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I Choose Love

My life changed while I was lying on the roof of a beat up Chevy van looking up at the stars and drinking beer. I'd been living as an atheist for years though I would've denied the title. I preferred the term agnostic. I thought shrugging off truth as impossible to know was the intellectually superior position.

You see, while many atheists may look down on Christians, agnostics look down on all Christians and atheists. Poor Christians, on the other hand, have nobody to look down on but it seems to me that may perhaps be the point after all.

My friends and I rode from bar to bar every night of the week in that old van. That night it was parked in a dirt lot outside a bar. Like I said, I was drinking but that was nothing different for me. It wasn't so much as drinking "again" but "still." I came out to the parking lot and climbed up onto the top of the van and laid down. I would've laid down inside the van but it stunk too bad, and in case one of my buddies brought a girl back to the van I didn't want to intrude.

It was a Sunday night. I remember staring up at the stars and it hit me that that was all there was. Just matter, shifting in form. And we were simply accidents that occurred during a blip in time. Looking back I think it odd that that realization didn't horrify me at all. But it didn't. It just was. Accidental blips don't get offended by realizing they're accidental blips, I guess. At least this one didn't.

But as I lay there something else came unbidden into my mind. It occurred to me that either the world is an accident or it was made out of love. The possibility that creation was a conscious act, a completely free giving of love puzzled and astounded me.

As I lay there considering that, it became clear to me that a choice was necessary. I realized that in order to be intellectually honest with myself I could no longer pretend that the answers to the big questions weren't shrug worthy. Either the world was an accident or it was made as an expression of God's love for each of us. It seemed to me that the answer to that question wasn't just a matter of rearranging the furniture of my life, it would necessarily affect every action in my life.

So there it was. I laid there staring up at the stars for I have no idea how long. But it was all the time I needed. At some point in the night I chose love.
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*subhead*Over indifference.*subhead*

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Elizabeth said...

What a beautiful testimony. Amazing Grace. It reminded me somewhat of C.S. Lewis's conversion moment, though a long time coming, on a bus. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

"But as I lay there something else came unbidden into my mind. It occurred to me that either the world is an accident or it was made out of love."

That's exactly it, isn't it? The realization that there is a God comes is a totally RATIONAL process, a conclusion based on facts, not just a vague feeling. It is a conclusion based on ALL the Zillions of facts that you accumulate during your life, a synthesis of all the available evidence. And that is exactly it - either it is random or it is LOVE, an amazing conclusion, but that is where the evidence leads you.

Sophia's Favorite said...

Christians get to look down on atheists and agnostics, we're simply, objectively, smarter than they are (or at least we hold less irrational positions).

We're just not allowed to be unkind to them just because they're dumber than us. Christian charity is not something you earn, and even if it were, intellect wouldn't be the criterion.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. "Less irrational positions" - the least irrational of which is that some invisible man in the sky exists to watch over us all and forgive our sins. Yup. Entirely rational.

Laura Quigley said...

Beautiful testimony, Matt. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is a keeper and I will gladly share. God bless.

Sophia's Favorite said...

@anonymous: See, this is what I'm talking about. Christians don't conceive of God as "an invisible man", and do not think he lives in the sky.

You are essentially in the position of one who has a very strong belief about whether unicorns exist...but does not know what "horse" or "horn" mean, and cannot count to one.

Also? You aren't smart enough to sign a combox. I admit that you're doing a great job stealth-marketing for eugenics, but you're off-topic.

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