I remember back in high school and college, and even after I played men’s slow pitch softball, it was common practice for our team to ask God to help us win the game. Interestingly enough, recent research says that 48 percent of Americans believe athletes of faith are rewarded with good health and success. After each pregame prayer, I was left with the question: Does God care who wins the game?
I recently posed the question “Does God care?” to a group of spiritually based students. I found the answers quite interesting:
• Of course, God cares.
• Why wouldn’t God care?
• God is a loving, caring God.
• God cares for us in ways we don’t even know about.
What does God (He, She) care about? I asked:
• God cares about me!
• God cares about what’s right.
• God cares about justice.
Does God care who wins the game?:
• Uh … well … no.
If God ready does care, why doesn’t God end suffering?:
• Suffering is ultimately a choice we make, we create our lives either consciously by our thought and actions or unconsciously by default.
Does God Love?:
• Yes, God is unconditional love!
If God is unconditional Love, does God love the terrorist more or less than you?:
• (Silence, bewildered faces.)
If God’s love is unconditional Love, does God care for one thing more than another? Or one person more than another?
Let’s explore this a little further:
Does a snowflake care where it falls and lands?
Does water care whether it is in a pond, a lake, a river?
Can we ask a tree to act like the wind?
Can we ask a dog to roar like a lion?
Can I ask you to be like a bear and hibernate all winter?
“Of course not” might be the answer to these questions, “How ridiculous to ask these questions!” one might say.
We can’t ask some thing to be or act like something that it is not.
If God loves unconditionally, we cannot ask God to:
• Choose sides in a football game.
• Choose side in a divorce.
• Choose sides in a war.
• Protect us because we are part of a particular tradition.
• Love the thief less than God loves me
• Love the rapist less than God loves me
• Love the shooter less than God loves me.
• Love the other team less than God loves our team.
Commonly, people project their humanness onto their concept of God. In ancient times God was considered the old man with a white beard in the sky who rewarded and punished based on his mood (this is known as an anthropomorphic god). In modern times, many people have let go of this belief. But God continues to be asked to do or be something other then what God is.
The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
— Lao Tsu-Tao Te Ching
For our purposes we will attempt to name the nameless. What is God? God is pure consciousness, pure awareness. It does not decide to be or do anything it is not; that is an impossibility. As God sees Itself in all of its creation, Love flows. So, we can say God is Love. It is the nature of God to be unconditional Love. To try to ask that this unconditional love be conditional is like asking sand not to be sand or a tree not to leaf.
Our question “Does God care?” is a bit of a trick question. It should not be a question at all. God does not decide to care for this and not care for that. God does not choose one team over another. God goes not decide who suffers and who is rewarded. It can’t! It is not its nature. It only loves, unconditionally.
Celebrate, my friends. God’s unconditional love means that there is no judgment, no punishment, and always love. You are always loved and knowing that brings a deep inner peace.
— Jim Hatton is author (under the name James Apollonius Alan) of “A Spiritual Master’s Guide to Life,” available on Amazon or at www.spiritualmaster.co. Send 600- to 700-word articles to Sally McKirgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.