A visitor to another website of mine, http://wordsculptures.com, asked, “Is God real?”
What a fascinating question! What does this question mean?
What does the word “God” mean? Are we talking about an old man with a long white beard sitting on a cloud with a thunderbolt in his hand waiting to punish sinners? Are we talking about a king sitting on a throne? Are we talking about something we’ve been told is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, but something that remains a mystery? Are we talking about nature: the chatter of a squirrel, a gorgeous rainbow, a babbling brook, a magnificent sunset? Are we talking about an energy, like electricity, that we can’t see but somehow know is there because we can see the results – the lights go on?
Getting clear on what we mean by the word “God” allows each of us to clarify for ourselves our own answer to the question “Is God real?
Maybe it’s more useful to ask, “In what sense is God real or unreal to me?” You may decide that sunsets and babbling brooks are real, but an old man with a long white beard sitting on a cloud with a thunderbolt in his hand is not.
A friend of mine who was struggling over a similar question suddenly realized she could believe in God when she substituted the word “good” for the word “God.” She somehow knew what good was, even though she didn’t know what God was.
What do we mean by the word “real”? Is it what everyone agrees to call real? Or is it what feels real and makes sense to each of us?
If you and I are both looking at, smelling and touching a daffodil, we would probably agree that the daffodil is real. On the other hand, in the fourteenth century, most human beings agreed that the earth was flat. Was the earth really flat, just because everybody thought it was?
So what does it mean to say that something is real?
I would encourage you to explore this question in a way that seems appropriate to you and come up with your own answers. You might try setting aside some focused time to journal. The answers you come up with for you are the ones that you will be comfortable with and the ones that will work for you. You might even be able to say with authority, “This is what I believe.”
My answer? From an intellectual perspective, I don’t know. I certainly can’t prove there is or isn’t a God.
However, I have chosen to believe that there is some energy or power greater than myself that somehow supports me and directs my life in miraculous ways that I could never figure out on our own. I have chosen to believe because it has been the only way I can cope with terror. My choice to believe has come from a place of sheer desperation, from hitting such a low spot that I’ve known I simply can’t cope by myself. I’ve had to let go and ask for help, and I wasn’t going to ask other humans. They were the ones who betrayed me.
I know from observation that when I choose to believe, my life suddenly becomes more harmonious and centered and I can deal with life’s challenges more courageously. Is this really real? I don’t know. It surely feels real.
Sometimes, “making the connection” feels like turning the dial of a radio. At first, I get nothing but static. Then, suddenly, I’m tuned into a crystal clear channel that guides my actions easily and effortlessly. Do I know where I’m going? No. I simply trust that there is much more to this wonderful life we’ve been given than any of us can begin to fathom.