Some years ago a friend asserted that God was a hindrance to his freedom and creativity. He argued, as some others do, that God is a crutch invented by humanity. He believed that we created God to give us consolation in our dark moments when we don’t want to be alone in our doubts and anxiety. Furthermore, he said humanity only uses the “God thing” to sanctify the limiting of fearsome progressive thought and human potential. My friend presented a strong argument, but does it hold up against reality? Does God restrict us?
In each of our lives, we have the power to love, hope, pray, and make a sacrifice for another. None of these actions deal principally with the body, and they seem to indicate to us another portion of human life. They show us that the material world is important, but that it is only one aspect of reality.
These transcendental powers show us our spiritual nature. They point us beyond mere observation, and reveal to us a broader world view.
The Creator and crown of this world view is God. It would be difficult to deny God without denying our spiritual nature. Truly, the death of God is the death of the human person. If we deny the existence of God, we not only disregard the broader world view of reality, but we also desecrate our own personhood and human dignity.
In this action, we deny a deeper sense of ourselves and dismiss an intimate core of who we are as human beings.
By not accepting God and our spiritual nature, we run the risk of allowing our own views and opinions to themselves become divine and untouchable.
In such a state, there is no room for awe, wonder, conversion, and personal growth in how to love and be loved. Each of us is condemned to create our own meaning, identity, and purpose without any reference to the fullness of reality outside of ourselves. Our isolation limits our freedom. It restricts our creativity and our capacity to act and to do what we are called to do as human persons. In the lessening of freedom in our lives, chaos oftentimes takes its place. If given the rule of our hearts, this chaos can lead to a sense of bewilderment and of being lost.
Is this how we are to live? Is this the freedom and creativity that we desire? What could God offer to us in this situation?
In acknowledging God as the Lord, we find greater avenues and broader horizons for our human desires and aspirations. Our personal uniqueness and our abilities to believe, hope, and love are confirmed. The internal urgings of our heart can find more expansive expression and development. Our freedom, far from being restricted, is now ordered and strengthened to reach beyond itself. Our creativity, far from being stifled, is now promoted and given inspiration.
By acknowledging that God is Lord we become more human and more empowered to live a fully human life.
Father Kirby is the parochial vicar at St. Mary Help of Christians Church in Aiken.