I have written before that I am a “hopeless believer.” I can’t not believe. If I were to decide to become an atheist today, the first thing I’d do is pray and ask God to help me reach that goal. God is as deep in me as — well, as what’s deepest in me. And a good deal more so.
But this is not to imply I have this all figured out. God often does not act in ways I understand. Sometimes God seems to act in ways I find abhorrent. Yet I still believe. One thing is certain. Someday when I finally get a chance to meet God (what an incredible possibility that is), I will have some questions for him. Here are a few.
1. Why all the different religions? Was it your intention to be confusing?
2. Children who die horribly? Are you kidding me?
3. Celery? Insects? Line dancing? Why? (Okay, the line dancing thing isn’t fair. We can’t blame God for human evil.)
4. Why did you so often not come when I called?
5. Doesn’t it bother you that so many people who claim to love God are terrible human beings? How do you explain that?
6. What’s up with the Old Testament? I mean, I have no beef with a lot of it but let’s face it – some of it is just creepy. And people who honestly don’t think there’s anything creepy about it are usually kind of creepy.
7. Jonah – literal or figurative?
8. How come you seem to show yourself to people who aren’t even looking, and maybe don’t even care (like most of the people on those TV shows telling stories about God encounters), and withhold those experiences from those of us who would give absolutely anything to see you or experience you that way?
9. When Jesus was on earth, what did he know when? (I’m pretty sure that at his bar-mitzvah he wasn’t having visions of himself hanging on a tree).
10. God, if you are omniscient, yet limit your knowledge at times, what do you know right now about me? Do I ever surprise you with anything I do? If so, that’s comforting. And extremely scary. Psalm 139.
11. All those people whose bedsides I have attended at their moment of death — did I say enough? Did I ask the right questions? The silence in those moments – was it fear, or was it reverence?
12. Where’s Cindy and what is she doing? Where’s mom and what is she doing?
13. What’s that thing about me that totally sucks but everyone is too compassionate, too embarrassed, or too afraid to tell me?
14. I love you. I know, that isn’t a question. But I think somehow I’ll say it a thousand times before it ever occurs to me to ask anything.
Then there’s all the usual ones. 9/11 – why? The Holocaust – why? My teens? – why? UFO’s? What were they?
But something tells me I’m onto something with #12. I think when we see God, our questions will be answered just by seeing him. In the meantime, I’ll keep asking my questions, and hope to experience him somehow, or catch a glimpse of him at work in my life or someone around me.