when something bad happens or when nothing happens at all. When a trapped child gets rescued or someone gets better after a terrible illness, someone cries out, “Thank (Insert your Diety of Choice Here)!!” But if something terrible happens, no one says, “Darn it, Diety, what’d you do that for??” If the Deity is purely good and omnipotent, why isn’t He/She doing good works all the time, everywhere?
I believe in people and always have. I believe that goodness prevails and that there is still more good in the world than there is bad or evil. Life has not always been easy or fair but certain people in my life have shown unbelievable kindness and selflessness while others have turned away. My friend says that God works through people; if so, why doesn’t He/She work through all people?
My other issue has been about passivity — rather than getting up and DOING something about a situation, some will say, “I prayed on it” or “I’ll leave it in God’s hands”. I don’t get that. To me, that’s like sitting and watching water run out of the tap onto the floor and not getting up to turn it off. If He/She/It is in control, I’d like to see some practical application — some burning bush that would have stopped the spiraling downward of our economy, for instance. Double digit unemployment, people losing houses, jobs, some even becoming homeless… relationships are in trouble due to constant stress and worrying; half of my friends are on antidepressants these days…. where is He/She?
Where was the Deity on 9/11/01?
When times have been tough for me, as they are now, I have relied on myself, the support of my family and those closest to me and somehow, I’m still here. Life is extremely difficult for me now for several reasons but I’m still here.
Not trying to be irreverent; I just don’t get it. Even as a child, I never personally felt the presence of a Supreme Being. I respect those who do, and maybe I even envy them somewhat. But I just don’t get it.
Joy Carl: Five to Nine, your posts are amazing. You do sound like you “get” God. This whole thing about God doing the good stuff and free will resulting in the bad stuff sort of misses the point, although I’ve heard people say the same thing many times too!
God isn’t a Mr/Ms Fixit. We don’t really see the whole picture–I mean the whole, big life picture of what and who we impact–we don’t even know our impact most of the time, so who can figure out why things happen? God gives me strength and skills and talents that can make my life good and can help me through the struggles and the free will comes in where I use those God-given talents. We all have our own, every one of us. I do believe God has a path or a plan for us, but if we choose another way he will try to have good result from that too. Religion and church don’t necessarily have anything to do with God, as many posts have attested, but community and grace toward others is all about God.
When I was in the deepest pit of my life and I had no resources, no money, no family, no energy, no nothing left to me, I just prayed. I didn’t know what else to do—I was in mortal danger and was exhausted beyond exhaustion. Now here is the part where you think I’m a total nut case or some Christian weirdo, God actually talked to me—I was standing in our barn with my massively abusive husband (that’s another story) storming toward me when a friend who was there to help me clean the barn, not realizing what was happening, distracted him and he walked away from me. A voice outside of myself said, “Pick up your things and leave,” and said it over and over and over until I picked up my things (purse and paperwork I had and ultimately needed) got in my truck and drove away. I had been praying and praying for my marriage, NOT for the strength to leave—I wanted my husband to change and our marriage to work and I prayed and cried over that prayer time and time again for months! My prayer was not answered the way I wanted, but it was answered for my good.
There were other miracles, big and small, but I’ve talked too long already. I believed in God but relied more on myself because I have always been a strong woman with lots of leadership responsibilities that I loved, but the time came that brought me to understand God is in control of the big picture but can and does step inside our lives. I think trying to live a grace-filled life like Jesus and doing what Galatians 5 tells us, that the “fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” and that “if we live by the Spirit let us also walk by the Spirit” is a better way to live.
I belong to a church because I found one where people live the way of the Spirit and are not concerned with the so called rules, denominational requirements, holier-than-thou in-your-face preaching, and wrath of God scare tactics. God brought me here, now I’m trying to give back some of the grace He bestowed on me. It’s a pretty good way to live.
[These comments were originally posted in this conversation. ~ Eds.]
In hard times, where do you find God?