Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An Atom's Weight of Good

Does God Care If I Eat Chocolate Ice Cream? 
Losing the Church on My Path to Christ 


 Okay. I’d like to tell a little bit of my story. God and I had been introduced over and over through the years. But I don’t feel like we started getting to know one another until I was finishing up high school. Nevertheless, I was the Jesus shirt wearing kid who went to all the bible studies and stuff. 
 Just thought I should set the stage. 


 Sitting in AP Physics class senior year, killing time while our teacher was out of the room, Andrew, one of the smartest people I've met, a generally good guy, and a deeply committed atheist, with a knack for contentious talking points, was sitting on a desk up front, holding court. Ostensibly, to fill in a gap in conversation, Andrew looks over and asks me, 
“Morris, what if you’re wrong about all this God stuff?” 
 It was a question I had addressed, but not with any amount of clarity or honest introspection. And, let’s be honest…Have you? 


 So, we sat there staring across a desk. The members of the court of Andrew stared at me while I thought about the Bible, the Church, promises, commands, prayer, and a host of other things. If I was wrong? About Jesus? About God? About it all?  Then I got it. 
 Two things. 


The first, even if I’m wrong about details, I’m fairly certain I’m not missing the mark on the whole God thing. I’m pretty sure that God is around. And that God’s engagement with humanity is at least loving. 


 If I’d shared that thought with my entrenched atheist counterpart, however, it would have seemed the arrogant ranting of a short sighted person, leading to at best, a contentious debate. A round of jockeying for ideological superiority, resulting in a net gain of zero. He would still believe in un-guided chance, and I in the divine. 


 But this is the insight I shared. 
 “Andrew, If I’m wrong about God, totally confused about the existence of the divine. If you’re right, and when it’s over, all we are is dead, the life I’m living because of my faith and belief is one, of which I can be very proud.” He told me that was the best answer any Christian ever gave. 


 I wasn't really answering the question for him though. I was answering the question for me.

Photo Credit: Atom Weight