Did the title of this article scare you? Because it scared the hell out of me.
Belief in an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-loving higher power has been one of the core foundations of my life.
Exploring even the possibility that there may not be a God fills me with anxiety. It’s unmooring.
But I think, I hope, that the exploration of every possibility is a valuable use of time. So I’m going to try it.
If there is no God, there likely is not an afterlife.
No hell. No heaven. Just *lights out*.
This possibility used to frighten me, but now, it doesn’t feel scary. Honestly, there is something oddly comforting about not having to worry about an eternity spent, well, anywhere. And most of all, it would encourage all of us to make the most of the life we’re living right now. I have met too many Christians who focused so heavily on their “heavenly reward” that they have literally wasted their lives. A mother I once knew would often wistfully tell her children how she couldn’t wait to die and be with Jesus, causing her young kids tremendous sadness and insecurity.
Without eternity to worry about, we could all focus our energy on doing good, enjoying life, and finding peace right here, where we’re at, right now.
If there is no God, we can stop the mental gymnastics.
“How do I reconcile the vengeful God of the Old Testament with Jesus of the New Testament?”
“If God is all-powerful and benevolent, why would he create human beings doomed to sin?”
“How can I reconcile the love of Jesus with the eternal punishment of hell?”
“If the Bible is inerrant, why does it have so many contradictions?”
I have spent my life exhausting myself with these questions and so many more.
I have no answers, and it might be a relief to stop trying to figure it out.
If there is no God, we can stop asking “why?”
Why do bad things happen to good people?
If “all things work together for good,” and “God is sovereign,” why do children get cancer?
Why do young mothers die?
Why do accidents and terrorist attacks and disease kill countless innocent people all over the world?
How can a “good” and “all-powerful” God allow such horrific things to happen every single day?
These questions haunt me.
If there is no God, we can finally stop asking “why?”
If there is no God, we can start to accept that the universe is random and wild. Wonderful and terrible things happen for no reason at all, with no greater purpose or meaning. And then we can choose to make the best of the totally random hand we’ve been dealt.
I have no neat and tidy bow with which to wrap up these thoughts. There is no “moral to this story.” But it feels good (and awful) to say these things out loud.
The truth is, I want God.
The possibility that there isn’t a loving higher power is some kind of heartbreaking to me.
And freeing. And terrifying. And a deep exhale. All at the same time.
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