Thursday, February 02, 2006

# 107 GODLINESS WITH AN ATHEIST ATTITUDE

I think its great for anyone to have a spiritual belief. It certainly gives life more meaning, and death less mystery. But there are extremes of spirituality. There are those who use religion to season life. To make it more delectable, to kick it up a notch. And conversely, there are those that use religion as a crutch. A dependency that voids the boldness needed to be independent and self-sufficient.

So now I have to ask, "Have you ever seen an atheist that wasn’t self-sufficient?" I don’t think you have because atheists are as self-sufficient as they come. They are masters of self-sufficiency. But among believers in God, there are those that because of it are weak and those that because of it are bold. It’s a spectrum thing. At one end of the spectrum are those who firmly believe that ‘God helps those who help themselves’ and at the other end those who believe ‘God will supply their every need.’ That’s where boldness and weakness comes in.

So assessing where one exists along this spectrum will be reflected by how boldly one deals with crisis. Keeping in mind, however, that some crisis situations should be discounted. For example, situations of crisis linked to illness or death. In the midst of heartbreaks of this nature, spiritual dependency is totally appropriate.

But for controllable situations, dealing with crisis is not sitting on one’s hands and forming with the lips a litany of prayers requesting a sign from God before a physical plan can be implemented. There is no boldness in wanting a job, needing a job, and when the job opportunity is there, stalling while awaiting a sign from God that it is the right job. These are symptoms of individuals that use religion as a crutch.

And people who use religion as a crutch will find in their history noticeable times of crisis that were healed by the efforts of others rather than themselves. They will find they have a rather large collection of problem situations that were resolved by others through gifts of food, gifts of money, informal loans, or other interventions.

But it’s not that those who use religion as a crutch plan to be that way. Most of them are unaware while purporting a trust in God and dependence on him, they are really dependent on others’ efforts rather than their own. What happens without realization is that when Godly-minded people begin to think they live lives beyond reproach, when they become too engrossed in emulating faith, and this living leads to some minor or embarrassing failures, they assume that they should have waited longer. Waited for a clearer sign. And the situation is worsened by such contemplation. Now if the crutch-dependent-zealot falls into a bad marriage, or a painful situation at work, they blame themselves for being too impatient. They should have languished longer. And so from this point on they do. They wait longer for a sign (sometimes two or three signs) while depending even more on others intervention. They now sit on their hands for interminable periods that leave their palms and fingers quite numb.

But you know, somehow with the strength of our limbs, the dexterity of our hands, and the rate at which we can learn new knowledge and skills, I don’t think that is what God had in mind. But I have another reason for this opinion and it has to do with the belief that God created man in his own image. And obviously since God is a spirit form without physical characteristics, this reference to ‘form’ speaks to our intelligence and the power to reason solutions to problems. And so we have a likeness to God in our thinking and in His thinking, God is bold. Even more bold than an atheist.

Bold enough to purposely blend earth, fire, and water into one major volatile mix and plan for a BIG BANG! How bold is that? No trifling bit of dynamite here. So it follows that we, being gifted with this same likeness, should be bold and independent and out there using our own resources to get what we need and want out of life?

Now if perchance it should happen that having read this, you are suddenly faced with the realization that you are using religion as a crutch rather than living life with boldness, as much as I would wish to help, I have nothing to offer. But I can make a suggestion. Seek out an atheist. As I have already said, they are experts in the field of self-sufficiency and an almost equal-to-God boldness.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Aurora said...

Beautiful. :) That's very close to how I see things. Problem is, I sometimes let others make me feel guilty for seeing things that way.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Going back to the thoughts expressed in this post, aurora, you just be 'bold' cause that's what we were meant to be.
And Thanks for commenting. At least I know that 'one' reader understood the thing here that I found so difficult to clearly articulate.

8:48 PM  

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