In a recent post, the following comment was left by a visitor to my blog:
“My Prayer is that God reveal himself to you as he did to me when I was not interested.”
When I was struggling with my faith, I did ask God to reveal himself to me, a number of times. I remember one night when I went for a walk under the clear, star-lit sky. I remember praying and asking God in anguish, over and over again, that he somehow reveal himself to me – even if it was in a way that only I could understand. But despite this earnest prayer, there was no answer. There was nothing but silence. That was the point where God had his chance, the point when he could somehow and in someway enter the picture and say: “Don’t worry, Kevin, I am here.” But instead I suddenly realised that I was alone in the quietness of that night. I can remember a number of pivotal turning points in my faith struggle – that night was one of them.
I never wanted to leave Christianity; I never wanted to give up my faith. But how could I keep on having faith in something I could not honestly believe in, that I could not intellectually accept as being true? Isn’t it a Biblical promise that if you search with all your heart, you shall find? I searched with all my heart and I did find. But it wasn’t what I expected. I found that I was alone, that there was no supernatural being looking out for me. I found that my existence, including my consciousness, would one day be extinguished. First I felt dread at this prospect, but this was quickly replaced by an inner, quiet confidence. I realised how totally insignificant I am in this old and incredibly large universe. But as I’ve written before, I also realised how incredibly unique I am: out of 250 million sperm cells I was the one that was awarded this brief period of consciousness. Upon this realisation life suddenly became more valuable, every day more special and wondrous. I now take less for granted. There is no afterlife to work for, no heaven in which to invest treasures. I now place all my energies into making this life count, as it is the only life I will ever have.
I searched with all my heart and I discovered my frail mortality, the brief horror of realising that one day I will be no more, in both body and mind. But at the same time I found an incredible appreciation for this brief life of mine, a realisation that only I, and no-one else, can make this short life meaningful in some way.
I searched with all my heart and I did not find God.
Instead, I found peace.