Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Worrying Like an Atheist

If I was an atheist I'd be worried.

By definition, an atheist lives with the conviction that there is no one "out there" watching over him/her, much less our world as a whole. It's like a cosmic remake of the Home Alone movies--we get to stay up as late as we want and eat junk food, but when the bad guys show up we're on our own. While atheism has its appeal, in the face of problems like a recession, crime, personal struggles and the garden-variety aches and pains of life I think overall I'd prefer to have a deity on the job somewhere.

This is not to say that we should get to choose our divinities, I'm just noting the advantages and disadvantages of the various worldviews. In the long run there definitely is something to say for the Providence of God, even if His overall purposes can be a little hard to figure out. If I was the only one in charge of my world, I think I'd have reason to be worried. Fortunately, that's not the case.

Which brings me to my main point here: why, then, do I still worry? Why do I allow myself to get wrapped in knots as if my own efforts were needed to get all things to work together for good? And why do I periodically wake up during the night thinking that if I could somehow strain toward success I could make things in my world go more smoothly? Seems like there ought to be a lot more days when I feel like a spiritual lottery winner.

Fact is, I still end up worrying like an atheist. I believe...but God help my unbelief.

Fortunately, God's wired an automatic warning signal into me that can prompt me to re-align my worldview. To remember Him. It's called stress, and when it works properly it leads me to pray.

And I think it's working.

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