“You don’t believe in God do you?”
I admitted that I did.
Suddenly the whole table were doing (what was cruelly called) ‘spastic-impressions’ at me.
My heart sank.
It was my first day at Bourne Country Primary School in 1988 and I was ten. I was the new kid in school. My family had moved to Eastbourne in Sussex (and I really didn’t want to go). My dad was the new Vicar of the local Church.
I might have only been ten but I knew I had committed social suicide at that school.
I had only been at that school about ten minutes.
As I went through secondary school I did get a hard time about having a dad as a Vicar and for believing in God.
I remember asking once “why is believing in God so bad?” –the response was “’cos it’s gay!”- which really wasn’t what you’d call a compelling argument. Basically, people didn’t believe in God because it wasn’t cool to.
But whether or not something is cool or not doesn’t effect whether it is true or not.
Ironically with hindsight the people who telling me ‘Christianity wasn’t cool’ were also proudly showing off the lilac and luminous yellow shell suits!
But I must admit as I grew older I did wonder if I was simply a Christian because of the way I was brought up… Maybe I’d been brainwashed? But by that point it didn’t really matter anyway as to be honest although I believed God existed, I didn’t really have much to do with him! My belief in his existence didn’t really make much difference to my life! I was what theologians called an ‘egocentric isolationist!’ –I’m quite impressed that I could spell that!- basically meaning I believed God existed but would rather do my own thing than take any note of him.
All this came to a grinding halt when I was 19.
When I was 19 friend of mine called Sam died suddenly I remember walking along the beach in Eastbourne, the rain beating down violently and the waves roaring, whilst I shouted at God that ‘I did f***ing believe in him!’
Just think about that as a prayer for a minute… ‘I don’t f***ing believe in you!’ – Clearly I did believe in him otherwise I wouldn’t have been shouting at him!
For me I didn’t want God to exist because I was angry with him. Strangely if God didn’t exist then none of the things I was angry about could have been his fault
Was it Peter Pan where whenever someone said they didn’t believe in fairies one died? Maybe I was trying the same thing?
What I didn’t know was 6 months later I would be kneeling on the floor of a Church, with tears in my eyes, telling God that I wanted to live the rest of my life as his follower.
What about you?
I wonder how many people reading this don’t believe in God because they are hurting about life and want someone to blame? –Maybe that’s you?
Yet there might be other people that struggle with the whole philosophy about God’s existence… they may not have an axe to grind, they’re just unsure and exploring. Maybe that’s you?
Or maybe you are somewhere between the two, lots of questions, unsure of whether or not God exists, but this question eats away at you… If this is you, I’d challenge you to pray this simple pray “God, if you are real, show me!”
I believe this prayer could change your life!