Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How Do I Find God?

If you are truly someone looking, that is a tough question. I’ve written about how to find him in difficult situations in your life, but what if you don’t even know how to look? What if the idea of prayer, talking to an invisible being you’re not very sure even exists, is totally strange to you? Where do you start?

Might I suggest, from that very spot: “Are you there?” MY God said you need to have the faith of a child to get to heaven, so let’s start there. You think you want to look for God (in case he’s there), let’s start like a child. Let’s make believe he is there.

All faith is founded on trust. I trust in God because I believe his words that I have read or heard in my heart. You haven’t read or heard anything, well then start with trusting in yourself: in your mind’s eye, treat God as if he really is there, just as a child believes in his invisible friend. You may say that is totally silly – the child’s friend does not exist! Isn’t starting out that way just confirming that God doesn’t exist?

Not at all! I said faith is founded on trust. Why does the child invent the invisible friend? The child needs someone who is there, someone whom the child can talk to, someone who always understands the child’s feelings. Someone the child can trust. Isn’t that what lead you to this point? Isn’t that what you need?

So, start with the faith of the little child. Talk to God as if he were there. Tell him your concerns, as you would talk to a confidential, true friend. When you find some time, start to read some things about him – there are lots of books, Scripture, and even short pamphlets, but start. And you’ll not only find out some things about him, you’ll find more things to talk about. And you will begin to see and hear him in your life, and you will KNOW that He is no make-believe friend. He exists even as you and I do.

How do you find God? Make this start, this commitment, and He will find you.
Richard Dawkins, the atheist, says there is no god. As a scientist, he doesn’t understand many things, like how matter came to be created (perhaps aliens, he says) but he knows that eventually science will study, test, and prove that it can answer and understand ANYTHING. Mr Dawkins sincerely believes that if he lives long enough, he will understand the answer to things he doesn’t know now, and he will really know, for instance, how to create any thing, even matter. He will BE God! He believes this.

Come now, can you believe this “science”? What if you COULD create things, what would you create? Your thanksgiving dinner, with no work? Silly you! What would you have to give thanks for, and to whom? A new car? Why? You could teleport to places – or even bring them to you! Your enemies? Making ALL of them disappear might leave you alone in the world, but what about making them into purple, stupid elephants, or glowing red bugs, so you could stop on them from time to time?

You, God?? Come on, isn’t that funny to think of, much yet believe? You KNOW that can’t be the truth of things. You’re smarter than that! I guess that means I am saying, to some degree, that you are smarter than Mr Dawkins, despite all his knowledge (not wisdom, mind you) and all his degrees. Yes, I am saying that.

But ok, back to the beginning. You have some inkling about God, even as I suspect Mr Dawkins does. He believes, however, that he eventually might know all about God, and in fact expects that he would find God in the mirror. I don’t think you have that much confidence in science. But, you just don’t know. But you want to.

I think what you would really like is the convictions of the martyrs; they saw something, some ONE, so important and TRUE to life, that they would willingly give up their life for. Isn’t that what you want? An answer to all your “why’s”? Why the pains, why the suffering, why – even – all the silly joy? Why does it all happen? Why does it matter? Why do I matter? And if there is a God, does he care?

The answer, my friend, is at that turning point you are now at. Do you choose the atheist road of Mr Dawkins, and in answer to all your Why’s expect that at some point in the future, some person will eventually have all the answers, and they all come back to you. You exist only because of you. There is nothing else. There is no other meaning to your life that you can understand now, so until then, your life matters for nothing. There are no answers to your questions.

Or do you choose the road of believing in God? Either road starts with a commitment to go down that road. The road to God, however, has answers here and now to most of life’s questions. It is a road that can bring you peace in your life; it is a road which will give you the comfort that your life DOES have meaning; you ARE important. It promises to answer your why’s, some it is true only “dimly as though seen through a veil” for now, but it does promise YOU will see and know all clearly at a point in the future. YOU will know, not some distant human kin of yours.

Look at the history of mankind, as we know it. How many things were done in the name of human aggrandizement? How many things were done in the name of God? How many, with God in mind, were done with a purpose of helping our fellow man, done out of virtue, done out of love? Yes, you might point to evils done in the name of God, but for every evil you might point out – wars, murders, horrendous horrors – I can point out similar evils done out of supreme ego, the narcissism of the men who recognize no god but themselves. The evils of mankind measure nothing for they accomplish nothing, the goods do.

Look at the goods, how many good things were done in the name of God. There is a reason for that; because he IS good, he is truth, he is love. That is the definition of God.

Finding God starts with your curiosity, and your wanting to find him – if he is there. This is the first step to finding out the truth, any truth, WANTING to find it.

If you don’t believe in God; if you don’t trust in God; if you feel all alone: start this “search for truth”. If you sincerely look for God, I believe you will be surprised to find that He is looking for you. You won’t find him; he will find you. And he will have great Joy.

So will you.

I read from my bible this morning: Make every effort to undergird your virtue with faith, your discernment with virtue, and your self-control with discernment; this self-control, in turn, should lead to perseverance, and perseverance to piety, and piety to care for your brother, and care for your brother, to love. Qualities like these, made increasingly your own, bear fruit in true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Start with your virtue, your wanting to do good, then add faith and you will get discernment. Add a commitment, a self-control, and you will get perseverance, then piety, then a sincere caring for your brother, and then a sincere love. These qualities will then lead to a TRUE, confident knowledge of God, who IS love. This sounds like a good path to be on to me. It’s the one I chose.

Which road will you take?

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