Note: Hardly a week goes by without readers asking that I write about God. Well, you asked for it.
He’s seldom discussed. Polite, even casual conversation spurns His mention. But once we reach seniordom (Suddenly!), we find ourselves thinking about Him more and more.
From the cynical atheist to the most devout of us, we all have God in our lives, if for no other reason than to deny Him.
Too, we share the gnawing doubts of dark night, the terror of nothingness. Equal opportunity emotions, these. And, if perchance, there is a God, we hope He’ll (or She’ll) appreciate our meager efforts of selflessness.
Once, after a foolhardy stunt in which I broke my back, foot and all the ribs on my right side, my Aunt Marion explained, “It’s God’s way of telling you to slow down.” I’ve come to believe that. I believe aging was created, as well, to urge us to take it easy.
We all need to dawdle and contemplate what we are doing on this planet.
I believe we need this time to forgive, not just others, but ourselves. Time to take inventory of where we’ve been and what we’ve done, who we’ve helped and hurt.
We need time to refresh friendships. To give of ourselves. To discover the joys of unconditional love, surrender, and humility.
As we age, and time inevitably quickens, we’re often overcome by incertitude and doubt. To move forward in faith, perhaps we need such despair.
You’ve heard folks say, “It was my darkest hour. Yet now I see that it was a blessing in disguise.”
Without trial, faith is meaningless. But what exactly is faith, anyway?
The Bible tells us, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Wow, that’s way over my head! I prefer St. Augustine: “Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe.”
I’ve seen what I believe – a loving, omnipresent God – in many guises, glimmers if you will.
Driving a motorhome around the US, I’ve had several tires and an engine blow out in the middle of nowhere, the only buildings within miles the auto mechanic shops I happen to be passing. Coincidences, or glimmers of God?
Personally, I don’t believe in coincidences. I don’t even believe in accidents.
Mark Twain’s famous for saying, “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”
What I know ain’t so is chance. I’ve lived long enough, through enough crap, to know in my heart that everything has a reason. Nothing “just happens.” This is a world created by a loving, caring God, after all. Nothing is unimportant.
I’ve been mugged but never hurt. Beaten, but unbowed. Never even inconvenienced beyond my pompous ego’s loss of dignity. Am I just lucky? Or were those glimmers of God as well?
I’ve had great disappointments that have made me strong.
I’ve done idiotic things that have made me wise.
I’ve had so many glimmers in my 67 years, I’d be a fool to ignore them in favor of a random world of coincidence, happenstance, and luck. (I read once that luck is “God’s nickname.”)
Satirist Ambrose Bierce said that faith is, “Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.”
The thing is, there is evidence. It’s all around us, all the time. The trick is to see it, know it, and love it. That, I believe is the purpose of aging. To embrace the world and give thanks for our many blessings. To accept the gifts of joy and assurance. To accept miracles
God is love, and love is the key. Miracles are everywhere. Open your heart and see.
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