Charlotte Gyllenhammar’s ‘Double Bind’ in Gothenbourg’s art gallery illustrates the tension some people face about believing in God. A Double Bind in a relationship is where a person is caught in a trap of contradictory messages.
In the absence of any ‘proof’ either way, I have decided to simply believe. Here are my …
Ten Reasons Why I Believe in God.
1. It’s so simple.
For me it is the most obvious thing, and anyone can do it. For 60 years I’ve listened to people duck and dive around the simplicity, thinking it is far too easy to innocently ‘accept’ the honest possibility of a Designer/Creator. I’ve heard all the “Who created God, then?” arguments. In the face of such design intricacies and interlinked complexity in the natural world, simply to accept that there might be an Eternal Being who was and is the Source of it all seems so obvious to me. Why fight it? Here’s the next one…
2. I have someone to thank, thank God.
Yes, someone to blame for all the GOOD stuff. The atheist’s most embarrassing moment is when she or he feels supremely thankful for something and doesn’t know who to thank. Beauty. Love. Health. Sleep. Life. Children. Hope.
3. It inspires faith.
I love the fact that you cannot prove God doesn’t exist. Or does, of course. Believe it or not, it’s a choice! (Yes, I know this argument is rejected by all the logical people in the world who question whether we have choice or not. They rather miss the point methinks.) This doubt-ridden world is crying out for the beauty of simple trust. Who better to trust than a loving Creator? OK, here’s my next one …
4. It’s healthy.
It is now well established that belief in a benevolent God has physical, emotional and psychological health benefits. They live longer, have better relationships, are more socially contributing, less stressed, and healthier. He has to be a benevolent God though. Malevolence has the opposite effect.
5. I’m never alone.
Allowing myself to sense the presence (pre-sence?) of an Eternal Spirit who is interested in me and ready to connect with the deepest part of me is massively reassuring. It means that I always have someone to share my life with, who loves me unconditionally and listens to my every heartbeat, wherever I am, whatever I’m thinking, in good days and bad.
6. It answers the question “What’s the Point?”
It has been said that the two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you found out the purpose of that event. I personally am happy to accept that there IS an objective reason for my existence – which gives a sense of fulfilment and purpose beyond the decision of a couple of people to mate and have a baby. Belief in God may be subjective, but if it is true then he is ‘beyond’ us in so many ways. I think human beings need that ‘something, someone beyond ourselves.’
7. I haven’t found anything better.
I’m talking about an all-forgiving, kind, all-powerful, GOOD God here, not a legalistic, authoritarian, punisher of human wrongs who spends his (or her, of course) time dreaming up nasties for bad behaviour. Mine is a God who accepts me and loves me just as I am, no strings attached. ‘Love personified’ describes him well. There is nothing I can do to make him love me more … or love me less.
8. Heaven and hope.
The God I love has prepared a perfect home for my spirit the other side of death – heaven. Bring it on … in due course, needless to say. He knows the perfect time for my transfer from this world to that one, and has it in his control. This conviction provides deep reassuring hope. Self-deception? Maybe. How will you or I know? (Frankly, I don’t care. This works for me.)
9. I feel deeply deeply safe.
As in ‘deeply’. I still feel insecure sometimes, and occasionally afraid, but the safety I’m talking about is much more profound than that. It runs very deep, the reassurance that whatever happens to me physically or emotionally, spiritually I’m safe. Secure. It’s an all-encompassing awareness that this God is absolutely on my side and that it will be, not just alright in the end, but unimaginably amazing. To quote that 2012 classic Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (sorry!) “It’s going to be alright in the end, so if it’s not alright, it’s not yet the end.” I love that line!
When I was sixteen I had a stunning experience that changed my life. I may tell you about it sometime. For me it was my personal entry into an understanding of God that has affected everything. There have been hundreds of similar moments since. Some people might call them coincidences, or lucky moments, or the ‘universe’ looking after you’, or just flukes. They may be right, but that doesn’t work for me. I think such moments have a spiritual origin. They are the Creator actively participating in my daily life. I like that.
I’d LOVE you to comment on this. Feel free to add your honest (but polite please, or they will be taken down!) thoughts.