Monday, February 01, 2010

How I Met GOD

photo credit: God is moon by Grégoire Lannoy

One day a friend and I were shooting arrows straight up and seeing how close we could let them land without flinching. We took a break and talked about God. I think I was 10.

"God, if you exist, show us right now. At least send a lightning bolt or something."

No show, no bolt. So we were pretty sure that the whole God thing was just made up.

For a kid dumb enough to rain arrows on himself, you might be surprised at how smart I was in science. I loved it. I studied it for fun. By the time I was 14, I had won a science competition over 400 other kids. I pretty much cheated. I studied the general science book that all the questions were to be taken from. I read it cover to cover. The book didn't mention God.

Years later. I was an engineer. I helped invent computers, the Internet, and LEDs. There were probably only a few million of us working on that stuff. We divided the work into pieces. Really, really small pieces. Nonetheless, I felt smart.

I continued to love science. In my early thirties I performed an experiment to see how much alcohol and illicit drugs it would take to destroy me. It took a lot. My zeal for the experiment waned. I decided to shut it down.

Now I had a chance to do personal research on how hard and how miserable it is to quit. Various people told me that I would probably fail to stay quit if I didn't get help from God. Oh yeah. God. I hadn't met him and was still almost positive he didn't exist. That made it hard to ask him for help.

I started reading books that did talk about God: The AA "big book", William James, and Carl Jung. I decided God was really just a name for some of the amazingly complicated chemicals in my head. I was a lot more comfortable then. I knew quite a bit about complicated chemicals.

However, I realized I had not spent much time thinking about the chemicals named God. Now that my life was on the line (not to mention my comfort), I decided I better put a high priority on getting to know God better. I decided to spend almost as much time thinking about God each day as I spent listening to the car radio while commuting. Major commitment.

Apparently talking to yourself is actually good so long as your self is really big and important. I figured the God chemicals must be the big, important factor since the rest of my chemicals composed an o.k. human, but not one that could inspire worship from anyone other than a dog.

Of course I am simplifying things a bit. I knew God wasn't just chemicals. I knew there was also electricity and a lot of genetic information painstakingly crafted by eons of accidents. Once again, I realized I was smart. Most people did not understand how accidents could result in people.

I did.

I wrestled hard with my own head, seeking to get a glimpse of the God part of it. I really needed to get to know God, because I was having a very tough time staying quit, just like everyone said I would. I even got up early most days to make time for wrestling. I hate getting up early. Early is a sharp pain, whereas late is just a dull ache.

I got frustrated. I thought to myself , "I need to work harder on my concept of God."

That was when GOD chose to speak to me. GOD said, "I am not your concept, you are my concept." Speak is the only word I have for it. But it wasn't a matter of vibrating air molecules. Neither was it that little voice inside my head that I use for talking to my self.

I was scared. Not because I thought I was hallucinating, but because I knew I wasn't.

I knew I had met GOD.

Over the past 25 years or so, I have gotten to know GOD much better. However, when a person is infinite (well, three persons), the things you learn seem quite small compared to the things you still don't know.

I don't feel as smart as I did. I am, however, much happier.

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