By Joe Rector
Some subjects for each writer haunt them. One might be an outline for a novel; another might be a character who shines in a short story; still, another might be just the right rhythm for a poem. We who try to put words on paper to entertain or explain or provoke hang on to these things for years. Perhaps we keep writing new pieces on old subjects in hopes of someday saying things just the right way so that readers have a clear view of what we are trying to convey. This is one of those subjects for me.
I’ve heard too many influential individuals declare that they don’t believe in a supreme being. In most books of fiction or movies, the main characters are at least struggling with the ideas of a mighty creator or a life after this one. Has that always been true, or have the times allowed people to more freely express their doubts? I’m about to tackle the questions with my feeble understanding of God, Heaven, and existence.
We humans are just one class of primates. Science tells us that the universe began with a big bang, and ever since, life forms have developed and adapted. Some have survived while others have weakened and died. We are viewed as things that exist by sheer coincidence. On the other hand, the Bible tells us that we were formed by the hands of God, the mighty creator who gave form and life to all things. At the same time, the story tells us that all of this was done in six days.
I easily understand how difficult both explanations are to accept. We must remember that no one know how long a day is to such an all-powerful being. One day in His world could equal millions of years. At the same time, deciding that humans began as organisms that changed to conditions over millions of years until they reached where they are today doesn’t work for some. People feel more is involved in our creation than a random explosive event.
Here’s my take on it, for what it’s worth. How we came into existence is not a matter of importance. We are living, breathing life forms. We eat, sleep, and communicate like most species. Our limbs perform functions that help us in our daily lives. Some are talented athletes who perform amazing feats. Others are brilliant minds that do such things as creating vaccines that save the world from destruction. Many of us are simple folks who make our lives the best they can be.
When these physical bodies fall ill to a disease or wear out from years of living, they shut down and cease to exist. What is left is something akin to a broken-down car. In some cases, both are of some value if as parts are sold. Otherwise, our bodies are of no use any longer.
My contention is that something else other a physical body exists in all of us. It is a spirit that directs us in different directions. It helps us to make choices, learn, and perform. Just as we are all different physically, so are our spirits different. I have a twin brother, and yes, in many ways we are just alike, but we have our differences in preferences, talents, and beliefs. The driving force in this world is that living thing inside that directs our ideas and actions. I believe it is what mankind calls a soul, that little piece of God that lives inside each person.
Now, if the above assumption is true, then these souls came from something greater than we are, and when our physical bodies die, those pieces return to the owner. Many who read this will say how can you be sure? I can’t. I believe that this is true, just as a person believes that the sun will rise tomorrow. Neither of us can be sure that these beliefs are true. We simply have faith that they are.
I never will convince some people of my beliefs, but maybe this one can answer a question and sooth the mind of just one person. If that happens, part of my mission here is complete.