I formulated a theory about God, and one I still hold to this day. First the question: if we are all unique and different, why would we all be judged alike? The answer I came up with: we wouldn’t be judged exactly alike. God understands our personal nuances, our past, how our environment shaped us, our intelligent levels and other traits, so a fair God would not put us all into a mold and expect exactly the same from each one of us. He would understand what we are capable of, what it would take for each of us to become a believer and judge us accordingly. Of course there is the exception, and that exception, in my mind would be the Ten Commandments; we must all obey those laws, and on those laws we would all be judged. Man pushes man from God, as in the lyrics of a song recorded by Crosby, Stills and Nash: “Too many people have died in the name of Christ for anyone to heed the call. Too many people have lied in the name of Christ and I can’t believe it all.”
I was raised Catholic. For my first three years of education I attended a Catholic school. I would eventually stray from Catholicism, but I continued the search for a religion that fit me. Truthfully, most religions and churches turned me off, turned me away from God. I simply found too much hypocrisy to buy into what they were trying to sell me.
In college I studied Eastern and Middle Eastern religions, but they too fell short for one reason or another. So, I finally settled for no religion, which prompted me to write the following poem one day.
What if Only
On a higher plan is where some say I might be,
After this life has departed from me.
Chasing a white light, lost in the stream
Angels come forth, but it’s only a dream.
Heavens and hells, and saints and sinners,
In our little minds we all come up winners.
We will be reborn, we will live again,
Get it right next time or do it again.
What does it mean, how does it fit,
Is there a soul, when does it quit?
Shall we float in an ocean, or salty red sea
Shall we gather above through eternity?
Raising my hand I make a fist,
What if we only cease to exist?
For several years I maintained the attitude exhibited in the poem above, but something inside never let go of the idea that there was more to life than simply ceasing to exist. It was very difficult for me to accept, however, that a supreme being would bother to have a personal relationship with human beings, especially with me because I doubted and questioned everything.
One day, while home alone, I asked something of God. I don’t recall my exact words, but it went something like this:
If you really have personal relationships with us, if you really know us and really exist why don’t you show me a sign? If you are all knowing and everywhere, why not, why leave me in the dark and expect me to take everything said by other men on faith?
A few nights later I awoke from my sleep and looked over at the clock; the clock read 3:33 am. At that time I thought, it was kind of a cool coincidence. However, the very next night I woke again and looked over at the clock and it read 3:33 am. Now you have my attention. I mean, what are the odds of this being happenstance?
The next morning I began to look the incident up on the Internet, surely I thought, this has happened to others. What does it mean, I was asking myself, but I knew what it meant. Some say it is your guardian angel sending you a sign or warning. Some say it is a sign from God. Some say that 3:33 and 3:33 equal 666 and it’s a sign from the devil. But like I said, in my heart and mind I knew what it meant because I had asked the question: Are you there?
I cannot say this occurrence changed my life to a great extent, but it definitely changed the way I look at the world and myself. I am extremely encouraged by the idea that God would take the time to answer a question that many feel is so fundamental and evident. It was not evident to me, but it certainly is now. God exists. You can have a personal relationship with Him, and he does love and understand us enough to answer the door when we knock upon it.