What should you do when God abandons you? Who are you supposed to turn to when you the source to all things seems to be rejecting your calls, and now the weight of the world is insurmountable? The Creator appears to have left you to dangle in despair. How do you persist through this pain?
One of the most basic foundational questions we all seem to arrive at in life, is whether or not God is real. God is, or God he is not, what will it be? Is it possible that you are the end all when it comes to navigating through this life? Are you a fully detached life force, bouncing off random life interactions and satisfying your insatiable appetites?
To be asked to live a spiritual life is definitely not an easy thing to be tasked with. It is even more difficult for someone to dive into the rabbit hole if you’ve always viewed religion as the great cause of calamity.
Peace and fellowship can simply be attained through living a well and having consideration for others, right? Why do we need some form of ancient text to tell us how to live? After all, we are living in a completely different day, and have completely evolved as a species since the time those scriptures were written.
When I first entered the rooms of Recovery, which offered a solution to me acting like a wild degenerate, I thoroughly objected to their spiritual approach. I am a man of science. I like proof. I don’t even read fiction, and I certainly wouldn’t dare to subscribe to whatever the sheep sing and proclaim on Sundays.
Maybe my problem was that I was too defiant. I was even too scared to intermingle with the sick people whom I thought only lived under bridges who went to treatment facilities to get help. I also knew in my heart that cocaine and whiskey may not be a good match for a guy like me.
To quite the roars of my run-ins with the law and other undesirable interactions, I agreed to continue to attend AA regardless of my lack of commitment or belief. I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time, but I did slightly enjoy the vulnerability and truth shared in the rooms of recovery. This was something that I had never experienced prior to. A sick part of me was also drawn to these people after listening to their brutal honesty in their shares, listening to all the horrible things they had done. I didn’t feel alone anymore as the deluded maniac I was. While I totally disagreed with their approach to their problems, I couldn’t refute their earnest desire to be grow and change.
After attending AA for a few months, allowing family to unearth a small degree of hope for my case, I too noticed the nihilist within seemed to have shifted slightly. I even started to become slightly open to the idea of reading a few pages from the literature that other members would always reference too.
I picked up some blue book they called the Big Book. The first few pages held little meaning to me, until I read a quote on page.11, from this good old boy named Bill and how he had viewed Christians.”To Christ I conceded the certainty of a great man, not too closely followed by those who claimed Him.” His sentiments to this day strike a chord at my core. That was precisely how I felt about people who claimed to find solace in life through religion. It was like they had been preaching the scriptures, standing on their moral pulpit, but rarely partook in the teachings of Jesus in their own lives.
This one time alter boy had completely turned from religion, since the age of 12. I couldn’t see how so many millions of people could have missed the essence of God, and it certainly wasn’t this set of exclusionary beliefs that would set people apart like a caste system.
My stance indeed was se. It was without question that God had taken a hiatus from his care for the people of the world who were said to have been created in His own image.
If you want me to lay my life down, and surrender to a God that won’t even intervene when innocent children are slaughtered in his very name, you are out to lunch. What a joke! There is no way I could get on board a bandwagon of eminent defeat like that. You can take your 12 steps, and your God idea, and stuff it!
That was 2010.
Since then, my relationship with the Spirit of the Universe has morphed substantially.Today, I can’t deny the existence of God today. I’ve been brought too far down the cosmic rabbit hole. I’ve seen too much. I’ve leaped from Pascal’s wager, over Mere Christianity, and straight into the sword bearing shoes of the apostle Peter.
A mentor of mine used to always tell me, “once you get a taste of the truth, it’s hard to go back to living the lie Kael”. I have witnessed God work through the lives of several people close to me over the last few years. I have also felt the ever connecting force of God in my very own life. At this point in time, I simply cannot deny the existence of a ruling force any longer. I am a believer.
The dilemma for me once landed over the belief revolving around the existence God, now a place of trying to understand God. There seems to be a total disconnect from that source during dark times that we all encounter. This type of experience seems to have also been felt regularly over the course of time, especially by the Psalmist David, as he expresses a similar sentiment in Psalm 22:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
Translated to the 2019 version: “God, what the fuck is your problem? Where are you? You see me screaming out to you in pain. All I do is preach your Goodness to all that I know, but now, you won’t even come and meet me half way in my struggles. You have completely given up on me, haven’t you? I hate you.”
Like a whiny child who didn’t get the toy he wanted, I too crumble in these perceived times of discontent. No matter how charged my viscera seemed to have been through past experiences with the divine, they usually hold little value to me in these moments of desperation. I still can get stuck in the spiral of doom. I start to think that these dark feelings of abandonment are indefinite and my whole life will always remain stuck in this pit of insanity and hopelessness.
Isn’t this a great example of my problems centering in my mind, rather than in the world? My ability to recognize this self-claimed character defect seems to also vanish from my recollection while in these temporary moments of mental dis-ease.
A few days pass from my freakout and I have had a moment to breathe. The stillness helps appropriate thinking to start flowing again, and I slowly start to recall other situations where I had thought God was missing from my life. I start realizing those experiences also turned out to be glitches in mental processing. All have come to pass.
God, as it turns out, was not missing. There was in fact a vital lesson to be learned as well. A lesson my obstinate mind needs reminding of on a regularly basis. A lesson of reaction. A lesson of trust. I share my encounter with madness with trusted confidants and their perspective on my mini trauma shifts my perception once again.
In reality, nothing changed in my life. I didn’t have any more responsibility on the day cried wolf, than I do today. Nor did my intellectual capacity adjust either. Why all the chaotic thoughts? Why the aggression towards the Spirit of all things?
Once I uncovered the lowest common denominator of things – I wasn’t getting what I wanted. I was also terrified of who I thought I would become as a result of not getting what I wanted. The Universe had other plans for me in store, and I put the gloves and chose to bat those plans away.
God always seems to come out on top in our scuffles, per usual, but I swear I came closer to making him tap this time. The futility of resisting the potentially pre-ordained plans for my life have proven itself again. I don’t know what is best for my life, yet I’m not to keen on taking guidance from the wise either, let alone the Creator of life.
Can you relate?