The Jews enslaved in Egypt, no doubt were angry with God and thought He had abandoned them. Certainly the Indians wondered where the Great Spirit had gone when the whites came and took their land and lives. The Africans captured and brought here as slaves were sure that God had forgotten them. They felt some measure of redemption when slavery was abolished but were again curious as to God’s position when they were treated so horribly in the early part of this century and still today. Throughout history some segment of our world’s population was singled out as the “bad” people, and whether the persecutors considered themselves Christians or not, they found ample excuses to persecute those they feared or didn’t understand.
Most, although unfortunately not all, of the members of the later generations saw the sins of their forefathers and shook their heads in disgust and dismay at the pain wrought on others by their judgments. Know this: Jesus made it quite clear, “Judge not”. Period. What causes us to be angry? In most cases all our anger is caused when we don’t see things going the way we think they should (judgment), whether they affect us directly or they are just the opinions or actions of others that we don’t feel fit our definition of right (judgment). Granted, others can actually cause us harm or infringe on our freedoms, but what if it is just their opinion that we don’t like? Are they actually doing us harm? Or are we actually harming ourselves by taking what could otherwise be a great day and ruining it with the hate and judgment of another; another whose life we have not lived; another who may have lived a potentially tortured existence at the hands of others. Have we never held beliefs that we later discovered to be wrong? Have we always been right, or is it just lately that we got it all figured out? Regardless of the life choices of others, as long as they do not interfere with our ability to live free and make our own choices, then we only hurt ourselves by judging them and wasting our lives engaged in negative emotions. It takes a tremendous strength of will to choose how to feel in a situation, rather than just allowing our emotions to push us around, but the rewards are quite literally out of this world. Do we assume that God is “making” these people hurt or judge us, or is it that He is just “letting” them? Do we assume that God shares their ignorance? Is God also a simple-minded buffoon?
With the advent of modern civilization we lost most of our direct contact with God. Without living in harmony with nature, in nature, we forfeited our direct experience with God. In our so-called “modern” society, all jobs were specialized, and we began to rely more and more on the “experts” in every field, including God. We let others interpret and provide our relationship with God. The one thing we are without a doubt required to do for ourselves is to know and learn from God. Who better to tell us where we fit and what we are to do, than the designer of the system we are a part of? One of the main things Jesus came to remind us of is that we didn’t need a middle man to know God, and of course, that God loves us unconditionally.
How much do the “experts”, and we, know about God? What if you got to be God, if only for a little while? How would you design God? How would you treat others? What opinions would you hold about your children? How would you want people to behave? Would you force everyone to be nice? Think about that for a moment. Would you force everyone to do it your way? What if someone you fear or have judged to be ignorant, got their turn to be God? Would you want them to force you to do what they thought was right?
How great a God can you imagine? Where do you suppose you get your capacity for compassion? Do you suppose that you have risen above your designer in your capacity for good? Or could it be that maybe we don’t have it all figured out. What if this isn’t all there is? What if this life is only one chapter in the book of your life. Do we presume that once we die, we have done all we will do, lived all we will live, seen all we will see? If you were God, would you end it here?
What if your life were all sunshine and roses? Would you appreciate the sunshine? Would you really stop and smell the roses? If you were to see a rose today, you might stop and admire its beauty, truly see its delicate design, smell its intoxicating fragrance…but why? Why do you have the capacity to appreciate it so much? Could it be because you have spent long winter months without the opportunity? Why do you appreciate so much the warm embrace of someone who loves you? Could it be because you have spent hours or days or years without such a person in your life? Do you know people who seem to have it all? What kind of people are they? If they are good, kind compassionate people, have they ALWAYS had it all?
What if God is living every moment with you? What if He feels your pain and your joy as if it were His own? If you were creating the universe, would you want only sunshine, or might an occasional rainstorm punctuate the beauty of the returning sun, perhaps even be necessary for the sun to work its magic? What if one day you wake up and discover that this was all just a dream? How do you feel when the nightmare is over, when you look around your room and discover to your great relief that everything is really okay. Are we sure we know how God feels about us?