I’d been told that he was our Father. I’d been taught that he lived in heaven and was always looking down on us, giving us help and guidance along the journey we take along this road known as life.
Without question throughout my adolescence I believed this. I never doubted that God was there; I never mistrusted that He wasn’t. I knew that He was orchestrating the pathways of the stars and planets - The Creator, The Navigator of the universe itself, intertwining our lives together in a masterpiece we would someday look upon and understand the true beauty of...
That is, until recently.
Now, it wasn’t as if I woke up one day and simply decided that God did not exist; it wasn’t anything like that…it was that I just started to wonder when I looked up into that big space above me.
I think it may have started with the death of Arlene.
I remember it like yesterday, sitting alone with her in the silence as the minutes passed on. In one of her more lucid moments she looked over at me and began to cry. “I don’t want to die.” She whispered, the tears flowing down her cheeks.
I cried, too. Knowing that there was nothing I could do as the cancer slowly ate away at her body from the inside out.
I was powerless.
She was scared.
And so was I.
After an excruciating few weeks she was finally whisked away from this mortal frame, and I was left behind.
I think that it is in moments such as these that people seem to find themselves dithering one way or the other. They either seem to find solace in the belief in the afterlife, or they carry a bitterment and anger directed toward the heavens – possibly even to question the very existence of a higher being. Perhaps the need for a God.
I recall a scene from the movie Signs when Mel Gibson’s character, Graham, is consoling his brother, Merrill, when he is in a moment of distress. In his character’s words:
People break down into two groups. When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. Just a happy turn of chance...what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?
As the years compress themselves together like the body of an accordion, I find myself slipping from one group to another. I discover that in my life, though having traveled a myriad of pathways and scores of years, I find myself wanting more, wanting the knowledge it to be deeper than it was.
I look at the heavens; I think of a world where there is no God.
It is a terrifying thought.
I have no voices that speak to me. I have no angels that descend from the heavens bearing tidings. I see neither grand miracles nor seas being parted—making way for me to pass through as the armies mount behind me.
Yet, I look upon the world around me, I see the looming splendor of the majestic mountains. I breathe in the heavy scent of lilacs and stand beneath the towering Redwoods. I feel the warmth of the setting sun on my face as it turns to gold and melts into a skyline of liquid indigo and buttery maroon. I stand at the edge of the ocean and feel the salty air as it coats my nostrils and the waves pound upon the shoreline and reverberate in my chest. I gaze at the billions of stars as they burst forth from the shadowy skies like handfuls of glitter blown about by the winds of spring. I stand in the midst of a thunderstorm as the rain drenches my skin, feeling the torrential downpour saturate me as the ominous clouds twist and moil overhead and jagged streaks of lightning shatter the skies.
I’ve been taught that God is our Father. I’ve been taught that he lives in heaven and is always looking down on us, giving us help and guidance along the journey we take along the road known as life.
Without question throughout my adolescence I believed this; I never doubted that God was there. I never mistrusted that He wasn’t; I knew that He was orchestrating the pathways of the stars and planets - The Creator, The Navigator of the universe itself, intertwining our lives together in a masterpiece we would someday look upon and understand the true beauty of…