“First God created man,” the wag wrote, “ and then man created God.”
I laughed out loud when I read this statement simply because it struck a chord within that is all too familiar. Isn’t it true that from the very beginning of time, in our attempt to try and understand God, to relate to God on some basic level, we have, in fact, projected onto God our desire to make God like us? We want “Almightiness” on our own terms. We want God to think, act, do, and feel as WE do. We shape and stretch God to ourselves. On some level, I think I have always known this, but at 41 years of age, I am just now beginning to wrap my mind around the implications of such.
A recent note a friend of mine wrote talked about how Jesus gave Bartimaeus the gift of sight, and in grateful response, Bartimaeus followed Jesus along the way. Being the suspicious and fairly untrusting person that I am, I simply replied, “that’s all great and good, and basically a warm and fuzzy moment, but what do you do with all those other potential miracles that are asked for and not received?” What do you do with God who set the whole Universe in motion and at times seems to be absent from the day-to-day activities of our own busy lives?
Maybe it is quiet simple, so simple that we take it for granted. Instead of understanding God to be “supernatural” in relation to creation, maybe God is instead much more natural than credit is given. Maybe God is intervening all of the time in the form of our Conscience, in the form of Love, and in the form of simple acts of Kindness performed towards those we know and do not know. God is moving quite naturally through the Universe, and yet we do not see because we have been taught to look for a God that make us feel powerful, secure, in control, and sometimes even triumphant.
It is fairly baffling to me that the world of Science and Religion are at odds with one another when, in my small understanding of life, they seem to go hand in hand. I like hearing of new discoveries in science. Those discoveries challenge my comfort zones concerning my beliefs, but they also open up more possibilities of learning and (maybe) understanding life’s mysteries more fully. What science does is tell us that there is more in life than meets the eye. Joan Chittister poetically describes it like this: “physical reality is simply a chimera, a mask of the invisible labyrinth of life that underlies it, a container for the energy that electrifies a dynamic universe.” Scientist have discovered that there is no such thing as solid matter. Everything is made up of particles of electricity. These particles are all living and are always in motion. When one becomes dysfunctional, it becomes something else. Life continues on, transformed, but life all the same. What this means to me, then, is that at our core we are all the same; we are all eternal.
Chittister’s conclusion to the understanding of “Almightiness” is that it is “not what we see; it is what we do not see. God is above us, beyond us, within us, around us, and beside us. What can possibly be more almighty than that?”