The day I lost my faith

I was in a car crash a few years ago. I was pushed off the road and found myself trapped in a crumpled vehicle in a stinky, muddy ditch.

“God help me”, I thought. I should scream out for salvation.

I couldn’t do it. I wanted to. I wanted desperately to be able to cry out to some benign presence that would sweep in and rescue me.

It wasn’t a lack of faith in God’s existence. I think I feared to call on my god lest he actually come to me, and find me lacking and unworthy. Is there anything scarier than the prospect of being exposed for who you really are?

I knew in my heart, as most men do, that I’d never really given myself fully to his service. I’m not talking about how a priest resigns his life to the service of a god, but rather to how a man suspends his own judgment and desires, and relies on what he has been told his maker desires of him. Always, I had held back from that commitment.

I had always believed, I discovered, that when I was an old man I could become devout and make up for my heedless youth.

Age seems the perfect time to practice self-discipline and charity and patience. When I was old, I would give generous tithes and spend hours in meditation while watching the sweet flow of my waning years from the lofty vantage of a respected … no, loved … elder.

When I was old, and my blood no longer bubbled with ambition and lust and wild curiosity, then I could settle down and be content in my God.

Foolishly, I had believed that I would always have the opportunity to be a better man – later. Obviously, a man’s life could end at any time. A car accident or a fall down the stairs, an infectious disease, even a stray bullet; youth is no armour against such fates.

A man could lose his life by accident, at any moment. Some part of me, perhaps, has always known that, but I’d never believed it at a gut level.

And I’d certainly never considered that at any moment, a rogue gonyeti trailer could materialize and demand my life of me.

I didn’t merit any god’s intervention and worse, I feared his judgment. The God I thought I knew had the ability to plunge men into endless torment, apparently solely for His own amusement.

Such anguish, gifted on a whim, suddenly seemed preferable to facing a just banishment. For I found it easier to think of God as a flighty, rash and unreasonable monster with the ability to consign a man to Hell with a wave of his hand; than to imagine being judged solely on my actions and the rowdy misbehaviour of my shiftless youth.

Better hell, I thought, than make me face my deeds and be justly punished for them. A cowardly thought, and pure, raw humanity at its worst.

My cry of supplication died in me unuttered. I looked up to where I’d always been told heaven was, and felt myself quiver with resignation and then grow still.

Nobody was coming for me. There was no-one to judge me, or make me look in the mirror. There was no reason to fear, for beyond this moment, there was no thing to fear. I would either die here and pass into emptiness, or I would live, on my own terms, in my own way.

Then I heard the sirens. And I *was* saved, but not by any God.

Unless Jesus wears a MARS uniform and plays fast and loose with a hypodermic needle.

27 Replies to “The day I lost my faith”

  1. no outrage but must God or Jesus manifest in the form of angels and bright light. can man not be the messenger?

  2. For me, that’s not evidence. And this was a matter of evidence. I’ve never seen any, and until I see otherwise …

    The absence of evidence IS the evidence of absence, I prefer to use the scientific method.

  3. Nah. No outrage. You’ve probably been written off as just a lost cause. Pleanty fish and all dat.

    But holy crap, JB, is this a true story?! The accident part. Or was it divine intervention?! In which case, it hideously backfired. LOL!

  4. Thanks Ray, Tara I think you’re right about the “lost cause” tag, but really, it’s a personal decision, and I’m glad that’s being respected.

    Yes of course it’s a true story. Wait til I tell the one about the BUS accident I was in … it’s all coming out LOL.

  5. Ahhh all these accidents!!

    When all is said and done, we all have our own thoughts/experiences/beliefs. In the stillness – when all the noise in life subsides and there are no distractions/arguments/temptations – in that moment, just as long as you believe speaks to your core then I think that is all we can ask for.

  6. on a somewhat related note,
    actually, i reckon it’s totally related,
    one of the most-cited instances of ‘evidence’ of miracles is these near-misses,
    much similar to your accident/s,
    and then of course the unconvinced would reply,
    asking if it is a miracles that one has wrecked their car, sustained injuries and generally been inconvenienced …

  7. I guess most people are like you,in that we always hope there will come a time when we will be able to make up for all and turn and change our ways. but sometimes we never get the chance.
    I would like to believe that God uses people at times to help us,like in your case a Paramedic. in different dispensations God uses anything that relates to our era to talk to us or help us.

    In the Abraham era he spoke directly to his people in flesh, then came the Prophet era, then the era of the son of man, then the holy spirit era, now maybe the human era. ( i don’t know that’s just my opinion)

  8. That’s the point, innit? You don’t know. I don’t know. In fact NOBODY knows.

    Hence the use of science. If it can’t be proven, then it’s impossible. Simple as that.

    But again, that’s also just MY opinion 🙂

  9. Its another chance for you to make amends right with God. God is not slow but patient wanting all men to come to repentance. God has manifested himself by all that is created around us that is the testament of his existence. And he has given us the freedom of choice, but we will all account for how we have lived and used our time on this earth. We cant set conditions for God, and worship him on our conditions when it best suits us. “God help me” you thought and he did.

  10. @bayhaus … *sigh* whatever. Please, stop projecting your religious beliefs onto me, no matter how strongly you feel about them.

    I’m perfectly okay with leaving you to your beliefs. I’d expect the same amount of respect, if you don’t mind.

  11. Sorry dude if that offended you, can even delete that comment. I was trying to explain the opposite side of the above comments which have basically agreed with what you have said. If I could delete I would, so you can go ahead I won’t take offense.

  12. No, that’s not the point. When you said its another chance for ME to make amends with YOUR god, that’s all I take issue it. Its not taking offence, its debate.

    My point was that, you can believe what you will, just don’t project it onto others. Others bring me.

    Won’t delete your comment, that ain’t how I roll lol

  13. Yeah.

    ‘“God help me” you thought and he did.’

    That’s preaching at me 🙂 and you won’t like it if I start preaching at you, that’s all I’m sayin.

  14. I was just quoting what you said “God help me you thought” and and I answered by saying God helped you, but maybe not in the way you expected him to help you.
    Preach to me if you need to bro and if you believe it will help me. I will evaluate what you say to me and make a decision based on that. By airing any religious opinion we are all preaching. Its up to the viewers to evaluate what is preached.

  15. “… if you believe it will help me”.

    Totally against my philosophy. You’re an adult, and you make adult choices, be it in life, love or religion.

    It’s not my place to tell you how I think YOU should live your life.

    Live and let live.

  16. wow its getting hot in here

    so just interested – are you a big banger since you are obviously not a creation believer? Guess Im trying to figure if your atheist or agnostic – i know, i know whats with the labels – some of us work better that way!
    Oh and awesome, before you come up with some clever retort on the big bang – Im talkin purely non orgasmic experiences here.

  17. Bloody labels … but I actually HAVE been clear about it. Agnostics basically live in the grey area of doubt. I’ve been much clearer than that.

    Because the existence of a god has not been proved, neither has He shown himself, therefore there is no such thing as a god.

    Except the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  18. To deny the existence of a creator of all that surrounds us is to deny logic and science for that matter. Logic tells me the keyboard i am typing on was created by someone who conceived the idea for its function and collected the right tools and materials, set the exact dimensions and developed this keyboard. There had to be a mind behind such a basic and functional object. What more so all of nature that surrounds us, take a pic of the simplest organism or plant, then scientifically break it down to see how it functions and tell me there was no creative mind behind its creation.

  19. You still don’t get, do you? If I choose to deny something, I fucking will.

    I don’t have to justify it to you, and I don’t have to tell it to you. You seem to think this is a debate, when it is simply an expression of free will and opinion.

    Yes, there is no God. You seem to think there is. So be it. Don’t fucking challenge me to look at keyboards and such, cos I’m not an idiot. In fact, trying to use logic to justify a theological opinion is … no. I’m not doing that.

    If you want to preach and express your opinion that there IS a god, that’s fine. You can do that. Nobody is stopping you.

    But to tell me that I am WRONG in MY conclusion that all you religious nuts are full of shit? No, comrade.

    First prove it, then come back to me. Otherwise you’re just spewing hot air. Theorising, as we call it in the real world.


  20. Let me put in simpler terms, cos you seem to have missed my point totally so far.

    – Do not question my faith (or lack thereof).
    – If you want to explain why YOU believe in fairy-tales, that’s fine.
    – This is not a debate over whether there is a God or not. That’s already been settled by the lack of proof, to me.
    – Express yourself in your own terms, but not as a comparison to my own opinion.
    – Don’t fucking preach to me. It’s a waste of time.
    – I’M OKAY WITH YOU BELIEVING IN YOUR GOD. Be okay with me believing in mine (the FSM)

    I tire of having to explain the most simple concepts over and over again.

  21. “Oh and awesome, before you come up with some clever retort on the big bang – Im talkin purely non orgasmic experiences here.”

    anonymous = killjoy.

    and bayhaus,
    erm, you say:
    “To deny the existence of a creator of all that surrounds us is to deny logic and science for that matter.”
    and then you proceed to put forth a “proof by lack of knowledge” paragraph? really dude? A creator must exist because your mind cannot conceive how else the world could have been formed? really dude? One unproved notion is true because YOU do not understand another? REALLY DUDE?

    You are using logical fallacies here dude … too many.

    Lack of knowledge surely does not make it ok to fill in factual gaps with fantastic ideas.

    Not that you or anyone needs my approval or anything, but, i’m ok with you going all deity, BUT, leave it at that … and puhleeez don’t try use LOGIC and SCIENCE to ‘prove’ that which logic and science refute spectacularly.

    just have faith 🙂

    (not that i’m atheist or anything)

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