why do we need to put god as the center of our lives?
It has been some months (almost a year, in fact), since I wrote the Blog Article “God is an Embarrassment in Our Lives”. The main premise is easy enough to understand: we’ve treated God as a stranger in our lives, setting him aside in our “cupboard”. We’re actually embarrassed with it because we think we know we should be treating Him better, but we’re not. It just doesn’t work.
There are several articles that link to this one. “Sainthood and the Moral Horizon” precedes the article, saying that we are alienated by saints because of their unbelievable moral high ground, and their total devotion to a “stranger God”. “Why does Evil Happen to the Just” opines that there is no basic cause to having suffering for both good and evil, as the most common points are easily refuted. We can’t identify with God because He can’t even bother to shelter us from troubles.
The ideas that form are simple: there is a disconnect between us and Christ. We can’t reconcile ourselves to a God that allows “reckless judgment”, and does nothing physical and concrete to our favor. We give our love and devotion to those that directly affect our lives, and those that actively participate in them.
So why this short article? Because, while looking at my WordPress dashboard, something caught my eye. It should have come as no surprise for me, but it still hit deep: “why do we need to put god as the center of our lives?” It’s the logical conclusion to our embarrassment with God. Our problem isn’t so much what to do with Him, as to why bother to make Him a part of our lives anyway.
I could be faulted with writing articles that question God’s judgment, and the recklessness and fickleness by which He sometimes seems to inflict blessings or pains indiscriminately. And you could say that it’s tempting to say it isn’t God doing this, but Nature and the World. Both of those work randomly, and with no prejudice. You can’t blame it, you just got stuck with unlucky odds. But God does have a hand in Creation, though I won’t go through deep philosophical debates with atheists because I’m not up for it. But I not only take faith in the Christian doctrine, but also in the words of countless theologians and scientists who using the furthest of Reason concluded that God exists.
In this subjective world, however, knowing God exists isn’t enough. All Truth has become relative, morality is flexible, and the world has become a subjective concept. We have claimed domain over the world, and necessarily we make it the way we see fit. Natural Law gives way to the “culture” of the period, and not the other way around. God is attached to the concept of Natural Law, so naturally He comes to question. To say that God exists, and that there is an invisible hand guiding the world, is to challenge Man’s dominion. That is at least the more general idea I got from the question.
But to the common Man, there is a practical consideration to the question “why do we need to put god as the center of our lives?”. Good is the fruit of our labours. Good is the beneficial interaction of Men through cooperation and social justice. There is no Evil, for there is not malignant force seeking to destroy us. It is just Nature, and the random infliction of pain on us that is its characteristic. We are also at the mercy of the consequences of our action. Our lives are shaped either by the environment around us (Nurture) or by how we were formed at birth—genetically (Nature). God is a concept we like to tell our kids, and the kind grandfatherly figure that teaches moral lessons. But someone that shapes our lives? It is giving credit to superstition when we did all the work. God isn’t there when we were born, lived, had a family or stayed single and enjoyed the pleasures the world could offer. Whether we lived on the fast line or at a more conservative pace, God was a formless thing that didn’t interact with us, didn’t do anything with us, didn’t exist with us.
So why put the effort of making Him the center of our lives? Atheists say we don’t, fundamentalist religious groups say not to question God’s existence. It was like He was an absentee father who wasn’t there anytime we grew up, and now we invite him to our lives? But even that is too much. Maybe we’re giving too much credit to an invisible guy we invented to make our lives have more meaning (because we like to know that someone out there approves or disapproves what we’re doing). Like some imaginary friend we create to make our lives a little less lonely.
I have to ask for the reader’s forgiveness, because this was an impromptu article. I basically explained some possible concepts and ideas behind the question, but not flesh it out with a more concrete explanation. To do that a philosophical discourse must follow, or a theological explanation. But in a world where even Faith is questioned as superstition, maybe these ideas will seem empty. If it’s not functional, throw it away, as so the main premise might go. So a more practical-ist approach should be undertaken. And I’m not ready for it.
Point I’m going to take is this: God should be at the center of our lives. To answer it would mean questioning how you see yourself and the world around you (your priorities), how limited your own understanding is of the world (an ant dismissing the giant because he can’t comprehend), and we can’t avoid the discourse of whether God exists. The moral of my “God is an Embarrassment” should be that He should be made at the center of our lives, because He objectively is.
A larger discourse/discussion is necessary, and a lot will dismiss my notion as superstition (to a non-existing entity) or impractical, childish ideas. I will be more than welcome to get comments in that manner, as to give me an idea how to answer or where to begin (or step). I also (and just as heartily welcome) comments that defend God.
Please, please, though, have patience as I form a decent article. I will try to convince, or persuade, but not forcefully convert. Maybe through Reason I could do the other side justice.
Question: Why write something now, when you’re not ready? Because I felt there was a sense of urgency in the question, something near being lost, or already let go. I’m holding out a hand and asking to give God a second chance, give this whole madness another try. It’s not just faith but a deeper thing. And it’s not something to easily let go of. When you don’t have that much of it it’s easier to fall; all the same don’t go yet. Give it one chance.