“Just because you stoppped believing in him doesn’t mean that he doesn’t believe in you.”
When I was a child, God was a goodly old gentleman who had a keen sense of fair-play. He understood the motivations of all of his creations, gave them freedom, within boundaries, and wished them all well. He’d only interfere with the little things; never the biggies like Hitler or earthquakes. In those times, God was a benevolent spectator who had explained how we should play the game and then stood back, and watched.
It’s like being a teacher in reception who quickly runs through the expectations, points towards the library of books, tells the students that it’s not about competition but participation, before retiring to the staff-room to drink coffee, or tea, whilst shooting the breeze with a non-existent audience.
“Let the law of the jungle prevail.”
So, I spent the best part of my life praying to this absent teacher who was probably flicking through a holiday magazine without paying any attention to the fact that the bike sheds were burning down and a number of the teachers had been tied to the fence, awaiting execution.
Every night, I spoke to him, who didn’t have to be a he, and prayed for the wrongs of the world to be righted. And every morning those wrongs awaited my arrival at school. But for nearly fifty-years I followed this fruitless ritual. And I still do.
These days, I have struck an agreeement with God. I won’t openly say that I don’t believe in her as long as she doesn’t prove her lack of belief in me. I have this huge suspicion that the dual-gender deity doesn’t exist, but who am I to jump to this conclusion? It may well be that I, myself, don’t exist, and that I am only a dream that hasn’t fully woken to the fact.
But then, what have facts to do with this?