TITLE: A Higher Choice Part 1 6/19/14
By Richard McCaw
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A Higher Choice
Spanish author, Miguel de Cervantes, wrote perhaps the most influential literary work to emerge from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish Literary canon, ("The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of la Mancha"). Don Quijote is a tale of a retired country gentleman in his fifties, obsessed with books of chivalry, who decides to seek adventure as a knight-errant. However, his adventures are highly imaginary and so ludicrous that he appears to other people to have lost his mind from little sleep and food and so much reading. He arrives at an inn which he believes to be a castle and thinks the innkeeper is the lord of the castle. His adventures begin with his attack on windmills he believes to be ferocious giants.
Alex Mullings was the grandson of the chiropractor who rented us the cottage on Trevennion Park Road in Kingston. One Saturday night I attended Alexâ€™s birthday party. The weather was quite warm and people were eating, drinking and carrying on in the big house. As I sat contemplating in a corner, I asked myself, â€śWas my faith mere fantasy? Had I been brainwashed? Is the Bible mere fantasy, the product of imaginative minds?â€ť
I had come across a book at someoneâ€™s house entitled â€śThe Battle for the Human mind.â€ť Just flipping a few pages almost devastated me like an exploding bomb. What I read struck deep into my spirit. â€śBorn in China, you would follow Buddha or Confucius. In India, youâ€™d be Hindu or Moslem. In the west, youâ€™d be Christian.â€ť That sounded logical. God had nothing to do with it!
Frightened and confused, for a brief moment the idea flashed through my mind, â€śDoes God really exist? Is the Bible fact or fiction? After all, everything I knew had come through my five senses!â€ť The eighteenth century Enlightenment had spread a completely secular worldview everywhere. Men seemed to worship manâ€™s ability to rationalize everything instead of believing in God. Advances in science had fanned the flame and the church was under scientific scrutiny. Faith in science was like a new religion! Some said, â€śGod created the world but had become uninvolved.â€ť Others declared, â€śThere is no God or gods!â€ť Still, others doubted, â€śWe do not know if there is a God!â€ť Then, there were those who confidently asserted, â€śWe cannot know if there is a God!â€ť
However, I could not get it out of my head that â€śLack of evidence to prove that God does not exist or to merely say that He does not exist requires a certain degree of faith. Atheism was obviously another faith system, a kind of religion that took the place of organized religious thought.â€ť
The more I thought about it, the more unreasonable it seemed. To categorically say from your limited knowledge and experience, â€śThere is no God!â€ť you would have to be omniscient, and also omnipresent. That meant being everywhere in the universe, and possessing all knowledge about everything and everyone in the entire universe to make so strong a declaration. You would have to be God to say that there is no God.3 That was obviously preposterous!
Quiet and reserved, I never mixed well with strangers, nor was I like other boys, who dangled words and soft phrases like enticing lollipops before the opposite sex. Feeling out of place at the party, I watched from a distance as young people mingled and paired up against the background of loud popular music.
At that same hour, every week, Kingston Youth for Christ held its outreach to teens and young adults at the Coke Methodist Church Hall in downtown Kingston. Meetings which began 7:30 p.m. on Saturday nights usually finished by 9:30 p.m. I hardly missed a Saturday night and I thought about the great meeting I was missing.
Suddenly, in the midst of my deep contemplations, Alex approached me and said, â€śCome along, Richard, why donâ€™t you dance?â€ť In that moment, if I were like other teenagers, I could have seized the opportunity to escape from the confusion of reasoning it all out and abandoned the idea of faith.
I shook my head. â€śSomehow,â€ť I thought, â€śThis is not my crowd.â€ť He left me and went to his other friends. Suddenly, I slipped out, ran across the lawn, whizzed passed mango trees and flower beds, squeezed under the barbed wire fence, and jumped down on to the cement sidewalk on Half-Way-Tree Road. I had escaped the noise and so-called fun they were having. I had made my choice. â€śBlessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night!â€ť I was going after God!
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