Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Live In Peace

Last night I had a dream that I died. I went to heaven and was led into a small golden room with three “women” standing before me. I could not make out their faces, but the one who spoke to me had the voice of a soft, patient female. She said she would ask me one question (which would determine if I belonged in heaven and could remain there). 

“What was it that you found on earth that instilled peace in you during your time there?”
The first thing I thought was, Music. But then I thought it was stupid to talk about something so “trivial”. But with nothing better to say and the risk of seeming like I knew nothing I used it as a starting point for the conversation anyway. 

“Music has helped me connect with my feelings which can be buried and forgotten when most people are trying to hide them. Music let me let go of things I was dealing with internally and open up more as a person. 

Buddhism also helped me find peace by introducing me to the concept of “letting go”. Christ of course has also brought me peace –just in the knowing that He is always there.”
I felt like I had given all I could. But it still wasn’t enough. I was grasping at straws looking for the answer in my mind. Then it came to me. 

“But if I’d never read about Buddha. Or I’d never learned of Christ. Or I’d never heard a note of music, the one thing that would still bring me peace throughout it all from the beginning is Faith. I’ve always had faith. I’ve always known things would be alright. I never had any reason to suspect it, but I’ve always had it. The way an infant doesn’t know that it will be fed another meal. Or that it will be placed somewhere warm and safe to sleep at night. But it knows it will. It knows when it’s taken care of. It doesn’t need to worry. Like the burden of fear and doubt is removed from off its shoulders. Faith has brought me peace. It has lifted the burden of worry from my soul.” 

I have a friend named Jos. Jos is planning her first event (2 Day event to promote women entrepreneurs in business). For 6 months I helped her concrete ideas and stay organized. Initially her doubts and fears didn’t bother me because I had enough faith to know the event would work out just fine. That’s the beauty of faith. But this past month my patience has worn thin. She worries from topic to topic, aspect to aspect with no breathes in between. I can’t assure her. 

So I dragged in my sister. Now she can assure Jos –a 21 year old assuring a 30 something year old that all will be well. You can’t live faith for someone else. Peace is something you live with –not something you die with. It’s not a mole that grows on your body and dies when it does –it’s in your soul. You carry peace within you. 

So when the event comes and the 2 days run as smoothly as they will with only a few hick-ups as they inevitably will and her goal that she has striven to achieve for the past 8 months is realized –will she even give herself a moment to enjoy it before she starts worrying about how to follow-up after the event and make sure everyone stays in touch and starts planning for the next promotional event and booking the hotel and getting everyone involved… 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Arguing Against Atheism

“An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated.”

~ Madalyn Murray O'Hair (an American social Activist, atheist (opposed prayer in school), 1919-1995)

I feel like arguing with this. My soul is not pleased with her vindictive tone towards those who believe in God. And then I wondered, How do you make God seem relevant to someone who doesn’t believe in Him? And then my brain told me, Well stupid just find the ways He’s added to your life and argue why you can’t do without Him.

“An atheist will build a hospital instead of a church”. Yes. Hospitals are practical. They are needed. In fact there are many Christian hospitals like St. Jude’s for example. Where do “hospitals” come from anyway? Where were they founded? It seems that the notion of taking in the dying, the weak, the ill is a heavily founded in Christianity. For example in Rome before “God” was introduced babies who were either female or showed any birth defects were immediately killed. The weak and the destitute were cast aside. The concept of the “Good Samaritan” was in fact founded by Christ’s teachings. One could invariably argue that although man has found herbal remedies and treatments through medicine; most people only sought to heal or care for their own wounds -not the wounds of others. At least not until that concept was introduced and championed. 

“An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer said.” The Bible does emphasize the importance of prayer-seeking refuge in God. But this is so no man can go around saying he is better than others because he has done more in life. God appreciates both the meek and the strong. A child who prays to God is therefore as loved as a fireman who saves lives. A person who is handicapped or in a coma is just as loved as a man who goes around giving the homeless shoes. The world may not respect or appreciate them equally because the world is often self-serving and often only cares about people who can give it something tangible. Anne Frank may not have done much, but what she SAID means a lot to people even today. Deeds can be as fleeting and temporary as our lives –but visions and grace and faith are things anyone can carry within themselves. 

“An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death.This is clearly a person who has no concept of what Christianity entails. They are ignorant of a religion they seek to mock. Christianity argues to live life to its fullest you should follow God who will lead you to your highest purpose. “Do not be afraid” is a phrase written throughout the Bible more than any other because what God often asks of man, he doesn’t usually have enough faith in himself to believe he can do. Without God’s encouragement many men wouldn’t DO anything beyond what they assumed themselves capable of. This is why Faith often leads men to do greater things in life and engage in life more than they would have otherwise. The goal is also not to “escape death”. In fact many view it to be the opposite.  Death = Heaven and Peace. Death is therefore not something to be feared or avoided when you have faith in God and your own soul. Life is to be fulfilled and death is to be the reward. 

“He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated.” Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Christ, Mother Teresa… how many atheists have done as much as those who openly proclaimed themselves to be led by God? God doesn’t want man to suffer –why would anyone who believes in or follows God? And those who do suffer and those who don’t can equally find peace within themselves and their own God-given soul if they seek it. Everyone can find peace regardless of their circumstances. What atheist can guarantee everyone peace if they are only considerate towards the destitute and not also the wealthy-who are often more lost and alone than those who have to rely on their own soul and faith in God for strength to overcome struggles?