I recently found myself in a bit of a bind and if the outcome had gone the opposite direction, the event may have effected my life in a very negative way. As I came to a realization of the seriousness of the situation, I began to engage in a long ignored but not forgotten dialogue.
You all know it. It goes something like this:
“God, if you get me out of this I swear I’ll never do such a stupid thing again. I don’t know why I’m so ignorant. Surely, if this works out the way I’d like I’ll try my best to be a wonderful person and always remember what a glorious guy you are and shower you with praises and give lots of charity and always be nice to the less fortunate and never lie or think bad of people or masturbate again”.
OK, well it didn’t go quite that way, but you get the gist.
It is a strangely soothing dialogue. It’s reassuring to know that in our darkest moments, when we’re the most desperate, there is some one there to listen. I’ve given up the idea of a God who is active in our lives, so why did I continue this conversation? Habit? Perhaps.
I think that these type of prayers or conversations or whatever you want to call them are illusions, but they do serve a purpose. For me, as soon as I realized what I was doing, there was also the recognition that a type of void has been created. I no longer have God to unload my burdens upon, but I do have my own inner conscience. I’m able to sort out my thoughts and emotions in times of great stress. I am able to admonish myself for my own stupidity and also give myself a type of reminder to be grateful for the good things I do have. I’m able to control what I can and let go of what I cannot.
Somehow though, talking to yourself (especially out loud) isn’t as settling as talking to the omnipotent, but invisible, Creator of the universe. It also might get you long sideways looks and questions regarding your sanity.
That doesn’t make a bit of sense if you think about it.