Out, loud and proud – Coming out of the God closet (Part 2)
In Part 1, I talked about fear being a constant companion of mine, in my self-imposed God closet. How scared I was to openly love God, and the doubts that plagued my mind. Fear and doubt – what a paralysing concoction.
Fear does not travel alone. Anxiety and doubt always accompany fear and once fear takes hold of your thought life, you see everything through the lens of fear. In denying the truth about my love for God and my faith in Jesus, doubt become my master. Oh Yes! Morning, noon and night my thoughts sat with me like best buddies. Here’s a little sample of just how messy the inside of my God closet looked.
Disbelief: There is no God. God is nothing more than a character from a fairy-tale.
Self-accusations: You’re wasting your life Margaret – forget all this God business and live.
Scepticism: : The Bible? Sounds a bit Harry Potterish to me! You must have a faith, to believe the Bible, and I don’t have that faith.
Self-doubt: Atheists, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins etc– so much research. They must be right – they are academics. They know far more than I do.
The allegations: Christianity is a crock – look at its history, the evil, ‘in the name of God’.
Around and around these thoughts swirled. The harder I tried to get rid of them, the more powerful they became. Fear had a strong grip!
There was a period when I hoped God did not exist. I researched prominent atheists including the renowned atheist/author Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011). I poured over his book ‘God is not great: How religion poisons everything.’ And I was nearly convinced, but I just I couldn’t get past the fact that most non-believer arguments merge God with religion as though they are one. Given that I believe God and religion to be quite separate, there is nothing in the atheist argument to totally convince me God did not exist. [See blog: Religion and God: Making sense of the nonsense)
But fear, fears the truth. When the blinkers of fear fell from my eyes, proof of God’s existence seemed to be all around me. How about the Universe? Or our planet? What about the amazing human body? Are these just a matter of random chance, or, does the exactness, the precision of their amazing functions point to a Designer. There is not enough room to post all the phenomena that sits within our universe, but I’ve posted a few of the facts that helped convince me of God’s existence.
The Earth…its size is perfect. If it was any smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter. Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of exactly the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.
The earth’s location is exactly the right distance from the sun. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth’s position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while rotating around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph.
Let’s not forget the human body. Did you know the brain is more powerful than any super-computer you can find? This tiny, approx. 1.3kg’s, (3lbs) wrinkly pink organ controls everything you do from thinking, learning, feeling emotions, as well as controlling every blink, breath and heartbeat.
Did you know the eye can distinguish among seven million colours? It has automatic focusing and handles an astounding 1.5 million messages — simultaneously. Is it possible that this just randomly happened – I think not.
Yes, the complexity of our planet and the wonders of the human body definitely point to a deliberate design. A considered design, by a deliberate Designer.
Author Mick Mooney points out that Playing lotto to solve your financial problems is not a rational option. The odds are way too long. Why then would we think its rational to believe that the universe, incredibly complex in its design, has no Designer, when the odds of that actually being true are enormous in cosmic sized proportions?
“The whole cosmos in their perfectly functioning glory. Where did it all come from? From nowhere? Are we to believe it is all the result of one mind-boggling chance? To believe this is to accept the odds given to it. One scientific estimate puts the chance of random creation at one in 10 to the power of 40,000. That’s 1 in 10 + 40,000 zeros on the end. Is it realistic to accept these odds as the most rational explanation we have regarding the creation of the universe?”. [Why I’d still believe in God even if the Bible was a fairy-tale – Mick Mooney]
Then there is my inside-out proof. Those ‘moments of God’ – when, unexpectedly, at the oddest of times, moments of extraordinary clarity, insight, or understanding pierce through the darkness. Believe me when I say, when God touches you, Love touches you. What words can describe this Love? I’m not sure such words are invented yet. Words can only describe feelings – not be them. How easy it is to forget these beautiful Love moments of God when hiding in the closet.
My doubts, although infuriating at times, are now a very much loved part of my God journey. Author George Iles says that doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom. To doubt is to question. To question is to learn. And to learn gains wisdom. Maybe the question should be, “Is it okay not to doubt?”
Everything, and yet nothing, has changed since coming out of the God closet. Daily life, and yes, sometimes the daily grind of life, continues as normal, yet somehow, it feels brighter and lighter and I feel braver. It has returned to me, my sense of self. I feel at peace with who I am, free to wander, explore and embrace the yearning that is God within. Trusting and believing in what my heart reveals.
Explorer Christopher Columbus said you can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. Leaving the comforts and protection of my God closet feels a lot like that. Out, loud and proud. What a turnaround.