As the Year of Faith was drawing to a close and I was reflecting on my own gift of faith, a thought popped into my mind – a terrible thought. What if there is no God?
Such an idea just makes me laugh. Most intelligent people can look at the world around them or examine the intricacies of the human body and know there must be a God. It is, I believe, a greater leap of faith to believe that all this came from nothing than from a Supreme Being.
If I cut all the words out of a dictionary and threw them into the air, I do not think in a million tosses that those words would land in such a way so as to form a sentence, let alone a whole story. But if I were to sit down with those very same words, I could come up with some very good and creative sentences. Even if the words did manage to haphazardly form a sentence somehow, I would still have to ask, “Where did the words come from?” Indeed, there is no doubt in my mind that God exists.
What if, however, this Supreme Being who created the universe is not a personal God? What if He got bored or, more plausibly, disgusted with us, and went off to create another universe or something? Maybe He has no intention of sharing his divine and eternal life with us, His pitiful creatures. Could Scriptures be more myth than actual reality? Could Jesus be more a folk hero, a historical figure whose story became exaggerated? What if God does not care?
Then I have wasted my life. I would not have spent most of my early adult life in a convent. I would not have nine children; I would not homeschool; I would not work for a church. On the contrary, I would have two or three kids and a job; no, a career, outside the home. I would be able to pay bills and have money left over to buy myself clothes—fashionable clothes—and the latest tech gadgets. I would take the kids to Disney World, probably multiple times. And Paul and I would be doing the traveling we, right now, only dream about.
Life would be about me.
My life is different, though, because the fact of the matter is that the Supreme Being is a personal God. As unbelievable as it may seem, He does want to share His divine and eternal life with me. So much so that He left Paradise and “took the form of a slave,” as St. Paul puts it (Phil. 2:7). He was born as a human child in a stable, into poverty. He lived so as to show me how to live, teaching me what is truly important in life. Moreover, He died so that I could have life in its fullness. He died because without His Blood washing over me, I would remain in sin and selfishness. He died because He knew I needed His grace. I know my Lord is a personal God because I need Him. Not only would I not be living the life I now lead, I couldn’t.
I have nine children because I believe God was serious when He said, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). I believe that “sons are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a blessing” (Ps. 127:3).
I also know that without the grace of God, and the help of my husband, I could not raise these precious beings without totally messing them up and ending up on Dr. Phil. I experience God’s Divine Providence that enables us to pay the bills on an electrician’s and youth minister’s salaries.
I listen to Jesus when He says, “As for clothes, why be concerned? Learn from the lilies of the field. They do not work; they do not spin. Yet I assure you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was arrayed as one of these” (Mat. 6:28-29).
Above all, I believe that Heaven will be way more amazing than Disney World, Hawaii, the Grand Canyon and a Caribbean cruise all rolled into one. It is there, Heaven, that I hope that Paul, my children, and I go. “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1Cor. 2:9).
So, my life is very different because I believe. God’s plan for my life is way bigger than my own plans. It’s a wonderful life. It is a blessed life. I can truly say with St. Paul, “The life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me” (Gal. 2:20).
So how about you? You know Christ is living in you, too.
How is your life different because you believe?
Copyright 2013 Kelly Guest