What would we say to God, if we had the chance, if He came down to earth and asked us what we had to say? Would we be tongue-tied, or would we never shut up? I’d have plenty to say, certainly loads of questions. I would, I think, be frank too, and ask Him things other people might not. But I think God is big enough to be grilled, and He certainly would have all the answers.
What happens when a person lives actively as a Christian but continues also to live in a kind of sin, or sinful way, like King David of ancient Israel? Will God smile at our discretions, or at least turn a blind eye? In my view, you can’t be both a sinner and a real Christian; one will eventually supersede the other. In short, you can’t live in any kind of sin and be a Christian! This is hard for some people to take, perhaps because they are by all accounts decent people, but they have something in their lives they won’t give up. It could be anything really, anything that keeps them from a full relationship with Jesus. And, when you get right down to brass tacks, the relationship with Jesus is really what Christianity is all about; a relationship you have 24/7 on a daily and on-going basis. I think much else we think of as religious can be peripheral to this.
God, why am I poor? God, why am I unhappy? God, why am I depressed? God, why can’t I get a job? God, why can’t I get good at anything? God, why can’t I find someone to really fall in love with? God, why aren’t my friends more interested in me? God, why do I find it so hard to go to church? God, why am I struggling all the time, day in day out? God, why do I have so many questions, and never any answers? I expect that many people ask these questions all the time, I know I certainly have, and many times. Some people might think that we shouldn’t really ask God anything, we should just keep our heads down and hope for the best. For me, this is not good enough; we already have the questions in our heart, and if you’re like me millions of questions, so why not ask Him; who else are you going to ask? The bloke down the pub? I’m being serious. You can ask God in prayer anything you like; you may not get the answer you were looking for, but He has a way of answering our questions, and our wants, in His way and in His time. I’m not trying to be evasive; to fully understand God and His motives is not easy, and although anyone can approach Him, He is mysterious and hard to fathom out. If God is the creator of everything we see, and everything we can’t see, then surely it’s a small thing for Him to answer our prayers.
I have come to the conclusion that, though it’s nice to aspire to better things, get a highly paid job, start a successful business, be wealthy, have the big house in the country, it is just as important in life to find simple things that make us contented; even if that simple thing is watching a sunset, or eating a nice meal, or watching a favourite film. We shouldn’t neglect simple pleasures because we can always enjoy them whatever our situation, financial and otherwise. It doesn’t necessarily mean we should settle for what we have got, but I think we should be grateful to God for the good things we already have in life.
Do we bring troubles on ourselves? I know I have many times; saying stupid things, doing stupid things, treating people disrespectfully, acting stupidly, and altogether acting in ways that brought me only unhappiness or a kind of emptiness that couldn’t be filled. God, I have been stupid; I have sinned, yet again! With all the best will in the world, we still slip up and make mistakes. We are supposed to be honourable, but we act dishonourably, we are supposed to be kind, but we are unkind, we are supposed to be charitable, but we act unfairly and selfishly. We have the ideal, and then we have the stark reality. In our dreams we can fly, but when we wake up we can’t; and we have to shave as well! God doesn’t want us to make trouble for ourselves, or anyone else either. Some people are walking disaster areas; they do bring trouble on themselves, and then they wonder how, or get upset at the ensuing chaos. I have learnt by experience that there is enough trouble in life anyway, without making any more.
How different we all are; different beliefs, different colours, different customs, different languages and different foods. We’re all very different, but we’re all similar too! I think that we all need to be loved and respected, and we all need to belong too; to belong to something bigger than us. God created us differently from the rest of creation; He put a ‘super-computer’ in our heads, better than anything Microsoft could make (no disrespect to Bill), gave us a conscience to respect other people, and gave us hands, hands that can create rockets to put people on the moon, oh, and open those fiddly milk cartons as well! Also, one big difference between humanity and the rest of creation, is that we are spiritual beings, created specifically to be in commune with God; when we miss that, we miss a vital part of our humanity. You might say quite honestly ‘I’m an Atheist, I just don’t believe in God or any of it to be honest’ well my answer to this is can you honestly look at the wonder and complexity of nature and life, and especially at the wonder of a human being, and say this all happened by accident?
Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself! If we only all heeded those words, and acted on them regularly! In practise, it simplifies everything. There’s no clause there to not include anyone like poor people, or black people or gay people or whoever, it means everyone! It’s plain and simple and you don’t need to add anything or take anything away. It is godly simplicity at its best.
Christianity in England can be too middle class quite frankly, as if every Christian has to live in the suburbs, sing hymns on Sunday, know the vicar and take tea with him now and again; and that’s the be all and end all of their Christian life! Many people don’t fit into this, they’re not nice and middle class and white living in the suburbs; and it seems that Christian men (and some women) are emasculated partly because of trying to live up to a stereotype that is false anyway. What If you’re working class and from a council estate and don’t fit this stereotype as a Christian? What then? I believe it’s time we got real and we really looked at the gospel again and again if need be; it’s time we decided to be real people, and not playing a role, however ‘nice’ or convenient that role might be.
If you believe that humans were all created, then that automatically means that life is sacrosanct. If you don’t believe that life was created by God, but just a glorious accident, then where does that leave us? If there’s no God, then ultimately there’s no morality, or real need for morality. If there’s no God, then there’s no good or evil, everything is then relative, and boils down to human choice; and humans have a knack of making very bad choices.
So we’ve spoken to God, we’ve asked Him everything we could think of; what answers will God give us? When will He answer, and in what way? Who do we think we are, questioning God?! Well, I believe that with a healthy belief in God also comes healthy questioning; don’t we all want answers to our questions? So, we can boldly approach God and put our questions, our worries and concerns, our ambitions and anything else that is on our mind too to Him, I believe. God is only a prayer away.