There’s a new television series called, “God Friended Me.” It’s an uplifting show about an atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a Facebook friend request from God. The weekly plot is a modern twist on the ancient question, “Is God real?”
I used to think lightning bolts would crash down upon me if I asked that question. But, as I’ve aged, I’ve realized there’s a holy tension between doubt and faith, and asking the question occasionally is an important part of coming to a deeper understanding about what we believe.
Years ago, I wrestled like Jacob with whether I believed God is real or just a figment of my imagination. I told my wife I was going to spend the night in our pop-up camper parked in the driveway, and wasn’t coming out until I resolved the question.
Around midnight, I had a conversation with God. It went something like this:
Me: God, are you real?
God: Seriously? Do we have to go down that road again? Okay. Let’s start by my asking you a few questions.
Who created the sun and the moon and the stars that awe you?
Me: You, I’d guess.
God: And the dog that loves you unconditionally—is he real?
Me: Yes. But God, I can’t touch you or see you face-to-face like I can my dog. So, how do I know you’re real?
God: Let me explain. Billions of years ago, I poured my Spirit of Love into matter. I became the Divine Artist and weaved my Infinite Generosity—the abundance of my love—into the tapestry of physical form.
I created people, plants, and animals. I wove my love into the tangible universe.
Whenever you see or experience love, you know I’m real, because I created the love that pours itself into the universe, into the physical world. And I communicate with you through the love and wisdom I place in your heart.
Realize, you can’t know me solely by thinking. I am beyond human comprehension. But, you can know me by experiencing and loving.
As I pondered these words, the tent canvas didn’t part like the Red Sea. An angel didn’t appear. A flash of lightening didn’t strike.
Instead, as I gazed out the camper window, the Big Dipper cascaded its brilliance across the night sky filling me with awe. Orion’s Belt called me to deep wonder. Something or someone had to have created all this magnificence.
In that moment, there was a simple knowingthat rose up in my heart. The ordinary became extraordinary. I experienced the love of the Creator who splashed beauty across the black night sky as if he were saying, “I love you. I delight in you, and I painted this sky for you and all my creation.”
Just then, I heard God whisper in my heart, “Come on man. It’s me. Stop trying to understand it all. Just receive it.”
“I call you Beautiful,” God continued. “And you, what do you call me?”
I smiled, touched my hand to my heart, and whispered back, “Real.”
—brian j plachta
In this fast-paced, often overwhelming world, it’s important to develop life-giving practices that teach us how to slow down and care for ourselves. Taking time to focus on our breath—both during quiet times of meditation and throughout the day—restores our balance and inner peace.