“Do you believe in God?” A missionary asked me directly after handing me a church brochure. He had a jubilant expression on his face, eagerly waiting for my response.
After coming to the front porch of my house unexpectedly due to the sound of the doorbell, being greeted with such a question made me flinch. I looked at his face for a few seconds, not sure how I should respond to him.
Then I cleared my throat and uttered, “I don’t know.”
The missionary was unfazed by my response. He continued his gospel on the bible, telling me the benefits of how accepting Jesus Christ as my lord and savior can change my life for the better. He was super ecstatic about preaching what he believed.
Seeing how the missionary was having such a good time, I went along with him. I nodded at everything he said. I smiled and exchanged some laughter with him. In the end, he told me to consider the idea of becoming a Christian; to become someone of virtue, love, devotion, and worship.
I did not reply to him. I merely said my goodbyes and gently closed the door.
Alone in the silence of my home, I shook my head from side to side and sighed. “To believe or not to believe, the results are one and the same…”
My Journey in Understanding God
Ever since I was a little kid, I was told that God is a supreme and omnipotent being. He is the creator and ruler of the universe. Likewise, he also has a human form because we are made in his image. Unfortunately, we are born into the world with countless sins. To absolve oneself of sins, he must fully devote his life to God.
As a little kid, I truly believed in God. Well, not in a very religious sense. I didn’t believe in sins, the religious dogma, and others. I just believed that there is a supreme being who created this world. I saw so much creation around me as a kid. I know for sure that it wasn’t my parents who created all the things that exist. They were like superheroes to me, but just not that extreme.
I remembered how I used to talk to God. I would randomly talk to him no matter where I was. I would talk to him on the bus. I would talk to him when I look at the moon. I would talk to him especially during Chinese New Year when my family members prayed to him for his blessings.
As I grew older, education changed the way I believed in God. Learning about natural selection, science, and other facts made me realize that my belief was wrong.
There is no God. There is only the human being and our own nature. We created God. God is nothing more than an idea that we force on one another. Because human beings don’t know how to behave, we introduced an unknown, supreme variable to dictate how we live our lives.
At this point, I thought believing in God was insanity. I remembered how people used the name of God to justify horrible actions against one another. Because you believed in the highest good, everything bad you do can be absolved. You are doing God’s work. It is God’s will to cleanse the earth of heretics and non-believers. God is used as a scapegoat for the destructions people bring into the world.
At this phase, I was sick and tired of people believing in God. To me, all I saw was people giving away their own powers and responsibilities. Instead of believing in themselves, they rather believe in some make-belief fantasy that no one can prove to be real.
Instead of being the one in control of their own lives, they gave it away to an idea. Whenever something bad happens, they blame it on God. Whenever something good happens, it is God’s grace. Nothing is created by their own efforts; everything is given by God.
Do you see the funny aspects of my dilemma? I have a love-hate relationship with God. I believed in God. I believed in no God. In truth, these two beliefs are one and the same.
Seek and Find
If you believe in God, then God exists. If you don’t believe in God, then God doesn’t exist. But both cases share something similar: you believe in something that you don’t know.
Earlier I talked about my love-hate relationship with God. If I don’t know anything about God, then don’t you think it is super funny that I was worried about my relationship with him?
To worry about something that you don’t know is no different than creating problems out of thin air. We often talk about things that we don’t know. When we do this, we create so many assumptions and beliefs. I believe in this. You believe in that. It doesn’t make any difference what you believe because anyone can believe in whatever he wants even if the beliefs have nothing to do with reality.
But the truth remains that you don’t know. When you believe something that you don’t know, you create illusions that are more real than reality to you. There is no desire to know because you are satisfied with your own limited knowledge. You are a frog in a well. If you truly don’t know, then the desire to know becomes evident. You will search and seek for your own answers, even if you cannot find them.
However, only when you seek for an answer does the possibility of knowing exists.
I’ve talked so much about things that I don’t know. Let’s bring this topic back to what I do know.
I believe that as human beings, we have been acting in service of heaven and God for far too long. I believe that if God is divine, he doesn’t need our devotion or worship. I believe that if heaven is perfection, then there is no need to offer service. They are more organized than us, and they don’t need our help.
I believe that human beings need to pay more attention to themselves.
Don’t export human virtues and values to heaven. God is love. God is life. These I do not know, but what I do know is that human beings are capable of love and compassion. Human beings are capable of life. These are all human possibilities. Why should they be exported as qualities of the divine?
Heck, we all know that dogs are capable of loving immensely. This means that divine-like qualities are possibilities of many living creatures.
There is no need to make so many assumptions about various things that are not in our experience. Let’s deal with things that we know. If we try to deal with things we don’t know, we take away responsibility for personal choice and give it to some other authoritative figure, real or not.
If you observed closely, you could see that nobody in the world is interested in God. People are only interested in God because they believe that he is the solution for their life. You believe that if you go to God, all your problems will go away. You think that God can give you your salvation from your mental problems, your health problems, your relationship problems, your existential problems, and so much more.
Turning to God cannot give you any of this. Why? Because none of this has anything to do with God. All of this has everything to do with you and only you, so address this straightforwardly.
Look deep within yourself to find the source of all your problems. Resolve them there. Stop relying on the unknown to solve your problems. If you do, you are nothing more than a gambler testing his luck when the odds are stacked against him.
At this moment I want you to realize something: everything that is vital to life is being done without you having to do anything. The earth is spinning. Your heart is beating. You are breathing. None of these do you have to do, they simply happen.
As a human being, take charge of your life and enjoy it. You don’t need to believe or don’t believe in God to do this.