I know it has been a while since either of us has written here, but admittedly it is sometimes difficult to come up with ideas to write about there. And since I am the one who thought that on a subject as broad as spirituality, it would be easy….I was wrong. In spite of that, sometimes an idea just falls in your lap, like this one…
I have a friend who emails quotes to me from time to time. Most of the time I think they are cute, smile, and hit the delete key. Today’s email kind of slapped me in the face, and said get busy (not really, I am not crazy, emails do not talk unless they have a video or animation embedded and then it is only sometimes). So, thank you my friend, those quotes not only work personally, but professionally as well.
“To profess to be doing God’s will is aform of megalomania.” -Joseph Prescott, aphorist (1913-2001)
While I have never really thought of it in these terms, I have to admit that Mr. Prescott was on to something. Who are we to think that God talks to us and needs something from us? The very idea of carrying out God’s will suggests that either God needs us to do something for him. God is supposed to be all powerful, all knowing, all encompassing….so if that is true, what could he possibly want from his creations? Honestly, I can’t think of one stinking thing, but I can think of several that I want from him.
OK, now that we have established that God does not need a thing from us, let’s go back to the fact that God may or may not talk to us. In most cases in modern society, if one of us starts talking about God talking to us, the rest of society labels them as crazy. Then we lock them up, medicate them, and send them to a therapist to look at ink blots, talk about their parents, and try to judge just how connected to reality they are. And in most cases, I am going to say that yes, this is the right course of action, and hopefully helps that person live a better life.
Now that we have discovered the practical side of me, let’s look at the completely emotional side. I do believe in a God/dess of some sort or another. My definitions of these things are rather fluid and hard to describe, so let’s just go with the word Deity, which is a nice all encompassing idea. Within my personal beliefs, I do think that Deity talks to us. Not in words, and not really directly, but through nature and each other. The rainbow that sometimes appears after a storm, that is to remind us that we are usually better and stronger after we have survived a struggle. Sometimes a friend stops by and says just the right thing to make us feel better, understand something that was confusing us, or just shows us that someone cares. So, in a way Deity does talk to us and care for us.
There are religions, like our friends at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who recently visited us and believe that God is speaking with their leaders regularly and giving them new commandments and revelations for them to follow. I do not agree with them, but will never deny their right to practice their beliefs either. Why would God choose to speak with them and not other religious branches who are just as dedicated to following the word of the Bible as they are? If God created all of us, why would he turn his back on any of us?
Many times we hear God the father, which suggests that he is a parent to all of humanity. If one believes what the Bible professes, God is the creator (parent?) of everything. Now I am a parent as well, and I know that no matter what my children did, I would not be able to turn my back on them. Even if one of them committed murder, which is one of the worst crimes we can commit against each other, I would be there for him. I may not stand up and defend his actions, and I would not take responsibility for them either, but I would not turn away from my child. If I knew about it ahead of time, I would do what I could to stop it, but not turn away after the fact.
Now that brings up an interesting idea. If God is a parent type Deity, then would he/she interfere with what we are doing? On the one hand, it is said that all humanity has free will and God will not interfere, but then we have some people saying that they are following the will of this god, that god, or the other god….so who is right? And how do we know what God wants? Every single material that we have that may possibly be divinely inspired has been given to us through human minds, mouths, and hands….therefore it is colored by our own experiences and beliefs, this included. Which means that the information may be right or it may be heretical, depending on the exact views of God. Since he has not made an appearance on Earth since the Garden of Eden (or some other long ago event, time, or place depending on your beliefs), it is not possible to ask him. The original stone tablets with the commandments on them have been lost to time. They were supposed to be written by the hand of God, and might clarify things for us.
Since a direct line to God is not possible, I guess we humans struggle along as we normally would and decide for ourselves if God has an agenda and should we buy into it, or is that agenda some other person’s? In the mean time I think that I will continue trying to be a good person: love my neighbors, my children, my family, and my friends; try to be more patient, since each of us is different; try to be more accepting of things I may not agree with but do not harm me; and basically try not to harm anything in this life…
What are you thoughts, God’s will or Free will?