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What if?

By ByronFish --

I didn't 'come to Jesus' until I was 15 and after 5 years of drug and alcohol abuse, but it didn't take long before I learned to associate that Jiminy Cricket in my conscience and certain emotions with 'The Voice of God'. Throughout my adult life I've had many encounters with that Still Small Voice and two years ago at age 44 it almost sent me to the insane asylum.

ReminisceImage by Astig!! via Flickr

That was what caused me to question everything I believed about God, the bible, the church, religion, science, the conscience, etc. It turned out to be the final nail in my superstitious coffin (although the corpse occasionally knocks from within begging me to get a crowbar and help him escape so he can torment once again...wink, wink:)

My wife and I married while still teenagers and she has been my bedrock for almost 30 years now. 2 1/2 years ago she took a 10 day cruise while I stayed home and grew extremely lonely without her. Although I went to work each day she was gone, I still couldn't shake the worrying question that went through my mind 'What would I do if something happened to her and she never made it back?' It started as just a simple question...many people have that question go through their minds when someone they love is absent for a short time, but with my over active imagination it led to a sense of worry.

I found things to do around the house to escape my obsession over my wife, but before I knew it I was missing meals, not sleeping well and within just a few days I was not eating at all and sleeping only about 30 minutes a night. Being lonely, hungry and having no sleep I soon starting 'hearing' that Still Small Voice in a loud way. Not the audible way, but that deep sense that I always associated with The Voice of God.

Soon I would lay awake in bed and reason with that Voice, I would imagine that Voice was making deals with me. Some of these deals had to do with me being able to accept the "What if my wife never made it back to me?" question. When I shared what was going on with a few of my Christian friends they encouraged me and some even shared that they too had similar experiences of this God awareness. Some explained their experience as a 'Time of Great Clarity" when everything made sense and things just clicked.

Within days I was doing some strange shit. I was sending alarming emails and text messages to people and even in the middle of the night when I thought this God was urging me to do so. Some people laughed, some took it to heart and a few were worried about me, but I considered the worriers less spiritual and lacking what I now had.

One morning at about 6am I showed up on the associate pastor's doorstep (he lives 2 houses away) and woke him, his wife and an out of town guest so I could tell him what God wanted me to relay to him. Instead of being reprimanded for this, I was kindly listened to and encouraged to keep paying attention to these 'revelations' I was having (and these are NOT pentecostal Christians). I left there feeling I had a common bond with these folk, a bond I didn't have before and what I was experiencing was what others who are considered more spiritual than myself had also experienced. I was starting to think they walked around every day listening to this same Still Voice that I was now in tune with.

I'm going to make a very long story short... When my wife got back from her cruise I was a 'new man' and it scared the hell out of her (and later I found out my three adult sons also). I had so many stories to tell her. I met strangers I thought were messengers from God, I invited a homeless man to live with us, I walked through a bad part of town one night and was surrounded by a bunch of thugs who wanted to beat on me, but didn't and I almost walked off my 17 year job.

It was this particular experience and the frightening potential consequences that caused me to re-evaluate everything I believed about God, mysticism and religion. I wonder if there is any scientific data that correlates poor hungry societies with the rise of mysticism and 'god awareness'? I wonder how many 'holy books', scriptures, prophecies, etc. were produced by lonely, hungry, sleepless nomads staring into the sky wondering "What if?"