Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Praying in disasters.


We all do it! Even if it's not to THE God (whichever one that me be), but we all cry out to something outside of ourselves when things get desperate. Unless you are a die-hard atheist I guess.

We want god to rescue us, change the situation, do something to change what seems inevitable.

Time and time again, in the face of a disaster, people are called to prayer. Government officials, churches, relief organisations... all will end up saying things like "all we can do is pray". Churches hold big prayer meetings, and the government might even announce a national day of prayer.

We never seem to learn from history how ridiculous this actually is! God never turns up to save the day - ever!

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Some people may be spared, and call it a miracle and praise god for being so blessed, and yet countless others may be killed or devastated. There is no rhyme or reason to it. It's completely random. And yet we persist in thanking god for those who do make it through. We feel sorry for those who don't make it and pray for god's mercy and grace for them and their families but fail to recognise how absurd the entire belief really is.

Those who do allow themselves to question it all work hard to invent doctrines about why god allows such things. But ultimately it always ends up that "his ways are mysterious" or "higher than ours" etc. I was recently watching a thread where this very issue was brought up, and not one of the numerous comments actually addressed the issue. They skirted around it with the whole idea of who are we to question god, as well as the usual platitudes that god works with these things to refine us, to give us wisdom and strength.

Now there certainly is some truth to the fact that if we come through disasters and hardship it is possible to learn to see the world in a much more philosophical way and develop a deep strength of character etc. It's possible. For many though, it's the opposite, and they find themselves broken and wounded, with deep scars. Either way, god is not involved - it's a response formed by the strength or frailty of our own mental health.

If you find comfort in your faith, then that's awesome. If it brings you life and makes you a loving, caring, compassionate person, then great. But lets drop the notions that this god is somehow involved in the whole dynamic of disasters - either large catastrophes or small daily disasters.

What really matter is how we respond in the face of any disaster. If we can find some internal peace and strength, with enough left over to extend compassion to those around us, then we have responded with integrity and love.

Stop wasting time praying. Stop looking for reasons. Stop blaming society or gays or whatever.

The strength you need is in you already. If anything, develop mindfulness and meditation skills, because they will bring a genuine peace and stability to our minds and a clarity to react with love and grace.