Friday, May 16, 2008
I Know Just Two Certainties
I am not the smartest man on this beautiful earth. There are many, many things I do not know. No man will ever know everything, and few will truly know much of anything. I probably fit in the latter group. I may not know much, but I know two things with absolute certainty: 1) There is a God and 2) I am not Him. My whole perspective on life is based on these two basic fundamental truths.
There is a God
Ever since I was first conceived in my mother’s womb, I have been taught that there is a God. My family has always been devoutly religious and raised me in an environment that always stressed the importance of God. It can be difficult to teach children about God and explain His existance since children most often respond best to learning using their senses, and we can’t “hear, touch or see” God in a physical sense. It is in fact even more difficult to explain the existance of God to adults who don’t already know God, because they often believe that they’ve already got everything figured out. A child’s innocence allows them to entertain the idea that there is a God. If I was not raised in such a wonderful family, would I know there is a God? I would like to think so.
I have heard generalizations about Christians and Catholics in particular that suggest we believe simply because an authority figure told us to believe, and we don’t think for ourselves. In their mind in other words, I believe in God simply because somebody who had authority over me told me there was a God. I am just some drone that blindly follows what my parents/religious heads tell me. This is a gross misrepresentation and generalization of Christian believers. While it is true that our parents and other authority figures influence our thinking, the same thing could be said for the very people making the accusations. Do they not believe because their parents did not believe or did not lead a good example? Did their parents believe, have difficulties in their life, and led this person to believe the opposite? How did their thoughts evolve in their minds? Their thoughts had to come from somewhere didn’t they? Every mind is influenced by the people they interact with and the environment in which they live. So if this is the case, who really knows anything? How can anyone ever really know the truth? How can I say that I know with certainty that there is a God?
People who make these generalizations about Christians and our beliefs like to say that we don’t think logically or reasonably. In fact, our belief in God is very logical and reasonable. Everyone asks themselves at some point in their lives; what is the meaning of life? Christians and nonbelievers alike ask this question. Those who do not believe in God have a much harder time coming up with a good answer. The reason is because the existence of God is the first, most basic, and most important truth that all must come to realize. If there was no God, life would have no meaning. Think about that for a second. If there was no God, life has no meaning or purpose. I think back to a story my sister Jennifer told me once. "There was a man. He was born, he lived his life, and then he died." The story seems very simple, but if you look closely it can be very deep. Some look at life simply as living an earthly life, dying and then eventually being forgotten. How depressing is that frame of thinking? Thankfully as Christians we see more to life and believe in life after death.
How did life start? How was the earth formed? How vast is the universe? How is a baby conceived? All these questions direct me to the belief that there is a God. In the very beginning of time, there was nothing. If two rocks bang into each other and form a universe, where did those two rocks come from? When did they first form? How did they first form? All of the wonders of the world, how were they formed? The only logical explanation is God. I hear, touch and see these things and I know there is a God. I do not to hear, touch or see Him in a natural sense, but I can hear touch and see Him in the things he made.
I am not Him
This reality is not nearly as complicated. There is a God, but I am not Him. This is so very clear and obvious to me because I know that I am a sinner and I know I have limitations, but many who live on this earth think or act like they are God. Like I said at the beginning of the post, there are several things I do not know or understand. Ask me a chemistry question for example and you will quickly see that I don’t know the first thing about that subject. I could study chemistry for the rest of my life and I still would not know and understand it all. I could act like I did, but I wouldn’t know everything. My mind is active and alive, but it would be arrogant and sinful to think that I know more than God. After all, who was it who created us? God knows all and we can not comprehend everything God knows. This is where the “logical” thinker runs into problems. The so-called “logical” thinker often believes that with logic and reasoning anything and everything can be explained. They will often rationalize their thinking and portray their thoughts as a logical and rational idea when in fact some things can not be rationalized by the human mind. No man is smarter than God and yet so many strive to this unattainable goal. It’s irrational to think that our mind could ever understand everything God knows. God has given us clues to help us understand the meaning of life. He has revealed himself through several signs. He gave us his Son who is the way and the truth. Earlier I asked how can anyone know truth, the answer is through Jesus Christ. Through the Holy Spirit, the message of God continues to live through people and through the church. The Church is guided by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is love. I continue to learn and seek understanding, but I know that I am not God. I never will be God. God is good just as all things He made are good. It is the sin that man brought into life that taints that which is good in God’s eyes. When we take a look at earthly things with this understanding, we will see God’s goodness in all things. God bless!