I received the following email from the contact form on my blog:
Subject: Living a life of fear
Message: fear of G-d is the true fearless life…you just seem so afraid of it,
you spend your time coming up with so many theories to explain it
away. … [Praying] that [God] helps you [soul] come back to him before it’s too late!
I replied back to her email, but since the email address bounced, I thought I would respond publicly.
First a little personal background, I spent about 20 years searching for God. And failed. Well, it certainly wasn’t a total failure, but I have yet to find God, in the classical sense. (i.e. Supreme being that manipulates the physical world.) So if that was the goal, I guess it was a failure. On the positive side, I did find inklings of what I think others refer to as God, and am still open to changing my mind on the supreme being thing (i.e I’m not jaded.) so that to me is a success overall. And an opportunity.
With that in mind, I think that she has a point. Fear of God, which she is defining as a personal God who holds the strings of the world, would allow for one to live a truly fearless life. Of course, we would have to add some religious beliefs that would take us beyond the control aspect of things, and include life after death which the God fearing person would be able to partake in. But putting these two things together, I think I could live quite fearlessly in this world.
Now having said that, I do know plenty of people with both of these beliefs. And it doesn’t actually remove their fear, rather it helps pacify the fear. Basically, the conversation in their mind goes like this: “I am fearful of ____”. To which they respond to themselves, “there is nothing to fear because God is in charge.” In fact, I know many devout people, that I am honored to called friends, but I have yet to meet a man (or woman) who is truly fearless. That person who is so sure of God that he has no fear.
Of course, you will note that the fear is still there, someone know knows God just use the message of God’s control to manage their fear. So with that in mind, I think what she meant is that the answer to fear shouldn’t be self-reliance rather knowledge of God. That’s certainly a fair approach, and a model that would work.
The only problem with that approach is that I have yet to find God. (Which she alluded to as well at the end of her email.)
Here was my response to her, and the world, since I wasn’t able to respond to her directly.
“My question for you is how do you know God exists? What logical proof can you provide that would impel me to have the same clarity of knowledge? If experiential knowledge, what are the steps to replicate that experience myself? I certainly don’t know that, and it is that piece that is missing, and I would love to hear your thoughts on.”
So if any readers have something worth sharing with me, I hope they will.