For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened.
ROMANS 1: 18-21
In recent weeks I have been unable to travel to, or from, my home without encountering a set of billboards claiming to offer proof of God’s existence, and making reference to the above section of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. They seem to be everywhere in my neighborhood. In some ways this feels more like proof that certain literalist approaches to Christianity are fighting their last gasping battles, but it makes me realize that such literalism, inimical to the concept of faith as they may be, have long served as bulwark against the vicissitudes of life.
While the playing field upon which our spiritual lives exercise themselves is immensely broad, and of varied terrain, the end posts are fairly clear and visible from anywhere in the arena. Faith at one end, and Certainty at the other; the standards are never raised, however much we might wish it, next to each other. The historical preoccupation with seeking “scientific” proof for the existence of God is an unfortunate artifact of the fear that religious people felt when the sciences began to assume the greater cultural authority. It is an absolute waste of time and spiritual energy. God exists. God does not exist. I don’t care.
To suggest that there is God, or a god, or many gods, is always and everywhere a matter of perspective and personal experience. It is a matter of faith. I cannot prove God’s existence, and I do not care to try. It is simply my perspective that Life, in all its radiant dimension and marvelous, wondrous, variety, speaks to me of a thing fundamentally compelling, connective, and whole. Something beyond my limited understanding, something I do not need to understand in order to experience it, value it, or celebrate it.
The older I get, the more I appreciate not knowing. I invite you to not know as well. Maybe we just need our own billboards?
“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”
“In a world of diminishing mystery, the unknown persists.”