I recently read an article in a national magazine about belief in God. The article was filled with all sorts of statistics concerning what percentage of which age groups believed in a supreme being, and other things having to do with religion in the United States. It did not divide belief along the lines of particular denominations or faiths. The article pertained mainly to simple belief in God.
While the article said that a great number of people do indeed believe in God, it also spoke of and about many who had issues with how they felt the Supreme Being ought to act. I was struck by the number of people that felt there was something wrong if God does not answer their prayers in the affirmative.
Many who were quoted in the article felt that a person they loved and prayed for ought to have survived, and that God should insure that. The common thread is, “Why did God allow that illness, accident, crime, and so on?” However perhaps they have forgotten about free will.
Praying to preserve someone’s life is a natural act, however it might not be in the best interests of that person to survive or to be healed. As well, if it is a case of God allowing something to happen it seems to me that God’s vision might be more accurate, being long range and unlimited. There are many factors that go into what occurs and why.
Some questioned why terrible things like the holocaust or plagues took place without God’s interference. Yet doesn’t a good parent let the children figure it out for themselves? Making things easy may not be in our best interests. Humanity as a whole must learn for itself what and what not to do, and we learn by doing. In addition because we are eternal souls, we surely survive in another form. While we may grieve a personal loss, there is no permanent death.
My personal perception of God is that of a benign force within all of creation, connected with each of us. God speaks to us through this connection in many ways. Listening is not always easy, especially when the answer is not what we wish to hear What can get in the way of my connection with God are my impatience, uncertainly and doubt. I do find that the more I listen within, the better I connect. Then I feel the personhood of God as a sense of all pervading love. As I allow the awareness of that force to guide me I am a happier more effective person.
Learning this has been a gradual process that has taken me most of my life. As a child I felt a strong connection to God. As I grew up I became more involved in life and that connection, while still there, was not as obvious to me. Eventually after much exploration and study I have come to appreciate that connection in a new way, and I realize that it is the same connection I have always had. However now I am more aware of and more reliant upon it, and it is a source of great joy.