God. The Almighty. Elohim. Allah. The Creator. Jehovah. Yahweh. The Supreme Being. Adonai. Brahman. Many names exist for the Divine intelligence that created all that is, and just as many belief systems exist for the worship of God — and denying the existence of God. Many people of many faiths believe the individual soul is saved by praising God and doing “His” will, while others do not believe — like noted lawyer Clarence Darrow who said he does not believe in God, “because I do not believe in Mother Goose.”
Belief or non-belief in God says nothing about a person’s character, or a person’s sense of morality. Witness the laundry list of preachers who cry from the pulpit to elicit a response from the flock and yet break the very commandments they teach, and consider the Bible-thumping lawmakers who display little tolerance for those in need. Many souls who do not believe in God also do things to benefit humankind — Sir Richard Branson, Stephen Hawking, Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov and Mark Twain, for example.
What I constantly wonder is why believers attribute human attributes and motivations to God, which in my opinion is an energy or force that is both indescribable and unknowable. Sri Harold Klemp of Eckankar, in his Edge article this month, says God is love. That’s probably as close as we can get to describing God, using our limited human intelligence. But some insist on telling us that they know what God thinks, as if God is a man who is invisible and lives somewhere up in the sky.
Case in point: men who play sports for a living. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, when asked if he thought God cares about football, said, “Yeah. I think God cares about football. I think God cares about everything he created.”
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said this eight months ago, in response to Wilson: “I don’t think God cares a whole lot about the outcome. He cares about the people involved, but I don’t think he’s a big football fan.” However, in a recent victory over Wilson’s Seahawks, Rodgers said, “And then getting help from God. I think God was a Packer’s fan tonight, so he was taking care of us.”
But do people really know the intention of God? Author Michael Crichton said, “I think everyone who says he knows God’s intention is showing a lot of very human ego.” Women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony said, “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.”
I had a dream the other night in which the car I was driving was on the verge of rolling over. In that instant, I proclaimed, “God save me!” and the seatbelt suddenly released, the door swung open and I knew I had to jump out and lie flat on the ground, which I did. The car flipped over without touching me and I was safe.
Perhaps God does listen. Or, perhaps we are a living, breathing embodiment of the Creator, and we save ourselves — in his name.