My life changed while I was lying on the roof of a beat up Chevy van looking up at the stars and drinking beer. I’d been living as an atheist for years though I would’ve denied the title. I preferred the term agnostic. I thought shrugging off truth as impossible to know was the intellectually superior position.
You see, while many atheists may look down on Christians, agnostics look down on all Christians and atheists. Poor Christians, on the other hand, have nobody to look down on but it seems to me that may perhaps be the point after all.
My friends and I rode from bar to bar every night of the week in that old van. That night it was parked in a dirt lot outside a bar. Like I said, I was drinking but that was nothing different for me. It wasn’t so much as drinking “again” but “still.” I came out to the parking lot and climbed up onto the top of the van and laid down. I would’ve laid down inside the van but it stunk too bad, and in case one of my buddies brought a girl back to the van I didn’t want to intrude.
It was a Sunday night. I remember staring up at the stars and it hit me that that was all there was. Just matter, shifting in form. And we were simply accidents that occurred during a blip in time. Looking back I think it odd that that realization didn’t horrify me at all. But it didn’t. It just was. Accidental blips don’t get offended by realizing they’re accidental blips, I guess. At least this one didn’t.
But as I lay there something else came unbidden into my mind. It occurred to me that either the world is an accident or it was made out of love. The possibility that creation was a conscious act, a completely free giving of love puzzled and astounded me.
As I lay there considering that, it became clear to me that a choice was necessary. I realized that in order to be intellectually honest with myself I could no longer pretend that the answers to the big questions weren’t shrug worthy. Either the world was an accident or it was made as an expression of God’s love for each of us. It seemed to me that the answer to that question wasn’t just a matter of rearranging the furniture of my life, it would necessarily affect every action in my life.
So there it was. I laid there staring up at the stars for I have no idea how long. But it was all the time I needed. At some point in the night I chose love.
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