The beginning is always a good place to start. For me, the beginning is God. I don’t mean that the beginning is something else for someone else. It is the same for everyone. It’s just that not everyone will admit it.
It was never supposed to be a hard question. Romans says that creation makes it plain to us that God exists. That there is a universe at all, and that we are here living in that universe is supposed to shout to us of a creator. Many of us, though, try to drown out creation’s songs of God. Every now and then a thought provoking verse will get through our defenses and we will find our hearts wondering. Snapping out of our reverie, we grumble something about the impossibility of God. Then we turn the volume of life up to a level where we are sure we will hear no more of creation’s ridiculous claims.
We can’t get away though, can we? Everywhere we look there is a giant question mark. Everything coming from nothing is tough to swallow even though that may be what we want to believe. The alternative is too scary to contemplate. If we didn’t come from nowhere and nothing, then we came from someone, a being with unimaginable power. And if that is true, maybe this being, let’s call him God, may expect something of us.
One thing is sure: If there is a God, you can’t hide from him. Not believing in God cannot cause him not to be. If we stumble around with our hands over our eyes proclaiming that we see no evidence of God, how will we feel when we drop our hands and find him standing right in front of us? That does sound scary.
Perhaps not though. Because if there is a God who created us, then he designed this universe to provide our basic needs. That speaks of a God who might care about us. Hmmm? Going further we understand that we are gifted with senses that allow us to see, smell, hear, taste, and feel all the things we come in contact with. There is incredible beauty in this world and we are created in a way that we can experience that beauty. If there is “A God Who Creates”, then he appears to be a good and generous God, not a mean and scary God. If we add it up, it sounds like this God actually loves us, maybe like a father loves his children.
Being loved by God sounds awesome, but he has to have his limits, right? After all, we denied his existence, or at least denied his right to tell us how to live. True enough. But what if this God who is powerful enough to create everything, including us… what if this God’s love really is like a father’s love? A father doesn’t stop loving his children when he is disrespected, not a good father anyway. He may feel the need to discipline a disrespectful son or daughter but he never stops loving that child. What if God’s fatherly love is so far beyond our human fatherly or motherly love that they can’t even be compared?
There is a guy in the Bible called Jesus. You have heard of him. He told a story of a shepherd who left ninety-nine sheep on the hillside to go and find the one who had gone astray. Hint: He wasn’t talking about sheep! Jesus is saying that God went looking for us when we had lost our way, not after we got our act together.
Let’s say this is all true. God created this universe. Then he created people to inhabit his universe, and he loves them more than we are capable of understanding. He loves us more than we can know. If we could believe this, would it make it easier to open our eyes and try to see this God for who he is? Would it make it less scary to see what this Father God may want from us?
Stay tuned. A.J.