It’s going to sound like I’m getting religious here, but I’m not. What I am writing is not about religion at all, but it is about faith. And regardless of what belief you have, you have faith, even if it’s faith in nothing. So bear with me.
As I ride the train south to work, I watch as the sun as it illuminates the salt marshes and this day that has never been, dawns anew on myself and the world around me. And yet it feels the same. The same as the day before and the day before that and the day before that.
Subsequently the same thoughts go through my head that have gone through my head for the last year, two years, five years, ten years, even twenty years. What is my purpose? What is the point of this daily routine and this repetitive day? Perhaps these are questions that will always haunt me.
I have purpose. I am a colleague, a father, a son, a friend and a lover. But that does not define me, each are merely a hat that I wear at one time or another. The core of what I am, my heart – and I don’t mean the organ that pumps in my chest, I mean that which is deep in my brain – that which gives me sentience and brings my soul to fruition, that is what I am. That inner part of me is my constant struggle, my constant companion and my constant enemy.
It is that which drives me to seek an understanding of God and what part He plays in my life if any part at all.
I know, some of you are saying to yourself, “There is no God. It’s ridiculous to think that some higher being created everything and that we just evolved to what we are.”
Believe me, no knows better than I do, how you feel. I refused to believe that there could be some omnipotent creature sitting upon some throne, cloud, whatever, staring down at us and seeing us as nothing more than a pet. I have always considered myself a man of science, requiring theory, proof and evidence to show empirically that something is, or something is not.
But that all changed for me on a beautiful Saturday on Memorial Day weekend in 2005. I went from a man who did not believe in what I felt was a self serving God, a fictitious figment of the imagination of a people who have no faith in themselves, so they must create something that makes them whole and has purpose… To a man who knew without a doubt that there was a God, a creator and a higher consciousness that drives everything around us.
On that fateful day, a baby was born, a person that was half of me. I held that baby boy in my arms, stared down at him for minutes, hours, unable to take my eyes off of him.
And here it was, in my arms, eyes closed, sleeping soundly, breathing in and breathing out. A tiny heart beating deep inside. That something so complex as an entire human being can come into existence from two cells dividing and multiplying and create bones, blood, organs, a brain. This was it, this was the empirical evidence that I had been looking for to prove to me that there was a God.
Yes, I know biology, I know chemistry, physics… But this transcended them all. I knew from that point forward that I could no longer ever look down at either of my little boys and not know in the very core of what I am that there was a God.
Now, does that mean that I pulled the Bible out of the drawer next to me and slammed myself up on the forehead and said “Praise the Lord, Jesus is risen!” Um, no. On the contrary, knowing that God exists is just a first step and a massive one at that, I might add.
In coming to this realization, I was however forced to ask myself one other question; If I was wrong about God and I now know that without a doubt there is God, what else could I be wrong about?
I started studying the Bible, the Torah, the Qur’an, everything – to try and grasp a better understanding on what everyone else around me has seemed to see that I could not. I would like to say that I did process it all and suddenly had the epiphany that everything now made sense… but that is not the case. It simply confused me more. It’s one thing to know what the bible and all religious texts say, it’s something all together different to feel what they say.
So, I have made a choice. A choice to be with people who feel that they are strong in their faith, not for hopes in that their faith might rub off on me, but more so that I can understand where they are coming from. Do I pray? Yes, but not all the time. Do I still believe in God? Absolutely. Do I believe that Jesus is our savior? That he died on that cross to save us from our sin? I’d be lying if I said yes I do believe that with all my heart.
But what really makes me different than I used to be, is that I can sincerely say that I’m not willing to rule it out. I don’t believe he is not. The jury is still out, but the evidence is building to a point that I don’t know that I can ever really say that he was not our savior.
To me, God is not a man who sits high in the heavens and looks down upon us and points us to go in one direction or another. I believe that to do that would negate the point of free will, and free will defines us. There is a logic to our world. The fact that you can take two atoms of hydrogen and a single atom of oxygen to create water, and the fact that it is the interaction of electrons that bind these elements together is science. But why do these electrons bond? Why does hydrogen have a positive electron? What force created it to do so? Scientists will claim that it is just a special case of dipole forces, but even that is faith. One must have faith that things ‘just are’ that way. Can you really tell me that there is not an intelligence at work in the creation of such things?
Einstein once said
“Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”
The Bible doesn’t ever use the term ‘science’ because it did not exist at the time the bible was written, but Proverbs 25:2 states:
“It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”
What I do know, without a doubt is that there is a God. That the fog that rises from the fresh cut grass is more than just a collection of molecules. That the trees and plants are more than just a collection of well grouped cells, that music is more than just a repetitive pattern that is pleasing to the ear and that real love cannot be defined by any words.
Until then, I will seek to understand. I will reach to be more and I will dig down deeper to understand my soul. I hope, no, I pray that you will as well.