Psalm 14 starts out…
Fools say to themselves, “There is no God.”
I don’t know if I can make the same statement. There are a lot of understandable reasons that people can say that there is no God or god or gods or divine being(s) and so forth. There are the “big questions” of evil, whether God allows evil, about the multiplicity of religion, and even scientific questions that can easily lead one to not believe in the reality of some form of divine being. I do not fall into that camp but I can understand how some do so I’m not ready or able to say to someone who does not believe that I think they are an idiot.
I do however think there are a lot of reasons that a belief in God is perfectly reasonable some of which are almost the mirror arguments to the reasons some put up for non-belief. I just finished reading Neil DeGrasse-Tyson’s new book “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” and even though I know the conclusion he has come to in his life, I loved the book but it spoke to me not of a universe (or universes) that came into existence by happenstance but instead of further confirmation of the presence of the divine. I am sure Dr DeGrasse-Tyson would have something to say on that and I’d love to talk with him about it (plus I’d love to get his autograph).
To me though what regularly speaks to me of the divine is simple beauty. The beauty that is present all around us even when the world seems like it’s falling apart. This morning it was the unexpected blessing of a rainbow that shone brightly during my morning walk with my dog. Last week it was the shades of this sunrise that were awe inspiring. I understand the reasons behind all this but to me I see the holy and divine behind something like this.
There’s a phrase I heard a few years ago – useless beauty – and it was spoken in context of a discussion of how without the divine a part of something like this, then it’s just useless beauty. Another example comes from the book/movie Contact where a spiritual leader is talking with a scientist about the existence of life beyond earth and he said that if there wasn’t someone or something out there, “it’d be an awful waste of space.”
So while I’ll disagree with the Psalmist when he says that those who say there is no God are fools, I will say that I personally am grateful that I see the fingerprints and brush strokes of God in so much. It is that knowledge that helps me grapple with those “big” (and little) questions.