Throughout the ages, mankind has felt an ingrown need to look to a higher power for help, guidance, on simply to thank for supposed assistance.
Men have worshiped bulls, cats, the moon, the sun, all sorts of idols. Mankind has imagined a wide variety of unseen but all-powerful gods who, if pleased, can help us, but when displeased, these invisible beings are quite willing to punish us with floods, hurricanes, avalanches and more.
In the past, for some obscure reason, some decided that sacrifice would help. Animals were often sacrificed (and a banquet would follow since the burning sacrifice smelled delicious). But sometimes that wasn’t enough. Human sacrifice was better. A young virgin sacrificed to some god would buy a lot of indulgence and bounty. Crops would be more abundant, nets would fill with fish and hunting would be better than ever.
If man displeased a god enough, a drought could destroy his crops. Hunters might return empty-handed and the lake might dry up, thus putting an end to the fruitful fishing a tribe might have enjoyed only weeks earlier.
It continues today. We have the luxury and peace of mind in men who proclaim themselves to be Jesus incarnate, or those less ambitious who simply tell their followers they’ve been chosen to receive messages directly from that unseen but omnipresent god. He has chosen them to be his mouthpiece and has commanded followers to be generous with the donations.
Many of these dress in what they consider “holy” clothing, clothing that sets them apart and tells the world that they’re “holy” men or women. Their personal uniform may include colorful capes, outfits similar to those worn by Catholic priests not only in black but in gray or many colors. Some – those fortunate enough to have received a bounty – enjoy the comfort of expensive automobiles paid for by their humble followers. Considering what they preach, is it any wonder that we question the sanity of either their followers, them or the god they claim to know on a personal basis?
Even skeptical persons often turn to their personal idea of god to pray for the sake of a loved one who lies near death in a hospital bed. They thank their god if the loved one survives and if he/she doesn’t, it was that person’s time to go.
It’s certainly no sin to believe in a higher power. That can be of great help in any crisis no matter what the outcome. Church attendance too, can be of great benefit in some ways if not all.
The thrust of most churches is to instill honesty, fairness, treating others as we would have them treat us. Many of course forget this the moment they return to their parked vehicles, but children especially may take in a good deal of this counseling and have it embedded in their open and receptive minds.
But the negative aspect of this is that these same children are taught that particular church’s doctrine no matter how illogical or fanciful it may be. This can have a long-lasting negative effect on those same open and receptive minds.
In any case, as an adult if a person derives a sense of security from the belief that a higher power may step in and help a loved one through a crisis, then, in biblical terminology, verily the supplicant has his reward no matter what the outcome.
Perhaps after all, that’s better than having the hopeless feeling of seeing oneself or a loved one in crisis with no one to turn to.
That’s the way I see it. ♥