Thursday, December 14, 2006

Conversations with Aubrey...has God washed his hands of us?

Even before Michael Miller wrote his op ed piece in this week's Toledo Free Press (yes, that's the newspaper I write the weekly column for) on the question of is God dead, I have been pondering God a lot recently with some of what I've been going thru.

This morning as I walked Aubrey to school we started talking, it's become our tradition on the majority of mornings she walks because there is no available transport to drive her and while she is old enough to technically walk by herself since there are no other children hardy enough in our neighborhood to walk the .46 miles to school, I don't like the idea of her walking alone. The conversation this morning turned to God, starting out half jokingly because she was complaining about the weather and how it goes from cold to warm. I told her that she best hope God isn't listening since we have plans tomorrow to try to go downtown; watch it will be cold and windy as we wait for the bus...She laughed then said she wasn't sure if she even believed in God anymore.

I paused for a moment and then told her maybe God is feeling similar to how I feel in dealing with some of my older children right now, that he's had enough. He's tried to help, he's given advice, shown them the way that they should act but after seeing on a regular basis the way we people down here on earth are treating each other and our planet...Perhaps God is just fed up with us right now until we like her older siblings, actually prove that they are going to do more than just provide lip service "I'm sorry." That perhaps God was just as tired of the bs with all of us as I've grown in dealing with my unruly bunch.

He's thrown up his hands and basically said "I give up" and realistically who could blame him...So, we should continue to do what we know is right and hope that eventually enough people join in. Sure maybe he never did exist and we created the concept of God to make us feel more secure, having spent time believing and questioning belief in God many times, I'd prefer to believe he is there.



Me4Prez said...

I don't know if I believe in God anymore either. I still believe in some type of higher power, but I think that if there was a God, that entity would have left us a long time ago because of the way his/her/its name has been used for so much wrong. Its a tough one though. Maybe God is just tired of us.

roman said...

I unlike a few others in my workplace do believe that there's a god. Everything done now will be noted and reflected upon come judgment day. I also believe that my co-workers although don't believe in god do believe in a higher power even if that higher power happens to be "Big Gov/Brother".

Me4Prez said...

I believe that if there is a Judgment Day, a lot of believers will be very unhappy because they have lived lives that were neither good nor compassionate. I don't so much believe in God or government. I only believe in the potential of people to do good. And people are making it harder for me to do even that

Lisa Renee said...

I'm not sure on the whole judgement day thing, except that I believe if that is going to happen it will be well after I'm dead and gone. I'd like to believe if there is truly a God that I have done my best and that he has seen that but I also agree there are people I know that claim to be Christian that act in a manner that no true Christian I know would act in. I think it's one of those situations where actions speak louder than words so that those who are going around proclaiming how "good" they are, probably should worry.


Me4Prez said...

I agree with you. I just hope that if there is a God and a day of judgment, he let's me watch as all those self-righteous people who claim to be doing God's work are brought before God. Not that I think all Christians are bad or hypocrites, just the ones who always claim to know what is right and why everyone else is going to hell if they don't act exactly like them.

Buddhism is good for me though. I don't necessarily have to stop believing in a deity and I really do believe there is some kind of god or whatever. If I ever actually find a group that I can go to meditate with and learn from, I think I could be a better person. Who knows. Maybe I will even find God once I stop looking up and start working inside myself and at my surroundings.

Stephanie said...

I do believe God exists and that's He's still taking part in matters here on Earth. I think, for a moment, of the song "From a Distance." I don't remember who it's by, but it goes something to the affect that from a distance we all have food, there's peace, and life is good and that God is watching from a distance. However, while I do think about and consider that's not much of a "god" then.

What I believe is that human beings have free will. We have the right to choose. We're here to learn how to be UP THERE. If all we ever know is the wondrousness of Heaven, then we're never going to understand why right is right and wrong is wrong. If we never experience pain, we'll never know how wonderful it is to be without it.

Like a child touching the hot stove, we can't help but seek out that which isn't good for us. It's the "fallen" nature of humanity to want to learn good from evil on our own. If it was easy, if we understood...then we wouldn't need to be here in the first place.

To me, that explains a lot of things. It explains how a benevolent God could tolerate the world being what it is. It explains why some people can be so good, and die so young... It explains how we are given the opportunity to see goodness as well as evil. For me, there's hope and peace in that.

Hooda Thunkit said...

"...I'd prefer to believe he is there."

I do too; I never doubted it.

And, I believe that this is according to His plan.

Faith is a funny thing, those that have it take it for granted, even if the never speak of it.

Others who question it, still have it.

The rest, I pray for. . .

Cyberseaer said...

Thank you Stephanie for pointing out the gift of freewill. When people bitch and moan about their problems and ask, "Why doesn't do something to help me?", they are forgeting that we have freewill. God will guide us if we ask for it, but we have to use our brains and chose what we should do. If it's a bad choice then we have to deal with it and if it is a good choice then we can reap the reward.

God's loves us and feels our pain, but He doesn't want robots to blindly worship Him. We have freewill so thgat we have the choice not to believe in Him.

It was summed up the best in OH GOD! when God (played by George Burns) said He gave us freewill. We can love each other, care for each other, or kill each other.

We all go through shit in our lives, some more than others, but is it really God's fault? Sometime things happen beyond our control and we must deal with it. God isn't vengeful nor merciless. He is Love and Mercy. Does He approve of most of our choices. Mostly likely He does not. But He will forgive us if we ask for it and mean it and repent to make things right.

My life hasn't been the easiest nor the hardest and my problems do pale in comparison to most, but I do the best I can and try harder when I mess up. I could always say screw it and leave my family and follow a life ill fated pleasures (and the thought has crossed my mind many times), but I don't, because I choose not to.

I have looked at my past and if I had done things a bit differently here and there, I would be a lot better off than I am now, but whose fault is that really? It's mine and I have never blamed God for my misfortunes. I have thanked Him for everything in my life, good and bad, since everything that I have done up to now defines me for better or for worse.

I hate hearing that God is dead or He doesn't exist or He doesn't care because bad things happen to good people. Evil will always exist and we must choose for ourselves whether or not to fight it or embrace it. God loves us and we will face the gates of Heaven alone and be judged but what we have done.

Now I'm waiting for the smartass to count how many cliches I have used to make my point.

God bless you and if you don't like that, then too bad. I choose to bless you and wish you well.

Lisa Renee said...

I fully admit I am going thru one of those time periods where while I wouldn't say I no longer have faith, I am questioning some of the over all happenings. I fully understand the concept of free will yet I also look at starving children in places like Darfur and I wonder how free will alone can explain allowing them to suffer. I see good people in horrible situations and bad people who seem to skate thru without taking any responsibility. Sure it might catch up with them later but in my nightly conversations with God, some of these things come up.

So, I can as a parent understand if God did feel enough frustration with us to leave us to our own devices.

Stephanie said...


Freewill is always the basic formula to me, but in that we do have to accept that there are things outside of our control. On the up-side to that, those same things are often outside of other people's control as well. Just imagine if the world had been in the control of Hitler, or Napolean, or even Mother Theresa. Whether villian or hero, we are all unique and would situate the world very differently from one or another.

Tongue in cheek example: If I could make chocolate healthy and abundant, that would probably make me quite happy. However, if chocolate was so abundant, then Lisa would have a harder time finding something that she could eat without getting sick. An ideal for me would be torment for her!

And that's a fairly minor thing in the grand scheme of things people try to control that they shouldn't. I'm thankful that we really don't have as much power as many would like. Just look at the ways we do use the power we've got!

Stephanie said...


"So, I can as a parent understand if God did feel enough frustration with us to leave us to our own devices."

I've shared your misgivings many a times. Sometimes I really don't think people are worth the effort; not as a whole. Because, those children in Darfur do NOT need to be starving. It is the use of freewill that has made it so. It is through the use of freewill that it can be changed. Shortage of food isn't nearly as much the issue as fair distribution -- but how one define's "fair" comes into play, and it's back to freewill.

However, even those who apparently skate through life have their own personal hells that they live with. Some are experts at hiding it, or ignoring it, or are too dense to even acknowledge it...but it's there. Nobody's free from suffering. But, there are those of us who've been given more than our "fair" share, and I choose to believe it's because He has so much faith in us that he thinks we can handle if we turn to Him. I go through my times where I just wished He didn't have so much faith in me...but, in the end, that's something that is not in my control. Accepting it sometimes makes it easier, and sometimes it's all I can, and sometimes I can't even really do that.

Struggling isn't failure of faith, though. It's not the same thing.

Lisa Renee said...

Stephanie, I know that feeling well, I was raised being told "God never gives you anything he thinks you can't handle" and have felt if that is true that he is seriously over-estimating my abilities.

I understand even in situations like Darfur it could be said that it is freewill of others, but it is the children who are paying for this which is hard at times to take. Not just Darfur but many situations.

It's as I said before though, when I die? I have some questions for God.