Reason #7: I Don't Show Reverence.
I'm always struck by the language surrounding people who believe in God. They talk of a personal relationship that runs deeper than any relationship on earth. It's a language swathed (that's a good religious word, yes?) in deference. And, from my point of view: fear.
I'll never forget when my young nephew asked me for the first time if I believed in God. He was raised in a church and, until this point, I'd always shaped my answers in such a way as to fit the worldview his parents were setting up for him. It felt respectful to do so. But, he was getting older, and I'd yet to tell him a lie. I really didn't want to start now. (Best to save your first lie for something big, like "Are you available to help me move this weekend?")
When I answered honestly with a simple "No.", I think I rocked his world a little bit. The fear on his face was immediate. He literally looked to the sky, no doubt checking for the lightning bolt that was sure to instantly smite me. (Now THERE'S a religious word: smite. That word alone is worth two bonus points for God. Nicely done, Big Guy.)
"Aren't you afraid?" It was the same question the Baptist preacher asked me when he knocked on my door, welcoming me to town a few years earlier. I gave my nephew the same answer I gave God's door-to-door salesman: "How can I be afraid of something I don't believe in?" The preacher was perplexed by my lack of fear regarding the devil. My nephew was concerned about my lack of fear regarding God.
But, it's not just disbelief that drive's my direct approach to dis-respecting the man upstairs. It's the whole idea of the relationship. See, if I DID believe in God, I think my friends and family would be horrified if they heard me speak to Him. Because, to me, a real relationship... one you care so deeply about... has fireworks. It's messy. It's angry. It's loving. It's fun and maddening. It's hard and soft. It's off and on.
What's a relationship worth if the only conversation is deferential and easy? What kind of relationship is based primarily on fear? None worth having, I can tell you that.
So, when someone tells me about the great relationship they have with God, I wonder to myself: Have you ever cussed him out? When was the last time you got so mad at him, you slept on the couch? (What's the metaphorical equivalent to a couch here?) How many times have you said something to Him that you instantly regretted?
The big one for me would be: When was the last time I demanded something better? Because, look around. There's quite a bit to improve on down here. You telling me that I've got to accept some of this b.s. as what -- the cost for free will? No. He can do better. He should do better. If He's real, I demand it. And, He's free to tell me to go to hell.
Which brings me to my next entry... (coming soon.)
TEASER: My next entry is the highest one, yet. We're talking #3 on the top 1,000.