Sometimes there are moments so poignant in life that you can remember when and where something happened, and even how the weather was and what you were wearing.
In this particular moment, 14 years ago, I was in the passenger seat of my then-boyfriend’s car, and he was turning left onto 89A from Rodeo Rd. in Sedona. It was a particularly cloudless day, and I was drinking in the beautiful blue sky as he spoke. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Our relationship was relatively new, and it was an unusual one. I, a spiritual teacher and trance medium, and he, an optometrist and atheist.
As he turned left, he had a pensive look on his face and said, “I became an atheist when my friend died on the operating table. Up until that point, I was an agnostic.”
“Really?” I said, “Why did that make you an atheist?”
“Well, if there was a God, he wouldn’t let bad things happen to good people.”
I remember this conversation well, as for the first time in my life I realized how often I too had blamed God for not stepping in when bad things happened, as if it was God’s fault, and that he didn’t love me or hear me, or was somehow punishing me.
In an instant, all of the things that I had learned and thought about in doing my work as a spiritual teacher, really collided within me. And, I realized, God has given each one of us all of the gifts to have a glorious life and create a beautiful world. We often don’t know the reasons for many of the things that happen in our lives, but I’m certain that God is not the one creating wars and discontent. We are the ones who choose so many times to not put God’s love into action.
God has given each one of us all of the gifts to live a glorious life and create a beautiful world.* It’s up to us how we use these gifts. It's not God's fault if we don't.
*Yes, I wrote this twice.