The God Enigma
With the help of advanced telescopic technology, astronomers are now able to see into the past more deeply than ever before. What they’re finding, according to the capsule reports in the newspaper, is a universe that is larger and more crowded with Earth-like objects than previously understood. If you believe in old-fashioned notions like mathematics, it’s a numeric certainty that what’s going on here, on the the third orbiter from our particular Sun, is happening someplace else, too.
God is far busier than we previously imagined, with many more souls — and gasses, and asteroids, and black holes — to look after than our human brains can comprehend. Yet one thing is certain, according to the frequent declarations one finds on email signatures, Facebook posts, and otherwise polite conversation: “God is good!”
We’re also frequently reminded by certain impolite Christians that accepting Jesus Christ as one’s savior is the exclusive route to Heaven. But these tendentious evangelists can’t be taken seriously. They’re prejudiced — just as all their competitors in the religion business also are, simultaneously making similar claims for their sin-absolving diety. Heaven, it seems, is going to be a rather homogenous and exlusive place, all Muslim (or Mormon), for instance.
The conundrum, the eternal enigma, is this: How can any of us claim to know the essential nature of Something, or Someone, if He is demonstrably unknowable?
Religions are in the business of selling certainty. But the more our scientists look, the deeper they probe, the more uncertain and inscrutable the universe becomes. The vaster and more complex and incomprehensible the universe appears, the more we realize that God is not “good” or “bad.” He — or It, or whatever — is a mystery as abiding and perplexing as Time and Space.
He is an enigma. And maybe we’d all be better off if we stopped pretending otherwise, conveniently using Him as an excuse for much of our ungodly behavior. Maybe instead of thanking God for our victory in the boxing ring, our brisk sales at our dress shop, our recovery from an illness, we should demonstrate real humility and cop to the obvious: we understand very little; we are on a constant quest; nothing is certain, despite what our holy books promise.
When I peer into the night sky, I’m reminded of my profound insignificance. But I’m also reminded that I’m not alone. God is there — and everywhere else.
Or maybe not.