Doubt and faith

By Joe Rector

I watched a comedy special on television the other night, and the comedian told several jokes about people believing in something bigger than themselves. On another occasion, I watched the show “Evil.” A priest, a psychologist, and a tech guy travel around to perform exorcisms and investigate strange phenomena. However, the psychologist and techy don’t believe in God. In fact, it seems that so many characters in programs are agnostics or atheists. I’ve also seen the commercial with Ron Reagan Jr. proudly professing his atheism and telling viewers that he’s not afraid of dying and going to hell.

For the life of me, I don’t understand folks who don’t believe in someone or something higher and above themselves. Their choices in spiritual matters are none of my business, even though I don’t agree with them. If we just came into existence through a “big bang” or a “poof,” our being is simply a mistake or a chance or a product of some actions which most of us don’t understand at all.

I question the behaviors of deniers. Their nonbelief isn’t consistent. In moments of surprise or fear, many exclaim, “Jesus!” Invoking the name of the Son of God doesn’t square with the conviction that God isn’t real. The same goes for taking God’s name in vain. Why would atheists call on the very entity that they declare doesn’t exist?

Life must be discouraging for nonbelievers. Oh sure, they might say the lack of a God allows their lives to be free-flowing. No guilt or obligations for actions are necessary. However, if God doesn’t exist, then that means our own lives are useless. We are nothing more than random reactions to some major event.

Worst of all, in the thinking of atheists, nothing exists after this life. We are born, live, and die; that’s it. Our bodies lie in the ground and rot or our ashes are spread at some place that was special to us. That’s it. Nothing that we have done is of value. Our relationships are trivial. After all, when our lives end before us lies nothingness and no one.

I choose to look at God’s existence in a different way. In my world, God loves each person, even those who deny his existence. A tiny piece of God lives within each of us; that’s the spirit that guides, guards and directs us. Our choice is whether or not to listen to that presence. That’s where free will comes in. All of us will face joys and hardships. Those things are best enjoyed by or tolerated with a deep, abiding love for a creator. When our time on earth is over, our bodies are left here, but those little pieces return to the source. We are reunited with all those other pieces in the wholeness of God.

In the end, each of us will experience the end of our time on this earth. That is when the truth will be revealed. Faith directs some of us. We can never prove that God exists, but in our hearts, we know He is. It is sad that those who don’t believe never hear that still, small voice that will be with them until the end. Of course, until the last breath, the opportunity to listen and acknowledge will be present.