It is entirely possible for the most cynical atheist to find God. Or,
for that matter, for God to find the cynical atheist, while they're minding
their own business watching TV on a Tuesday evening in May.
God does not and can not exist
I'm still not sure if I should be writing this - it's so exciting that
I have to shout and tell the world. But, I'm wondering if it's only exciting
to me. I've spent thirty years (or the portion of those thirty years during
which I've been able to read) ignoring, rejecting or deriding God and those
who might be sad enough to follow Him. I don't blame you if you're feeling
the same. Who cares, right? I was never christened - my quasi-hippy mother
had decided that if I was going to be a christian at any point, it would be
my decision, not one made for me before I could defend my views. Because
of that, I never sang the hymns in school assembly, I never bowed my head
in prayer. I got in trouble for that, because we were all expected to do so.
However, I felt that pretending to believe when I truly didn't was
morally more wrong than not believing in the first place.
So, until Tuesday the 24th of May, I was a card-carrying atheist. It was
absolutely ludicrous to me that you could have an imaginary friend who loved
telling you to beat up all the other people with different imaginary friends.
While loving everyone, he decided to sent plagues and pestilence? We're all
expected to fear him, when he obviously doesn't exist? What complete
poppycock. Organised religion is a method for controlling the masses.
On that Tuesday evening, however, at around 9:55pm, something strange
I was watching a TV programme about five men who visited a Monastery for six
weeks to find themselves, God, inner peace, or whatever they were searching
for. I had watched the rest of the three-part series with interest, but had
special until these last five minutes. I had made up my mind that monks
should be allowed the lives they choose - they perform useful roles in the
and aren't just running away from life. But I was still a scientific-minded
cynic who could not possibly be made to believe in a higher being who looks
over us all. So that was that. All sorted out. They could have their beliefs
and I'll have mine.
On that Tuesday evening, God found me.
I won't say that I found God. I wasn't looking for him. But He found me
for sure, and I can't imagine that I will ever doubt His existence again. You
never know, things change, the world turns, water runs under the bridge, and
I may turn in a different direction again. However, they'll need a pretty
good explanation of what happened to me on that evening.
It was not a magic trick. It was not the intoxicating influence of
alcohol, drugs or any other chemicals. It was not a vision. It was not a
voice. It was not a light. It was not a hallucination due to tiredness or
illness. I was not looking for anything. It was not one of my rare bouts of
I can't really describe what happened - but it was more uplifting than
anything I have previously experienced. It was warmer than anything I have
previously experienced. I was struck dumb briefly - either a reluctance, or
an inability to say anything. I was quite literally lost for words.
The beginning of a journey
Now I've been touched, I feel the need to find out more. I didn't previously
think I had any of the problems which would traditionally make someone turn
to God or look for a better life, or inner peace, or whatever. I'm good at
taking my life in hand, sorting out problems and keeping myself and my
loved ones alive, healthy and happy.
However much I thought I was happy, my changed outlook has opened up a
new plane of existence, with a level of deep inner contentment which I realise
I have been lacking. I am still very much in the early stages of my journey -
three weeks is not a very long time, but my initial reading on the matter
suggests that I am allowed to continue my life as a money earner, have fun,
have posessions, drink alcohol, and consume, while still following a path
I have begun with the Rule of Benedict. That's Rule as in the thing you
draw straight lines with, not as in "No Cycling". I had also been reading
wisdom from the Dalai Lama for some time before any of the events described.
I assume that at some time, they're going to have to have a bun-fight in my
mind while I work out which one is right - current guess: both of them.
So here we go, thirty years into life, on a new path. Or, more accurately,
on a path at all.
Sure, there are people who blindy follow religion without thinking about
it. They go to church because that's what you do. They don't, for one minute,
actually feel it. They're not wrong, but I don't want to be one of them. I'd
rather feel it and never go to church.
There are those who go to church for spiritually economic reasons. If Joe
Arsehole from Third World Debt Collectors Inc. goes to church so that he
doesn't feel so bad about his job and life, then I think he's missed the point.
I don't want to be one of them.
I don't know what my immediate future holds, but I know it will be a
better future for myself, and those around me.
Thanks for indulging me. I'll shut up now.