For all my skepticism about believing in the Christian God I was taught (almost ‘brain-washed’) to believe in Catholic Grade school, I often find myself thinking, with some conviction, grateful thoughts like: “Thank God!” Often, before a meal, or after spending time with my family, or dear friends, and often it’s my first thought as I awaken, and realize I’ve been afforded another day in a comfortable and joyful life! But, then I remind myself that I didn’t really believe, and feel a twinge of guilt for my lack of integrity. So, one of those mornings, I decided it was a different God I wanted to thank than the God I was taught. I could rename him, GITIAG, “God, If There Is A God”. Those were the words I used in the last prayer I remember praying. It went something like this:
“Dear God, if there is a God, you know my mind( You know I am willing to serve you, if only you turn off this brain of mine! But I feel compelled to listen to it! Why would you give me this power to use critical thinking, and then expect me not to use it? If you’re all-powerful, you are certainly capable of providing more credible evidence. In the absence of such evidence, I’m saying, “Good-bye!”.
It had taken many years after first giving myself permission to doubt, to come to this resolution. But I felt much better after sending my last formal message. It was much like I have ended a few other relationships — with a tinge of sadness, but with a healthy inner resolve that I was doing the right thing for both parties — ending something that was destructive not only to me, but to the other person as well.
I plan on writing my own funeral service on this blog, so friends and family won’t have to hop on a plane to come to an affair I’m not going to be attending as well.. I’d rather they come see me while I’m still alive to appreciate them. But I’d like them to read the following after I die: It’s from “Tao Te Ching” translated by Stephen Mitchell, who prefaces with “If I haven’t always translated Lao-tzu’s words, my intention has always been to translate his mind.” :
The Master gives himself up
to whatever the moment brings.
He knows that he is going to die,
and he has nothing left to hold on to:
no illusions in his mind,
no resistances in his body.
He doesn’t think about his actions;
they flow from the core of his being.
He holds nothing back from life;
therefore he is ready for death.
as a man is ready for sleep
after a good day’s work.