Where are you? Of late we’ve noticed your absence.
Several centuries ago we travelled a high road of logic, or so we thought, that left us in significant doubt of your existence. Man is a product of mindless matter that has created itself. Man will become the supreme being. We’ll take it from here, we said, dragging our suitcase of hopes for the bright future ahead of us. It was a future full of aspiration. Man is getting better and better! Just think of the possibilities when we reach our pinacle! From primordial soup to gods and godesses. It was a stunning idea. So stunning we couldn’t see what was coming.
Enter the twenty-first century. Two world wars and another confusing set of conflicts left us pointing weapons of mass distruction at each other. Mutual annihilation peeked around the corner. There were still a few stragglers who hadn’t bowed the knee to the new ways, who invoked your name, still read your ancient wisdom. Their cry was faint but audible. You saved the world from disaster, or did we? So far so good.
Meanwhile, the mindless matter called man has moved on. We’ve reached dizzying heights in technology. Innovation and inventions seem to exponentially explode daily, hourly. We strain to keep up with ourselves. Have you noticed? Are you proud of us?
We’ve been trudging up the hill for some time now, still hopeful we could eradicate evil, remove prejudice, erase all the ugly lines between us. Those who hadn’t drunk the kool-aid shouted even louder, “Turn to God! Evil is bad! Expose the evil!” Any evil but mine, they often added under their breath. Some, too bright for this world, we killed. We shushed them and moved on. Who were they to tell us what to do? They were no paragons of virtue. Or if they were, we are the ones to define virtue in our new dictionary. We are the masters of language, aren’t we?
We want God; we want to be god. But please don’t put us though the crucible of self-examination. No talk of sin, and right and wrong, unless it is my neighbor’s, we add, with a keen eye for their shortcomings.
The cry of the stragglers becomes louder. We read their stories in backrooms, hear them in church services, sometimes portrayed badly in Christian movies, often in the wake of a great tragedy. But always the stories emerge just as evil looks as big as it can. He is real, they say.
But where are you now, God? As much as we talk about independence, we could sure use a little help, a fatherly hand. We’ve just read the headlines. We still haven’t become gods and godesses. In fact, those two terms are now sadly outdated. We’ve splintered into a million identities. We wouldn’t know how to be your children if we tried, because we aren’t sure who we are.
Could it be we were wrong?
Are you still there?