03.25.14 by brent hand
WHY I BELIEVE IN GOD: PART TWO
Made Up Ideas From An Imaginary Character
READ PART ONE RIGHT HERE
When I was a kid, I read the Narnia books. I loved them. I tried reading them again a year or so ago and just found they weren’t as enthralling as they had been for me as a kid. As a kid, I loved them. And there are still parts of those books that will stay with me forever. For example, in one of the books, “The Silver Chair” there is a portion of the book where the characters go on an adventure underground. While they are there they are put under a spell by a witch to believe that there is nothing above ground and this dark underground kingdom is all that exists. They begin to believe they made up the land of Narnia, the whole outside world, the sky, the sun, and Aslan (the Jesus-Lion) himself.
This is exactly where I was in my journey. (No. Not in the underground lair of the evil witch) I was at the part where I had nearly excepted that “all that stuff” was just a day dream and wishful thinking. I know many people who have come to accept that the Bible and God and all this stuff is just wishful thinking. And I was nearly there at one point. But somehow I got pulled back in.
It wasn’t a scripture that brought me back. It wasn’t an argument. It wasn’t a voice from heaven. It wasn’t a sermon preached or a miracle performed or prayer that was prayed for me (I don’t think).
The thing that brought me back was this: I just didn’t like the idea of a Godless world. And not from a “moral” standpoint. I understand that even WITHOUT God and the Bible, morality can still be a part of a person’s values. I’m not naive enough to believe that people only know right from wrong becasue they believe in God.
I just loved the idea that God is real and he’s doing something: he’s working, and moving, and creating, and restoring, and building and accomplishing something. Maybe we don’t like what he’s doing. Maybe we don’t understand it. But God is giving the universe PURPOSE and YOU and ME, we are a part of that universe. Even if you don’t believe that’s true, you’ve got to admit it’s a pretty great idea.
In the Narnia story, the characters begin to question the witch and their new underground reality. One of the characters (a Marshwiggle named Puddleglum) does so in a pretty profound way and my just happens to be my favorite quote from any Narnia book:
“Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia… we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”
The true return to my faith began with simply realizing that I just didn’t like what the other side had to offer. Many of the arguments held water and made sense to me, I just didn’t like the conclusions that were drawn from them. Maybe I didn’t like A LOT of things (and a lot of people for that matter) on the God side of the dialogue either. But the idea of God was too great to just abandon.
Basically the idea that there is MORE to our world than what you see with you eyes. That’s something people have believed across the globe throughout history. It’s an idea that people have lived pursuing and died to protect. It’s an idea that is not easily abandoned.
Maybe it’s not very scientific or even logical, but that’s the thought that brought me back. Did it fix everything? No. Did I still have questions? Probably more than I began with. Because if God were real, he had a lot of explaining to do. There were still a lot of holes in my faith. I still have many today. And those questions have never seemed so irresolvable as they did back then.
I had a long, long way to go.