3/13/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Thin-ice ~
My wife and I are selling our house, where we've been for 22 years and raised 2 sons to adulthood. Someone from California saw it on Zillow.com listed as "Make Me Move" and offered the full (over market) price for it. Suddenly we are faced with one of the those traumatic life events that aren't really very much fun, but sure as hell stimulating!
And for the first time as de-converted evangelicals who are now atheists, we are going through a major life event without reference to God, prayer, God's will, signs, or anything else that in the old days we would drag into such a decision. It is a strange and liberating feeling!
It's great making decisions without having to worry about what God's will is, or how to discern it.Think back with me to all the usual milestones in life: puberty, dating, first car, high-school graduation, choice of college and/or career, marriage, having children, changing careers, buying and selling homes, and others that I can't even remember. In a seriously evangelical family, these are events where the big guns of spiritual warfare are brought into action. God forbid that we should consider any decision without much prayer and Bible study. How Satan would love us to make the wrong decision. If we would just wait on God, He would make his will clear to us. In extreme cases, we might even want to consider FASTING! Going without food really proved to God how serious we were about discovering his will.
I remember back when I had lived in England for 17 years, and I wanted to move back to America. My English wife was not so sure, and she was praying for God's guidance as to whether this was the right thing to do. She told me that she knew it was the right thing when just as she was praying for a sign, she saw double rainbows in the sky! To her at the time this was God's "thumbs up" for her, and we moved to America shortly afterwards. We laugh about it now, but at the time it seemed like a definite answer to prayer. (She also became an American citizen last week, so I guess she plans on staying here for a while longer!)
How many of us have sweated about making sure that we had discovered "God's ideal mate" for us as a life partner? Like I heard several times, there is one perfect mate for you in all the world, and if you are patient He will reveal her to you. I call bullshit on that one.There is no perfect mate for anyone. Even after being married for 38 years, my wife is thinking she would kind of like to see what it would be like to live life without being married. And she is free to make that call, since I dragged her over here 22 years ago (but then again, I could blame God for that double rainbow!).
Before I start to seriously ramble, I'll get back to my main point: it's great making decisions without having to worry about what God's will is, or how to discern it. It's great to simply rely on one's own power of rational thought, one's ability to consider many angles to a decision, and the results of making different various choices. And even after we make a decision, there's no cast iron guarantee that things will work out for the best. Even as a Christian and I thought I was doing what God wanted, I still experienced failure. So removing the subjective and mysterious component of discovering "God's will" has been nothing but a positive experience for me. In fact, my choices are probably more sound and reliable than they were before, because I put a lot more objective analysis into making decisions, and that makes a lot of difference. I highly recommend it!