My mother, the poet, says that even as a child, my awareness, and appreciation of God was mildly creepy. As a believer, I've had doubts, questions, frustrations--and there have been a few days I wanted a nice helping of atheism with my pancakes. A break from believing means a break from the accountability, and the responsibility of investigating who God is. But it would always go back to the cell for me. Let's say we could trace all of life back to a single cell--who made the cell? What if "energy" came together in one aimless, spontaneous, and hap-hazard event--and poof!--LIFE! That sounded a lot like science fiction--or a miracle. Intelligent Design was the only thing that ever fit the Origin puzzle for me. I always knew God to be real.

I see the forums on hubpages, and the ones on God, faith, and religion are by far the most popular--and the most volatile. Whatever the beliefs of the people posting are, clearly this subject itself is one that matters to a lot of people. Religion has been responsible for dealing one of the biggest death blows to God for many individuals. It literally causes fighting in the street, wars, and tremendous bloodshed. In the name of religion, people have been led to the madness of atrocious, and inhuman acts. Maybe we just shouldn't talk about God and religion--it tends to ruffle feathers, and we certainly can't have that. I apply that notion to health, and as a health care worker, if I casually mention to a patient that we have a host of different treatment options for their condition, and that I'll have the unit clerk select one randomly--that will likely not go over well. When that doesn't go over well, I can then offer to just select the treatment the patients' parent had--for tradition's sake. This will also will likely not go over well. The average patient of sound mind will want to hear all of the options out--the smart ones, the difficult ones, maybe even the crazy ones. Ruffled feathers and all, we have got to talk about God--not to the point of oppression, but if God, GOD, is taboo...where are we headed?

Communal worship has huge sweeping flaws, including the propensity for piety, hubris, pride in one's own perception of righteousness, and the mistreatment of others who dare to contradict what's being said in the room. Communal worship also has many advantages including--learning and growing in a way that a person can not on their own, a community of support, and a break from opposition to shared values. I think many acknowledge, and perhaps even accept the idea of Intelligent Design, but later undermine it, by taking the intelligence out of it. Sure, there's a God, but clearly He has Dementia. Clearly, He can not figure out how to run things.

For all the ways I explored the subject of God, and of faith, I just could not get behind the idea of Happenstance the God Clown--a God lacking purpose, direction, and any concern for people. I have ADD, my God does not. I know a God of love, intelligence, and deliberate acts. I learned about Him through observation of creation, and after searching through many a holy book, found the Bible to be the most convincing testimony of what God has done, and will do. That's what I found.

Maybe God is intelligent, but we're smart too...maybe we can outsmart Him.

Maybe we can outsmart Him with science. Only, science is so deeply flawed, and still so theoretical in many respects that, at least in medicine, the line between cure and cause is a very blurry one. There's a comedian who does a bit on why he doesn't believe in science, citing, in part, the fact that he'd heard on the news that scientists now believe we are billions of years off on our calculations of the origin of the earth. He wondered why these guys hadn't been fired from science if they were BILLIONS of years off.

Maybe we can outsmart God with politics. I don't even think I need to write much here, the world sort of speaks for itself on the subject on whether or not mankind as a whole has done well running the earth, physically, socially, or economically. The flaws in politics would fill volumes that would never be able to be contained by Earth alone.

Maybe we can outsmart God with philosophy. I love philosophy. I think of thought as an art form, and treat it as such--to be observed, pondered, and appreciated. But much like art, some of it is complete rubbish. Many are arriving at new age conclusions--"what I believe....it makes no sense...but NOW it doesn't have to. Now that I'm enlightened." Sensibleness goes right out of the window when you're zen and centered and...what is it about this kind of centered that seems a little crooked?

But still, there's all these bad things in the world, these things that aren't explained well by belief in a loving God. I won't pretend to have never gone through a trial, but I have never, ever been failed by my God. If you're being failed by your God--if you find yourself saying things like--'there goes Universe and its dirty tricks again', or 'there goes that absent-minded, and sick-humored wizard up to no good,'--I suggest you keep on shopping in the Faith mall. You probably haven't found the right one yet. Why not do as some of the prophets did and get mad--challenge God to tell you something better.

Comments 39 comments

suny51 profile image

suny51 6 years ago

Hello I like the way you have explained the things so systematically,on their merits,but I still feel we are not gutsy enough to outsmart Him...may be! who knows? Well done.

ceciliabeltran profile image

ceciliabeltran 6 years ago from New York

Hmmm...as an active participant in these volatile forums I find that the problem is that G-d as you put it is locked so much in symbolism that it cannot trickle down on this reality. It must come down in order to raise us up. Otherwise it will remain there where it cannot be reached as a concept.

Rated you up.

It seems that your understanding of G-d is so archetypal that I would consider it a portrait of what G-d means to us humans.

"Challenge G-d to tell you something better."

I always say, take the word "G-d" from the statement and replace it with your name. That is your mission.

Rated you up!

ilmdamaily profile image

ilmdamaily 6 years ago from A forgotten corner of a dying empire. OK, it's Australia :-)

Right on SJ. I've gotten a huge amount out of this - thank you:-)

There is nowhere near enough thoughtfully contemplative dialogue on hubpages about faith. Most perceptions of God around here range from the belligerently atheistic, to the dogmatically religious - and the vitriol (not even a strong enough word really) that we see in the forums is evidence of the falsity of both positions.

Anything that causes that much hate must be of impure origin, or poor foundation.

Both views require contortions of morality and instinct which bend the mind and break the heart. There is scant recognition in either camp of the mutual vulnerabilities - both intellectual and emotional - of both positions.

Your meditation on your relationship with God is a very necessary, and welcome contribution here. I could count the number of people able to genuinely and intelligently engage about belief in hubpages on one hand. You're on that hand;-)

I was aksed by my brother in law (a gentle, sensible atheist) recently about my beliefs. He could not reconcile his own beliefs with the fact that he seemed to get along so well - unusually well - with many men of God.

My response was that it was the humility of those men he related to. There is a paradox to belief that defies the arrogance born of perceived certainty so prevalent in modern thought: those who believe come to know belief through their own experiences, and know that their belief can never be proven. Nor should it need to be.

It is the tension of this relationship - between the epistemic fragility of belief, and the intensity of its foundation within personal experience, that gives belief its power. And mystery.

And that's something I notice in your writing. A confession of uncertainty in knowing "how it will all work out" - but being quietly confident that it most certainly will, without crossing over into arrogance.

It's that component of belief the world needs so much right now: the confidence to accept our vulnerability, while realising that same vulnerability takes nothing away from our own or others dignity. In fact, it adds to it.

In many ways, the origin of belief owes much to our attitudes towards adversity and opportunity - or our failing to recognise that sometimes they are one and the same.

My eyes don't work properly. Barely at all actually. I could wake up every day and curse my creator for it - and part of me - a small, lower part of myself, does this. But the greater, higher part of myself recognises the opportunity presented to me - to stretch myself beyond my expectations of myself - to grow in ways i'd never have imagined.

My "defect" becomes my strength, and I find parts of myself fold out before me which I would never have had the chance to know were I born with "correct" vision. I like the parts of me that I find in this process. In that way, for me at least, I find my belief through adversity. And my belief turns it to opportunity.

Or as Bon Jovi once said: "You live for the fight when that's all that you've got!"

Ugh, my brain's spilled its contents again. I need to learn brevity...:-s Stop provoking me lol!

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 6 years ago Author

Thanks suny51--We will certainly never outsmart God. Ceciliabeltran-thanks a lot. I like that you're an active participant in those forums--the heat is hot there. I appreciate the idea of a concept of God locked in symbolism, at the end of the day faith is individual, it certainly is not collective, the intensity of our relationship with God will be relative...but we're still as a whole of humans removing the intelligence from Intelligent Design. We're very sure God is as mixed up as we are. Thanks for your response!

Kristin, as always, thanks a lot for responding. My favorite thing that you said this, "And that's something I notice in your writing. A confession of uncertainty in knowing "how it will all work out" - but being quietly confident that it most certainly will, without crossing over into arrogance." What your describing is faith. I searched for quite a while, and still do, but at the end of the day, where my beliefs stand today are nothing without faith. Facts are good, they're necessary so that you are not carried away by the absurd, but without faith none of it really works. Thanks a lot, Kristin. Really appreciate it.

And I LOVE a good atheist, happy that you met one who wonders.

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 6 years ago Author

Kristin, I really hope you read this! I had about the craziest day ever, and I'd read through your response earlier quickly, and responded quickly. I just re-read it...I want to tell you that what you said, and the way you said it was really, really great. I'm sorry, but I totally missed before the fact that you have problems with eyesight, and struggle with reconciling God's part in that. You are definitely taking the high road with how you're choosing to view it. Really admirable To add to that, I don't think that anything that causes you difficulty in that way is from God. So much of what you wrote was really, really well said--it's awesome! I like that you call your brother in law a "gentle, sensible atheist."

Forget what I said before, my favorite part of your response is this, "It is the tension of this relationship - between the epistemic fragility of belief, and the intensity of its foundation within personal experience, that gives belief its power. And mystery." That is genius! Amazing.

Phenomenal writing, Kristin! Got a lot more the second time.

always exploring 6 years ago

I agree with u, God is real to me, some say that we came from monkies( apes ) i say where did the apes come from.

I enjoyed your thoughts, and i believe God wants us to laugh and be happy,

cheers and God Bless You

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 6 years ago Author

Thanks always exploring! It's pretty obvious God wants us to be happy, huh? When you meditate on creation, it's impossible to ignore--as if nature is presented in gift form. But really, it will take some decisive, significant, maybe the word is "dramatic" action on God's part to bring everyone who cares about Him to this wonder we call happy. Too many have limiting factors to how happy they can be--sickness, poverty, and many other disadvantages. It's like one big reset button needs to be pressed, no?

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

HI, I don't believe that anybody really knows who or what God is. We know the teachings of the Bible, and other religious books, but humans have a way of playing 'whispers' over the years, one starts of with the truth, by the 100,000 person it only has a little bit of truth wrapped up in pure fiction. I can never understand why people fight over it. to be honest, it reminds me of someone painting a room and coming out stating, 'whoever gets the colour guessed correctly wins the prize' then people argue, fight, kill each other, until the painter comes back and opens the door. after all the fighting, the people realise that actually they were all wrong! and that is the way with God, cheers nell

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 6 years ago Author

Hi, Nell! Thanks for reading. The violence over God is disturbing. I've studied many faiths, philosophies, and schools of thought. I always believed in God, even in my most faithless of times, I believed. What held true to me, is that, if there is a God, there is a truth. If there is a higher power, than there has to be higher intelligence. With intelligence, there is purpose and planning, that was part of what I did (and do) as a seeker. Thanks so much for reading, Nell. Always happy you stop by!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

"But still, there's all these bad things in the world, these things that aren't explained well by belief in a loving God." So true. It boggles the mind. Our world of money, business, politics is obviously under the thumb of negative energy, aliens, inane people, Satan, you pick. The news is a mess. World calamities are so huge and often, we're distracted continuously from issues that need attention.My faith is very simple. It is that Golden Rule. Everything else gets cloudy and confusing. Every religion has the Golden Rule in some form. The powers that control us would keep truth seekers apart. In a nut-shell, we can say we are here to worship God. In a nut-shell though - God's law is that we take care of our human brothers and sisters. When business or government falls away from this greatest command by Jesus or God, we have cults and the worship of Mammon.

Atheists can and do adhere to and promote the Golden Rule. Some do not even realize it but their actions promote this rule.

But the Golden Rule is the meeting point. All religions should, yes without doubt, unite to defeat the negatives that create the mischief and suffering. We are indeed, our brothers' and sisters' keepers. And yes, health-care with full dental should be provided for all our brothers and sisters. When people say this cannot be done and will not be done, these people are defeated.

But these are my thoughts on religion. I'm 62 years old with nothing else to see. But every day my faith is reaffirmed to the one Golden Rule. So much so, that I feel most people should put down the rest of their Holy Books and focus on the Golden Rule. It is the obvious truth! God bless!

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Thanks for this comment, MD! I know I'm on the right track when I'm serving the God who finds it so important that we treat each other well. That gives me peace. But I'm banking on the fact that the Creator of all the Universe is smarter than me. And I would have a plan to straighten the crap out in the world. I betcha He does too, and part of my search for truth was rooted in this very basic thought.

I love your concern for the future, and for the present, and I could go on and on on this, but I've got to deliver babies today!

Also...I'm pretty sure Jesus' healthcare plan was one that included no NEED for healthcare :-). Thanks, again.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

God bless you ahostagesituation! You're a positive force for good in the world.

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Micky. I'm SJ, btw. I really try to be a positive force for good, but believe me I have a lot of faults. Just yesterday I had murder in my heart--today, less homicidal. I'm a work in progress. The essence of what I do in my life and who I am stems from the fact that I truly love my God, more than anything. I was laughing because when I re-read, "the Creator is smarter than me" I thought, wow, and He also probably knows in English you say "smarter than I." I've witnessed God's hand in real time and there's pretty much no going back from that--at least not for me. I'd scream what I witnessed from the rooftops, post it all over the internet, but no one would believe me. At best it would get watered down to imaginative interpretation, at worst I'm a lunatic. I tried to figure out why I ever got to see that, best I came up with was a scripture in 2Chronicles 16:9. My translation says something like "the eyes of God are roving about to show His strength to those whose hearts are complete towards Him." I couldn't believe what I saw, and then I thought, why don't I believe this? I'm a believer. When I say God is very much alive, watching and with purpose, it's not a guess. The Golden Rule is a fundamental start but there's really just so much more.

What I've read of your hub topics and profile, you seem to be a positive force for good in the world also. That is how you conquer the evil is with your own goodness. Thanks for your comment, and for reading! Very cool.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

That's a great testimony SJ. I don't push anything but the Golden Rule. I see that religious folks and non religious have a problem with the concept. It seems every other day people are using scriptures against each other. I have prime examples right now. I have read the Bible several times. The issues that concern me and the world is the disobedience with respecting and promoting our world family. Every sin can be traced back to the failure of obeying the Golden Rule.

But there is too much abandonment. Businesses and governments will either take up that cross or continued confusion, slavery and suffering will continue. We are to pray for Earth's redemption. The Lord's prayer is specific.

You're fine. You are doing great work. I'm just pushing this proverbial bolder alone.

Everyone who reads you can see God shine right through. But my cross is totally the Golden Rule. There is too much confusion, too many texts, and people cannot grasp the greatest law the was given.

Sorry for talking your "eyes" off. God bless you dear SJ!

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Mickey, no way! don't apologize for saying where you're coming from. I think it's great, I'm actually more unnerved by people avoiding the topic of God and religion than by hearing diverse opinions about God. In other countries it isn't impolite to discuss God, in this Country people take more offense to that than being asked their weight. I'm really happy to hear your perspective, I think we could go a lot further as a people if everyone would strive for that "Golden Rule" foundation. The Earth and the people on it need a lot of repair. My mother used to say I wasn't happy unless I was fighting a cause, and that used to be true. I wanted to fix all these horrible things, and than I just uncovered more horrible things. It was like putting out a waste-basket fire right next to a forest fire. I later realized there was just so much wrong beyond the power of the dogooders and I. If everyone followed the Golden Rule things might work out...but who will enforce it? Too many left to their own devices just will not follow even this fundamental decent act of treating others the way they'd like to be treated.

I've worked in my career with good and bad doctors, and good and bad nurses. I like to believe in a job where people's lives are at stake that no one wakes up and says, "I'd like to be a crappy doctor/nurse today, and maybe forever!" But yet it definitely happens--whether it's partially due carelessness, laziness, lack of knowledge, disinterest, the other part is always lack of effort. I mean, in health care we all make mistakes, we're human. But when someone is truly a bad egg in our field it's because they're not trying. I think our world is similar in this way. Many are not making an effort with other people, and a lot of people aren't making an effort toward God, even when they believe. That's an observation, certainly not a judgment. I think any and every thing can be improved, that's just how I think, but not without effort.

Thanks a whole lot, Micky. And now I'm off work and it's time to get in some trouble ;-). Stop by anytime, I've totally enjoyed hearing your input.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Hi dear SJ. Enforcing a Golden rule will only come from the heart. The essence of the belief has to be taken literally. Voters as well as officials will be judging. Who will judge when Christ rules? Christians believe that Jesus will come back to rule. It will be 144,000 by some prognostications. I find it absurd to believe whole heartedly in the number and when and... Yet, we have the law. It is visible enough. But America operates on time-line so that when a leader makes a mistake, bad enough, that mistake is in the past or there is always someone else to blame. Of course that administration will get that credit for the atrocity. He and his comrades in crime do not that second chance to do more. It's cuyt and dry.

I could go on about my fantasy but what we lack in America with these two crazy "parties" is honesty. Americans is not being honest. We elect lawyers who's job is to trash the laws in place for good reason.

America will not come to grips that it is the most imprisoned nation on Earth. And if America is going to call itself the Land of The Free, it needs a big wake-up call. I can't worry at all who will enforce. The path leads to hell if we don't. It sounds too simple to work. But the plan is already in place. If a person fails to help the poor, lift the burden, give the fellow man dignity- the path veers to negativity, confusion, and hell is in the immediate future.

America Christians need to adopt that Lord's Prayer seriously too. In that - God's people are to pray that God's Earth resemble heaven, "Your will be done and Your kingdom come- on this Your blessed Earth".

But Christians are fooled by the "jobs", the commerce in place, the routines...our stuff and someone's pyramid scheme.

But really - the bottom line - Christians will not defeat this evil alone and it will take the brothers and sisters of different faiths who come together at this focal point. This may sound like a bold statement against the Christian faith of ALL or nothing. But there is no hope but to go on living a lie of two parties that hold wars every few years to decrease the world's population, gather resources for the "home-folks" (they say), and spread a liberty around the world that we do not have. Again, SHAMELESSLY, America is more imprisoned than China. But America sleeps. Christians sleep. But WE are required to be vigilant.

God is going to sort it all out. We will reap what we sow. We cannot put watermelon seeds in the ground and grow grapefruit.

God wants this sorted out earlier. God wants Hid world to be charitable. America needs different leaders that are not bought by business. America needs to come to terms with the fact that America by paperwork and pledge is a giant corporation and corporations do not have hearts. And there will never be a true leader from Harvard or Yale. A person cannot jump through all those silly hoops of lawyerism without getting close to Satan.

Thank you SJ. Just rambling and nobody, much, will read or act. Not enough. I'm afraid we'll have billions and billions suffering because of the confusion that comes from the confusion mills. We have lots of time. It's a slow steady walk down the garden path.

God bless you SJ. I'm off to say, futilely to someone else, "Wakey wakey!" Keep the faith dear! Thank you for being here! God bless!

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Once I was told the illustration of the genius cat who couldn't become a concert pianist. The essence of it was that the cat, though unusually smart, unusually resourceful, and very trainable could not play the piano with any real skill. Its limitations, including among many things, its anatomy, prevented that from happening. The notion itself is absurd. The cat just wasn't designed that way. And so it is with man. Despite the abilities of even the most extraordinary among us, we were simply not designed to govern ourselves. It has never worked, and it will never work. All of what you're saying about America is true, but looking for different politicians, different governmental models, more do-gooders, more social activists--none of these things will bring about a viable change.

I've known a good amount of lawyers, and you're right, you do have to get to know the devil a little to be one, or at least a good one. One told me, 'there's no one on earth I can't make look like a fool on the witness stand, whether or not they're telling the truth. I don't care about truth, it's a game.' He is an excellent lawyer.

I don't think you're rambling, Micky, I think you're thinking. There's such a shortage on thinking ability, I'm certainly not going to stop you.

So you're off to tell people to wake up? Best to you on that one. Just this year or so, Haiti happened, and people talked for a while; Chile happened, and people talked for a while; Japan happened, and is happening, and people are talking a little, but they'll be back to napping before the month ends. This is how it is.

It's nice to see such zeal, Micky! Thanks again for your thoughts...hope your weather is better than our's today.

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I must tell you that I love this Hub. It is terrific reading and wonderfully made. I agree with your analysis wholeheartedly. Thank you for this treasure trove of wisdom.

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Sweet comment, James...always good to hear from ya! Just read through this hub and "Happenstance the God Clown"???? I truly am crazy. Thank you very much for reading.

Apostle Jack profile image

Apostle Jack 5 years ago from Atlanta Ga

We all have a torch to carry,and the choice of many roads to make foot prints on .And we grow as we know,and show as we go.God bless

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Agreed. I've learned a lot about God, am currently learning, and I hope that never changes. Thanks for contributing.

parrster profile image

parrster 5 years ago from Oz

I read this twice, and every comment; especially appreciated ilmdamaily's. Wonderfully presented thoughts on faith. Voted up and shared.

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Thanks very much, Parrster. And ilmadily....that would be Kristin Low, he tends to have really interesting views and he tends to be eloquent about it. Thanks again.

diogenese 5 years ago

Anyone can believe what they wish and no one has the right to deny them. BUT, your hub is a classic example of muddled reasoning. You say blythely in the first paragraph, "What came before the one-cell" etc. Well, what came before god, then? The fact that science keeps coming up against a brick wall in their ability to know the universe and the physics which drive its motor doesn't mean we throw up our hands and ascribe the whole shebang to some metaphysical being who lives in the sky or wherever. We will probably never have a full answer to what combination of chemicals and physical properties was the "first" or the "beginning." But even reading today what science does know is far more engrossing than reading pretty fairytales about Adam and Eve. Bob

PS I will be following you now and I am flattered you chose to do the same for me.

parrster profile image

parrster 5 years ago from Oz

@diogenese ~ Hi Bob. When considering a creator being, it can be assumed that they are not governed by the same rules that apply to the material universe of their creation. In our universe the rule seems to be that nothing can come from nothing and therefore a first cause being being outside our universe is reasonably assumed. However, the same rule cannot be applied to God and his realm, for we have no understanding of how it works (we have little enough understanding of how ours works).

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Bob! hello, and I think Parrster echoes my thoughts on this. What I find interesting as one of the inexplicable components of man is our somewhat insatiable desire to know, make sense of, or rule out God. I agree with you, the limitations of science (and they are as infinite as a potential creator I might add), are no excuse for lethargic thinking. If a person will bother to believe they should probably do the work of acquisition of knowledge and not come off as a poorly educated hand-wringer, or a glorified "I believe in God but not one with the intelligence to intervene" stoner. The argument of theism vs atheism is a tough one. Theists are arguing there is intelligence and power beyond our best science. An atheist's arguments are self-limited to what can be explained by tested and proven theory (which is not sustainable when discussing the origin of man), and our known science. Achieving order from chaos, or predictable outcomes from random chance isn't scientific. And I, like you, respect anyone's right to believe anything they would like. But just as a side point, as a nurse, if you're letting the science of man be your only guide...I'd definitely increase your life insurance policy should you become ill. I think most nurses would agree with me openly on this, and a fair amount of doctors would likely agree with this thought also...privately.

I'm happy to follow you! Your writing is superb, and your life has been amazing!

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

I smiled as I read the hub, and I should have expected the comments to be just what they are. :)

I believe I'll check out more of your work.

Voted up!

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Oh, it just hit me. You said, "As a believer, I've had doubts, questions, frustrations-" and that puts you in good company. The first that comes to mind is Job. :)

Also, your "I won't pretend to have never gone through a trial, but I have never, ever been failed by my God" is a truth that only those who trust Him according to His Word can amen. Amen!

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

I wrote this hub because I was both annoyed by and amused by someone. This is what came of it. I'd have easily just written it in my journal, but hubpages lets you post pictures. Thanks for reading!

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Okay, your second comment just posted, thanks a lot for reading and thinking about this! Job is one of my favorite books of the bible for a ton of reasons. I have been through trials, I have not been failed by God, and don't even believe that could happen to me. He never fails. Communal worship will always have some element of corniness to it, but that has nothing to do with a deep personal relationship with God. That relationship propels everything spiritual--including understanding. I trust Him, because I know Him. I LOVE your comments, thanks again for reading!

ManOfIntegrity profile image

ManOfIntegrity 5 years ago from Boston Massachusetts

Good Job SJ! Just to let you know, I will be staling the 'genius cat' illustration.

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

By all means. It was told to me by the first memorable District Overseer I ever had...I couldn't keep them straight as a kid--or as an adult. It's funny, that man knew me for about 15 minutes a year, probably couldn't identify me in a line-up, and he altered the course of my life. Not long after college, I told him my friends and I were moving to New York, and I was so excited. He just looks at me and says, "No, go west." And I, in my irreverence, was sure that would NOT work, he does NOT even know me, and how can HE tell me what to do? I said this all in my rebellious little mind, of course. But then it just started working right in front of my face, and despite myself we went to unassigned/seldom-worked in UT, and friends I met there coerced me to CA. Seriously one of the best decisions of my life.

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

You'll be proud of me. I checked funny, too. I didn't miss the humor. Very creative. I also like Job. If you take what Job's friends were saying (verse by verse) out of the story, they all sound like verses from Proverbs. Everything they said was true, it just didn't fit Job's circumstances.

I don't think God get's shook by smart people thinking . . . or feeling. keep up the good work.

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

WD Curry, I already like you. ;-). Thanks for not missing the humor, and yes, I am proud of you. I think you nailed it regarding the advice of Job's friends--square peg, round hole. But it's not like the square peg doesn't fit somewhere. I'm going to check out what YOU do now. Thannks for reading!

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kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

hello, ahostagesituation, Voted up and away for you are a talented person. I like the way you presented your case, and not with the "believe my way or else" platform. I believe in God. Not "there (may) be a God. There is a difference. And in all of my studies...I have found out one concrete fact: God is perfect gentleman...He doesnt push Himself on anyone. Some of His so-called self-righteous children do telling me if I do not follow THEIR religion, I am doomed. To those, I humbly reply, NOT! I have said my piece. I love your hubs. And wish for you and yours, a Merry Christmas.

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ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Kenneth, hi! Thank you, it's been a long time sinve I've read anything from you. I've missed HP! I've got no "believe my way or else." Not in a position to make that call, I consider myself a seeker. But I love what I know about God, and on I seek. Thanks for reading!

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kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

ahostagesituaion, you are welcome, my friend. I am very impressed with your knowledge. I appreciate meeting you. take care and visit with me sometime.

Dave DiGrazie 5 years ago

Wow, Shannon. You are spot on. We have some things in common on faith-related issues. I do "communal worship" and your take on the "problem of piety" is interesting to me. I intentionally write stories that I hope will point people back toward God and "godliness" but in my books, characters get really angry and occasionally they drop the f-bomb. A few of my believing friends are upset at me over that - hey, I generally avoid profanity when I speak but if I can't put realistic language into the mouths of my characters when it's all that rings true, then I can't make you believe my story and I might as well give up on literature.

You and I ran into each other on the steps of the Mark Hopkins on the Sunday of the SFWC. I'm glad I stopped you & said hi. I look forward to more dialog!

My blogpost on the conf, if you're interested, is http://davedigrazie.com/2012/02/san-francisco-writ...

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ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Oh how awesome to hear from you!! I am taking today to get started on some of the things from the conference and I was so out of it during the SFWC that everything's a blur. I remember meeting you though, and I'm happy to entertain your characters, even the profane ones.;-). I'l go check itout, I'm happy to. I'm chopped full of opinions on both sides of communal worship, and I guess I land on, "I just want to do what God wants and treat everyone well in the process." That should not be a dichotomy. I can't thank you enough for stopping by, it's energizing for all that I'm about to do with what I learned there. Great meeting you!

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