Monday, January 27, 2014

There Is a God!

I have to admit that I have no scientific proof of God's existence. Sorry if that's what you're looking for.

Most skeptics will say I believe because I have been conditioned to believe.

Well, yes, I came from a Lutheran background, went to Sunday school, was confirmed... the whole holy thing. (I couldn't resist) Consider, though, that this was in the 1960s when conventions were more subject to scrutiny than Richard Nixon's bank book. For better or worse, the God convention that was our moral compass fell victim to that scrutiny, especially in our northern Minnesota hamlet.

My classmates and I were not country rebels anxious to assert our individuality like the rest of the nation. We were just frustrated because nobody would answer our questions like "Is God like Santa Claus? Why Israel? Was Luther a closet Norwegian?"

"Just hush up and listen," the pastor told us...many times.

So we did and went through the motions like good boys and girls. Dutifully, we went to church. Silently, we mouthed the hymns. Faithfully though without comprehending, we memorized our verses.

Thank goodness, we lived in the northwoods, because what we observed on a daily basis caused us to wonder. The bus ride to school often featured deer sightings. Weekends we chased animals across floating bogs. A full moon hanging over a still lake defined the term breath-taking.

It was that sense of wonder that caused us to spurn our frustration and return us to the something more instinct (SMI as author/pastor Bruxey Cavey calls it)), the innate conviction that there was something out there bigger than we could ever know––bigger than humans, bigger than Planet Earth, bigger than the Milky Way....

Something that developed and applied the scientific laws we learned about in school. Something that made the chaos of the star-spangled sky coherent and knowable. Something that united the entire universe.

Or universes.

The only answer available via our limited resources and intellectual acuity was God. All signs pointed that direction. Consequently, we steeled our resolve, embraced the conclusion, and rejected going through the motions, opting instead for belief.

Then came college.

Not a small rural campus, but the metropolitan mega-campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Doubt infused the populace. Not just spiritual doubt, but values, dress, politics, and authority. What on my arrival promised to be a strong, straight trunk of moral certainty twisted into the convoluted, barely recognizable tree of rebellion.

Even a frump like me wanted to rebel.

I really did.

But I didn't know how. The extent of my rebellion consisted of buying and actually wearing yellow and purple cross-striped elephant pants and taking a human sexuality class. The combination of the two had the cumulative effect of turning me into a 5'7", 120-pound geek who broke out at the mention of human birth film.

My nascent insurgence ended abruptly when the true rebels in my dorm tried to convince me there is no God by citing historical atrocities committed in His name, scientific discoveries that negated official church doctrine, and the fact that no Supreme Being would ever allow somebody to wear yellow and purple elephant pants.

Their failure occurred when I realized that their objections were no more related to science objective fact than the physical laws governing a Road Runner cartoon. Their "proofs"merely contradicted "official" church portrayal of God rather than verifying His nonexistence.

Hence, I rebelled against the rebels. I walked across the Washington Avenue Bridge and watched the Mississippi River flow beneath me. I stood in the center of the Mall at midnight and made out the stars above me. I felt the fall breeze on my upturned face. Most importantly, I let wonder over the origins and development of the universe grow inside me and reaffirm the SMI of high school.

And I began to reflect on all that had occurred in my life both good and bad. For once, I acknowledged events that seemed outlandish and unbelievably coincidental at the time were anything but. There was a reason a small town boy was at a metropolitan Big Ten school. There was a purpose to meeting fabulous musicians. It was more than fortune that my draft number was not called.

As the years went by, these God winks, as author SQuire Rushnell calls them, became more like slaps upside the face with dead carp. For example, five years ago I had two major strokes in different parts of the brain nearly simultaneously. The incident was complicated by the fact that a blockage caused one stroke and a hemorrhage caused the other. Treatment for one contradicted the necessary treatment for the other.

Yet I survived.

Based on that night so many years ago, I knew luck had played no part. Since the doctors claimed bewilderment over the course of action they should take, I knew medical savvy had vacated the premises. No, instead. there was...SOMETHING else, something beyond human knowledge and expertise.

When therapy and determination brought me back to some semblance of normal function, that was not my excercise. That was not my dedication. That was not natural. That was SOMETHING.

And the only answer anybody could give me as to what that SOMETHING was, the only answer that made sense to me, was God.

I can't even begin to tell you the many "coincidences" that have occurred since that realization. Event after event after event reinforce that we humans are not in control, science is not in control, the Justice League of America is not in control. God is in control.

With that proclamation, I search for answers to questions raised in my minuscule  mental ramblings, as well as those of smarter people than I. That is the key to wisdom, Socrates said: To realize how little you know.

Given that definition, I've got an excellent start on solving the riddles of the universe. Now to figure out the rest.

Dyslexic What?

There's an old joke that says, "Did you hear about the dyslexic atheist who didn't believe in Dog?"

Okay, it's silly, but I always liked it. 

Sorry. It's the goomer in me.

Let me begin by saying, this blog has little to do with The Write Wind site. That publication is about the art and craft of writing. The Dyslexic Canine, as the description says, will be about one of the controlling elements of my life, my thoughts on God.

You see, because of a near-death experience and a heightened awareness of the vastness of the universe, the past few years have been tumultuous for me spiritually. Many nights, my mind has been a playground for ideas concerning man's place in the cosmos. After numerous sleepless nights, rather than just let those ideas cavort about my clogged-up cranium, I decided to journal via blogdom, sharing them with whomever.

It is essential to note that I do not come to this page with any claims of authority on this subject or even a sense of vague knowledge. I have no formal education on this topic. I do not claim any camaraderie with burning bushes, insightful voices, or even inspired utterance as the result of breaking a toe on a misplaced doorjamb. 

I'm simply a human searcher. Hence, any answers I find are human and as such are entirely fallible upon further investigation. Therefore, I am totally open to comment and direction.

That being said, let me tell you three foundational beliefs governing my thoughts, beliefs that have strengthened over decades of thought and testing:

1. There is a God.

2. God is larger and smaller than any human can conceive.

3. Religion has distorted and distracted us from the true nature of God.

I will expound on each of these as the weeks go on and include references, images, and videos. I have a tendency to use hyperbole, irony, and sometimes pure goofiness, but I promise my intent is never to insult or instigate. I simply want to share and invite you to do the same.

More shortly.