In the vast limitations of the human perspective, it’s really no surprise that so many people struggle to believe in God.
We are born with a finite number of moments we will experience before we die. We see life in those terms. Beginnings and ends. Endings, and how it all began. Over the years, we stomach tragedy after tragedy, grief after grief, despair after despair. The irony is that we tend (as human beings) to be most compassionate, most forgiving, most heroic, in times of loss. Why is that? Why must we be reminded of our very fragility before we possess the strength of mind to operate from a place of selflessness, honor, sacrifice, and unconditional love?
I’m just as guilty of it. In all my self-proclaimed “wisdom” (I’m also a self-proclaimed village idiot, so bear with me before you rule me out as another bobble-head doll with an invincible ego), I still struggle with this myself. My kids have mastered the fine art of exploring the boundaries of my sanity, and it seems to be their favorite (collective) pastime. My husband has quite the knack for finding my deepest-rooted, most explosive buttons; and in his distorted sense of humor finds some sick and lasting pleasure in pushing them quickly, fiercely; without any sort of warning… Like a little boy on the fourth of July. He sneaks up from behind and ever-so-slyly–in the blink of a blind eye–he lights my hidden fuse, disappearing like a well-practiced Sniper to watch the fireworks illuminate the atmosphere from a safe and lonely distance. My world is a perpetual minefield, in which I’m invariably performing an Irish jig, hopping around on one leg, hopscotching across the moments of my day like a drunken puppet, pulled in fifteen directions simultaneously while trying not to lose my top like a mad-hatter jack-in-the-box; one minute, every minute, at a time.
Needless to say, I am no sage and I do not profess to have the answers. But one thing I know: we fail (as a species) to believe that God really exists because we see reality in terms of our own limitations. We cannot comprehend the infinite. When did it begin? When does it end? Where does it go? Where does it come from?
It never began. It always was. It has no end. It always is. It goes everywhere, all at once, in every direction, and never stops. It comes from a place called eternity.
The infinite is not just about time… It is space. Eternity is not just a place, nor is it just a stretch of unquantifiable time; it is a perpetual flow. It is everything, complete and completely given, uncompromised by our worldly understanding of amounts and forms and measurable notions. It is purity, in every way, in every place, for all time.
Of course that isn’t real. Obviously, the only thing many of us attempt to believe in is the eternity of our children’s messes, the infinite ways our spouses drive us mad, the forever feeling we cannot escape when our lives have gone off course for the sixteen-hundredth time.
Naturally, God doesn’t feel like a “natural” thing to believe in when this world spins endlessly on its axis for the (seemingly) sole purpose of keeping us dizzied, dazed, and dreadfully confused.
That’s the thing about God. He doesn’t “come naturally” to us because our natural world is a roller coaster, a human horror show with some comedy mixed in, and often just a touch of the Lifetime movie moments to keep us all from going batty.
We believe there can’t be a God, because it doesn’t make sense to our teeny tiny over-stimulated brains.
Can anyone tell me what on this “God-forsaken” earth DOES make sense? For me, there are only a few timeless qualities that remain real in the face of all change, all grief, all time… Love. Forgiveness. Compassion. Mercy. Grace. Selflessness.
Sounds a lot like God.
And thank God, His grace sees us through our own frailty, our own nearsightedness, our own half-hearted three-second attention span. Thank God, for God Himself.