I think it’s human nature that we’re always looking for answers to questions we don’t even understand. Sometimes, we don’t even understand the right questions to ask. But if we didn’t, life would be so different.
We asked why the apple falls down from the tree and discovered gravity. We asked why we don’t fall off the Earth when sailing into the sunset and discovered our planet is round. We asked why our heart was more than just a “vital force” and discovered how our circulatory system works.
We ask questions and answer them to help us understand science and the world around us. And then sometimes we ignore the questions and create the science ourselves. We transplant hearts and lungs and corneas and even faces. We manufacture diamonds, beautiful in every way except for the fact that they come from a lab. We clone our pets!
But no matter how many degrees we have or how much studying we do, we’ll never understand it all. One of my favorite songs comes from James Taylor who wrote “Secret O’Life”:
“Einstein said he could never understand it all
Planets spinning through space
The smile upon your face
Welcome to the human race”
We’ll never understand it all and as Einstein actually said:
We never stop seeking answers and explanations. It’s why so many people doubt the existence of God. We can’t see him, feel him, touch him, talk to him. We pray and talk to him but isn’t it really all ridiculous? Isn’t God simply an easy explanation for everything we can’t understand? A weakness for the thinkers of the world?
Many times, yes. People don’t want to think. They just want to know. They want the comfort of God in our hearts, in our lives, in our churches, and in our homes. They want to know the big man in the clouds is somehow looking for them and if they live a really good life, they’ll be rewarded either on earth or in heaven.
Personally, I love that idea. I love the concept that our time here on earth is a time for us to learn and grow and become better spiritual beings. I believe in karma. I believe that we are ordained by a higher power for things that we can’t understand or comprehend. But I’m not working towards rewards unless you call personal satisfaction and inner fulfillment a reward (it is to me).
Often though, I find that people simplify the concept.
We were able to close on that house we didn’t think we were going to get and God came through for us!
Just when our savings was about to run out, he got the dream job he’s been looking for!
The doctors gave her a slim chance of surviving the surgery and now she’s a healthy child!
We pray and believe and do something good and we’re rewarded by God. Praise God.
And then something bad happens. We immediately turn to God.
Why, God, did you take my baby from me?
Why, God, did we lose our house?
Why, God, did my husband leave me?
If we’re humble, obedient servants, then these things shouldn’t happen. If God rewards us for our behavior, is he then punishing us in ways we don’t deserve?
And this is where the hate comes in. How could there be a God that lets innocent children get gunned down in their classroom? How can there be a God that allows war to create orphans of children?How can there be a God that allows one of our own to lose three babies? It’s not fair. It’s God’s fault. And if that’s the kind of God he is, I hate him. I hate God.
I don’t hate God. I do, however, believe in that higher power, whether you call him God or Allah or Mary Elizabeth. I believe that higher power governs our lives and our universe. But I don’t think God shapes our lives in the way so many people do. We make our decisions and live our lives and sometimes bad things happen to good people. It’s not fair and as much as we try to understand it, we never will.
We may gain perspective someday but we’ll never understand it.
“Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us.”
– Carl Sagan, from A Mote of Dust
Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Fadra. I think you’re right that we do try to simplify God’s involvement in day-to-day life. No one wants to have to accept that sometimes, crap happens that isn’t fair or right or good.
That’s exactly it. Actions occur, good and bad, to people that are undeserving. All we can do is live life as best we can and hope for the best.
This is a huge over-generalization in answer to what you eloquently wrote, but I think the biggest mistake we make is in thinking that God promised us a good life here on earth. He didn’t promise that. He promised us a good life – “but with it, many troubles.” He promised to forgive us our sins and to give us eternal life, if we come to him. But perfection was always meant for heaven, and never meant for earth.
I think we are here to learn. Whether it’s for a higher purpose or just to become a better person is up to an individual to decide. But everything in life is a lesson albeit difficult ones at times.
PS. Let me just add that with all this intellectual knowledge, I was STILL mad at God when I lost my baby.
How can you not be? Whether you believe in God or not, when unjust things happen we need someone to put the blame. We need an emotional release. And I think most of that emotion comes from just not understanding why.
I’ve been mad at God plenty in my lifetime. Yet, somehow I still trust that he loves me more than I will ever know. I am so careful to tell my children not that God can help them get what they want but that God “knows just what you need”. It may be just words, but I think it’s an important distinction. I’ve been through a lot of pain and while my faith has ebbed and flowed, it’s never disappeared. Isn’t it funny how the thirst for knowledge was what led to our ultimate undoing? I love the faith aspect. Not because I get off easily, but because I am free from the bondage of having to perfectly understand all the whys. It’s ok to hurt. It’s ok to smile. I am ok with that.
God is not as tangible to me as to others. I don’t feel the love or the hate or the emotion towards God. I feel God as a source of wisdom and still know there are things I will never understand. And I think accepting that is the hardest part. Having never lost a child, though, makes it difficult for me to truly relate.
I like the way you’ve put this, that we are always seeking answers to our questions, and it is hard to understand why sometimes we find them and sometimes we don’t. I believe that God has all the answers, and he reveals only some of them to us. I don’t know why, the same way I don’t know why children are murdered. I definitely don’t think that God rewards or punishes according to our actions. But this world is an imperfect place, and bad things happen because sin is here, and we all make mistakes. I do have faith that God has an eternal home for us that is totally perfect, and that the things that exist in our world won’t exist there.
“I believe that God has all the answers, and he reveals only some of them to us.”
Yes! And I would add… only when we are looking for them.
There are so many signs of God around us that people never see because they simply aren’t looking.
Be the man you want to be and you will find a woman to appreciate that. Be the kind of man that would attract the kind of woman you want. And live your life! You meet the most interesting people when you aren’t even looking for them.
Find one thing that makes you happy. Whether it’s a tree changing colors or a soft puppy or an ice cream cone. Start with one thing that you can appreciate and let your heart grow from there. And watch the Grinch movie again.
I’m hearing you say, I don’t understand over and over again. If you or anyone else would take time to study the King James bible, you would find It quite simple to understand why there is so much suffering in this world, what God’s role in it is and lots of you would quit blaming God for your problems and learn to appreciate that which is the supreme being. As for those who hate God, well they never really loved God to begin with and if they say they did, their just lying about it!!!!
You cannot know whether people really love God or not. You are not capable of such an impossible feat. You were probably just saying that due to a deep emotion that this discussion has triggered inside of you. The Lord Jesus should be a beacon of hope to ALL of us who need forgiveness. You are presenting Christianity in a way that repels people;like a “snobby country club”. We are on the same side.But ,you need to understand that if you have not suffered yet in this life;YOU surely will at some point.No one is above it. Your response sounds immature and lacks a sense of wisdom that results from true understanding of God. Lastly,your comment also seems to do nothing more than to flatter God to all the “heathen” posters;but,flatter is not the same thing as respect or reverence-as “flattery” usually veils something a person wants hidden.
Is a very good post; yes, just like too much people I think everybody’s free to believe in something; so, you said, we’re here to learn, to live, sadly we can mind nobody’s gonna have a perfect life, we’re gonna lame so then we’re going to lame, we’re gonna cry so we’re going to cry, smile, laugh, live our families, our friends, ain’t everything about if God’s good or bad, here’s the life, things are happening, we are walking it in.
¡Grettings from Ensenada, México!
I think, generally all the ones that hate God, and maybe they go explaining ”Let me tell you a thousand reasons of why you could hate God”, I suppose very in the bottom, they hate their lives, they are very disappointed since from time ago, maybe, they’re pressed for having faith in something they decided, so, they need a excuse to express their sadness; if they could take off their lenses of their living ways or ”living fashions” by some people pressure, i think they could see their truth.
Thank You for reading.
How can one hate what doesn’t exist?
There is no such thing as God since we have just too much pain and suffering in this world as it is. And a real God would’ve never did this at all.
Maybe you should adjust your perception of what a “real God” is. Perhaps God created our world and the pain and suffering is caused by man.
Seriously – so many ills in the world are brought on by ourselves.
It is just too very bad though that God created so many low life pathetic loser women out there which is the very excellent reason why many of us good innocent men are still single today unfortunately, and Not by choice either. Too bad God didn’t create normal women like the old days since most of the women at that time were Real Ladies and the very complete opposite of what they’re these days. What a shame.
Paul, I get it. This world is full of so many people and yet can be so lonely. Did you know there are 3,757,402,298
(and climbing) females in the world? Surely they can’t all be bad. Take care of yourself and try to find happiness within. Be the man that attracts the kind of woman you are looking for.
To Fadra Nally, It is just too very bad that the times today have really changed from the old days since as you can see how very fortunate our family members were to find real true love with one another. A whole different world today unfortunately for us men really looking for love now, and many of us Aren’t really to blame at all since there are many of us men that Aren’t single by choice either. Most women now do prefer men with money, especially the women that now have their Careers today making a six figure income. As you can see that they will only want the very best of all and will never settle for less either. Quite a change in the women of today from the past which i will never give up since i am just hoping to meet a good woman to just Accept me for who i am. Well thank you very much for your support. Peace.