Choose the God you believe in--and choose wisely
You can choose the God you believe in. Or you can choose to believe there’s no God. It’s your choice.
There is a fact of the matter. There may be a God. There may be many Gods. There may be no God. What you choose may be correct (consistent with the fact of the matter) or wrong.
But it’s still a choice.
The Marketplace of Religions offers prepackaged Gods to believe in. Many come complete with rites and rituals, instruction books and storybooks, customer testimonials, gathering places, and communities of the like-minded. For those who choose no God, the Marketplace also offers prepackaged agnostic and atheistic belief systems, many with their own accessories.
Within any belief genre, individual believers, leaders, and groups customize the generic offering to meet their needs and desires and to the demands of the Marketplace for innovation within the confines of brand identity.
The Marketplace gives everyone a lot to choose from.
Is it a choice?
Most people don’t consider that someone can choose what to believe—much less choose which God to believe in; and if they think belief is a choice, they don’t think they can make that choice; and if they think they can make it, they don’t exercise their ability. This is because most people were taught (or, more accurately, conditioned) to believe in a particular god, and they never break that conditioning. So instead, they accept the choice made for them by their parents and other ancestors.
But the God you believe in is undoubtedly a choice. So the question isn’t “Is it a choice?” but “Whose choice?” Your choice? An ancestor’s choice? Your community’s choice?
Make it your choice.
And choose wisely.
How do you choose wisely?
My answer is: choose the God and the practices that will help you live the best life you can. When choosing a God, as in all things, “Believe not what is true, but what is helpful”.
If you’ll live your best life being watched by a vigilant and intolerant God who threatens to torture you eternally or burn you to a crisp, then, by all means, choose that God and live your good life under that God’s pitiless gaze.
If you’ll live the best life being under the loving eye of a God who accepts your failings and forgives your shortcomings and teaches you the lessons that you need to in order you live the life you desire, then, by all means, choose that God and live your good life in that God’s loving embraces.
If none of the prepackaged Gods suit you, you can choose to be creative: design the God that will serve you best, choose to believe in that God and then act according to your belief.
For me, it starts with gratitude
I am grateful for the circumstances of my life. I’m grateful for the talents and abilities I’ve been given. I’m grateful for other gifts: personal characteristics, tendencies, and opportunities, for intelligence and health, without which I would not have developed the other gifts I have been given into what I now possess.
I’m grateful for my very existence, the existence of a world full of beauty, and the ability to see that beauty.
With all the gifts I’ve been given, none of them earned, it would be ungrateful not to say thank you.
But who shall I thank? Shall I thank the laws of physics? Shall I thank the process of evolution? Shall I thank the dark, cold, empty, uncaring universe from which I emerged?
I need to give thanks, and I’ve chosen a God to receive my thanks. That God is as glad to receive my thanks as I am to offer them.
The God I’ve chosen
The God I’ve chosen is the perfect parent and the perfect friend.
That God is always there for me, available whenever I want company, full of love.
It is a God that forgives my mistakes and encourages me to forgive others as I’ve been forgiven, that loves me and encourages me to love as I’ve been loved.
The God I’ve chosen doesn’t want me to obey, but to think; to do what is right because it is right and not because I fear Godly or human punishment; to educate myself so I can intelligently decide what is right.
The God I’ve chosen doesn’t want to be worshiped but to be loved and respected as one would love and respect a worthy parent or trustworthy friend.
The God that I’ve chosen loves and respects me in return.
I’ve chosen the perfect God for me—by design.
That God may exist only in my imagination, but that’s real enough and good enough for me.
And it’s good enough for God.
PS: I believe that God helped me write this. I am confident that any errors are my own.
Brilliant! I love that approach to Deity! I think a worship-worthy deity isnt necessarily all-powerful or omniscient or such usual attributes. All-sccepting is a good start. My deity would be approving of us, no matter what our choices, even the choice of being atheists.