Saturday, October 1, 2011

Faith in Doubt (Part 2): Getting Punched in the Face by God

A continuation of the series by Luke, Faith in Doubt.

When I first left the Church it felt like a weight had been cut off my back.  It felt like I was breathing fresh air for the first time in years.  My mind was free to consider ideas that I had been suppressing, and for the first time in a long time my heart felt free from the burden of guilt.  All of the demands that I thought were required of me vanished, and it felt good. Really good.  The experience was almost religious.  It felt like I had been saved from ignorance, and reborn into a new life.  I didn’t have to “capture” every stupid little thought that came through my head, and I didn’t have to believe that the God of the universe would be torturing people for all eternity.  I could just live my life, and learn, and try not to hurt anyone, and that felt like a fine life to me.  

I emphasize the joy of this moment because of what happened next.  It was unexpected and unwanted.  It was simple. 

God was there
Like a burning in my chest
Like a splinter in my mind
In defiance of everything I had built up against him
God was there, and I couldn’t deny it

You may believe me and you may not, but that’s the only sense I can make of it
In spite of all my philosophical objections
In spite of all the seeming inconsistencies
In spite of all the horrors that I now associated with God
He was there
He was God
And there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. 

There is an analogy for God that I think is quite underutilized. 
God is like a punch in the face.
You may not see it coming, you may not understand why it happened, but you cannot deny that it happened. 
For me, the existence of God is not a proposition to be proved or disproved
Nor is the ministry of Jesus
God is a punch in the face
God is something so real that the rest of your life must bend to it

After this I began a long climb back to God.  I battled with God for several more years, but there was no longer any question about where I was going.  

(more coming soon)

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