While we were talking, I was recently asked by a co-worker and friend after she had read my last post, Faces, “Do you believe in God?”
My answer came as quickly as she asked it… “Absolutely… Don’t you?” I asked, but already knew what her answer would be just by the way she asked it.
“I’m an atheist, but truly believe in a ‘higher’ power”.
I’m not a very “quick thinking” guy when it comes to words while being put on the spot, my words come more naturally to me when I get the chance to sit down and write them out.
It wasn’t until after our conversation that I thought of what I wished I would have said.
“How can you not?” is simple as it sounds.
“How can you not believe in God? Look at the beauty that is out in this world and ‘how can you not’ believe”?
But then the more I thought about it, I realized some pretty tough things about the statement I wished I would have said.
Beauty yes… but what about all the hate? The state of the world that we see before we go to bed, only to realize that ‘Yes’ things can get worse when we wake up and turn on the tv, or read our news feeds on whatever social media site you prefer getting your updates on. Things aren’t really looking good out there. In fact, most of them are flat-out terrifying.
With all of these hatred acts and atrocities that happen on a daily basis, I can understand the reasoning behind her answer, but I still do not agree. I’m not even exactly sure what her reasoning’s are. I just know I don’t feel the same.
But I do have one question…
“Why are we letting the hatred of humans destroy the beauty of what God created?”
And by that I don’t mean structures, or building, or artifacts etc… I’m talking about the welfare of people, the simple words of ‘live and let live’ and so much more.
Are we as a society so overtaken by the bad that we forget to shout out and proclaim the good?
While we were watching the news last night, everything they reported on was about cars being driven into crowds, racist protesters, murders, the state of the White House etc… And then during the last few minutes, they showed an uplifting story of the day.
Why are we so focused on all of this bad and hatred? Why are we devoting so little time to the good stories of the world? The incredible stories of human interactions and marvelous natural wonders there are out there to see?
And God. Where is he? Why are we so afraid to bring God into the conversation?
Well, he is everywhere.
Sadly, most of the time his name is in the middle of all of this hate because others find that their views on him, or their interpretations of his word superior to the rest of us.
Are those beliefs so great that we must hurt one another to prove superiority?
A question that has been asked since the beginning of time.
I am in no way a religious scholar or current world events expert, but I truly believe that a majority of the world is full of peace and love. We just let the opposite overshadow and give too much attention where it is not due.
What would happen if we stopped reporting on all of this bad stuff and hate that goes on in this world, and only turned our eyes in the direction of the good, the blessings that people have, all of the ‘wins’ of the day.
Honestly, probably nothing, but it wouldn’t give those who do these deeds of hatred a world platform to shout from.
Evil would still be there, the sad stories would still be told and the righteous would still believe themselves to be more privileged than the rest of us.
I believe that there is so much beauty and good in this world that if we try to focus more and more on those things, the people who need it the most will start to see the beauty and wonder of who God really is and what his true message means, rather than the hate and hurt we tend to see most.
I’m in no way saying that turning a blind eye would solve anything, I’m merely thinking that a change of view about the rest of the world and those who inhabit it might do a little good.
God is everywhere. God is everything.
God does not hate.
No matter who your god is, he most certainly does not hate.
I have been lucky enough to travel this world, to more places than I had ever dreamed I would, and I am lucky enough to say that I have many more places to go.
When I step off the plane in a foreign country, am I there to push my God unto others because I believe my God is better than theirs? Am I there to pass judgement on how they live, what they look like or how they praise and worship their god?
I’m simply there to see and take in the world. Breathe in the air that is around me and have my eyes opened to things I’ve only read and dreamt about. The world is my church and all the people on it are God’s creations.
And what a beautiful sanctuary it is…
Do I believe in God?
Take a look around you and if at first you don’t see him, that’s okay. Just open your eyes and he will show himself, It’s just up to you if you want to see him.
Do you believe differently than your neighbor? That’s okay. We were told to love thy neighbor. Even if your beliefs and scriptures differ, it’s still not a bad rule to live by.
Open your eyes to the wonders around you, for they are beautiful and plenty. You don’t have to cross oceans to see them, you must simply open your eyes.
Since this is a photography blog, I can’t post anything without some pictures attached, so here are a few photos of places we have been that have brought wonder to my heart, and shown me that yes, I believe in God.
First off is this.
Driving through the Swiss Alps and seeing the natural beauty of these mountains is breathtaking.
Running into fog on the drive through was extra special, your imagination got to create the unseen mountainside.
Or the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower with my Dad.
And then having a wonderful meal with him and Paul,
on the grounds of this magnificent castle in Poland.
And being able to snap this picture of Majorca on your way to enjoy its beaches for a week in the sun.
And then there are the quieter times of visiting the local zoo with these two…
to see animals like this.
And then kicking back as a family enjoying some game action!
And then to the other end of the spectrum, total chaos in a totally unknown land…
only to have a the best banana in your life from a local farm, freshly picked that day…
To crossing oceans
to get the chance to see friends lending helping hands…
or just trying to score an extra piece of dessert!
Seeing the eyes of a gentle giant…
to the face of a child in the middle of a busy intersection.
And the list would go on and on.
So do I believe in God?
“Yes, yes I do.”