Posts Tagged 'Leo Tolstoy'

DOES GOD EXPECT US TO DO GOD’S WORK?

The Creator of this conceivably infinite universe–indeed, conceivably, an infinity of infinite universes–is perceived by us as Yahweh, God, Allah, the Great Spirit, and numerous other names, including the Creator.

And the Creator is perceived by us as masculine, feminine, or neuter (he, she, or it), or none of these–or all of these.

Yet in most English-speaking countries, including the United States, the Creator is most often perceived of as God, and as masculine.

Many of us are averse to using the name, God, though they need not be–it’s just a name.

And many of us claim that there is no God (just as many of us claim that God belongs to them–that God favors them, or their group, above all others, or all other groups).

Those of us who claim that there is no God usually point to the apparent absence of God’s intervention in human affairs–indeed in this universe, at all–as evidence that there is no God.

Yet the possibility that God chooses not to intervene–that God sees the truth, but waits–doesn’t occur to them (i.e. they consider themselves atheists, when they can more accurately consider themselves deists).

Many of us believe that God intervenes in all human affairs–indeed that God intervenes in every individual aspect of any, or every, individual human being’s life.

Some of these tend to praise God for everything that goes well in their lives–but blame themselves, others, or no one, for everything that goes badly in their lives.

Others of these tend to praise themselves, others, or no one, for everything that goes well in their lives–but blame God for everything that goes badly in their lives.

Those of us who believe that God chooses not to intervene–that God sees the truth, but waits–can avoid the dilemmas faced by those of us who believe the reverse.

Yet we cannot avoid the question why.

If God chooses not to intervene in human affairs–indeed in this universe, at all–why?

Is God indifferent to us?

Is God unaware of us?

Or is God totally interested in us, totally aware of us–yet expecting us to act as God in this universe?

Does God expect us to do God’s work?

AN EXPLANATION FOR EVERYTHING

There is an explanation for everything.  The unexplained is only that which we cannot explain–that for which we don’t know the explanation.  But it still has an explanation.  The question is not whether everything has an explanation, but who knows the explanation.  The explanations for some things are known by only a few people–others by only one person.  Yet for most things, only the Creator knows the explanation.  Some people, for example, know if there was a conspiracy involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy–and, if so, who was behind the conspiracy.  But no one knows what ghosts are–at least to anyone else’s knowledge.  And no one knows why bad things happen to good people–more specifically, why so many people suffer so much more than so many others. This is something only the Creator knows–God sees the truth, but waits.

And for many things–maybe even most–there are many explanations.

Yet there is an explanation for everything, whether we know the explanation or not.

Y2K DEFERRED

Last Friday, I started watching one of the numerous documentaries about the 9/11 attacks on the National Geographic Channel–and a witness commented that those attacks were like Y2K deferred.  He explained how we had worried so much about the Y2K disaster expected on January 1, 2000–and how relieved we were that it didn’t happen, after all.  So the 21st Century (and the 3rd Millennium) got off to a great start–at least for Americans.  Then, as he went on to say, the 9/11 attacks occurred on September 11, 2001–and it was like Y2K did happen, after all–that it was just deferred.

This reminded me of a letter-to-the-editor I had written to my hometown newspaper, not long after moving here.  It was featured in the Mobile Register on Sunday, January 17, 1999.  The editorial editor headed it There’s no need for Y2K panic.  And I’m transcribing it here, in its entirety:

Unless you are a computer programmer, you probably ought not to worry much about Y2K.  Y?

Fears of a new century, however common, are prematurely conceived.  To 19th century people, the 20th century was scary.  In fact, one of the most popular concerns was where we were going to put all the excess horse manure on city streets!  Just as people of 1899 could not foresee the automobile’s rise, we cannot know what preventive measures for Y2K may already be in place before New Year’s Eve.

Economically, this may be one of the greatest decades for the West.  But socially, we are in a lot of trouble.  We are treating ourselves and our neighbors worse than we have ever treated a foreign enemy.

Have you ever noticed how each era heals the one before it?  For example, the Great Depression stopped uncontrolled spending, and then World War II ended the Depression.  What could be better, for bringing us together, than an ordeal that forces us to communicate one-to-one more often (with telephone networks disrupted); further strengthen our families and communities in defense against violence (with conventional law enforcement disabled); share food with our hungry neighbors because we ourselves might be hungry next; and appreciate what riches we do have, since no one around us is significantly rich?

Whatever we call it, there is a greater mind in control.  One Leo Tolstoy work is entitled, “God Sees the Truth but Waits.”  Is it not possible that a higher power has long been aware of our excessive dependence on human technology, yet has waited until the most effective moment to discipline us, to teach us?  After all, a divine technology has existed long before the Information Age, and will continue after it.

SCOTT MAYO

Pensacola, Fla.


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