One of the most often-quoted difficulties people encounter when approaching Unification, or even Recognition, is "How can I believe in, or trust, a God who lets bad things happen to good people?" This question is phrased in all sorts of ways appropriate to the evidence-for-doubt that people encounter in their lives, or on TV. Many of you reading this will be grappling with your own variation on this theme.

It would perhaps be too smug to simply reply that "apparently, God isn't limited by the same ideas of good and evil that we labor under". It's true, but isn't the sort of answer that will encourage us to trust this apparently unpredictable Being with our own welfare.

For a start, let's remember that there's "good" in the world too; health, wealth and happiness, as well as sickness, poverty and sadness. If we're going to stick with our original idea, that God is All-There-Is, then it follows that God "lets" this good stuff happen too.

Let's make an important distinction here, between God and Law. We can think of "God" as the Thing Itself, the essence or spirit or substance or energy back of everything. We can think of the "Law" as the Way It Works. "God" works according to "Law". We are perhaps most familiar with the Law as the law of causality, cause-and-effect. We also know it as the rule of "Like Attracts Like" or, as Jesus stated it, "As you believe, so it is done unto you." We could go on paraphrasing the Law for pages, but let's move on.

We have been generously endowed with access to (NOT full realization of) all of the divine attributes. This is the "gift of God", perfectly and completely given. We all partake of the same Being, the same Reality as everyone and everything in the universe does. However, our consciousness, our understanding, does not (yet) extend to the totality of who-we-Really-are. To put it bluntly, we're ignorant of our true nature and capability.

However, even in our ignorance, we have free will, and we are obliged to use it. We are compelled, paradoxically, to make free choices. Now, when we have freedom and ignorance, together with infinite potential, doesn't that just sound like the perfect recipe for... life as it is? Even with the best intentions for health, wealth and happiness, of course we make mistakes. This capacity for error has been called "sin", which is really an archaic archery term, meaning, "missing the mark". Another, more recent, interpretation of "sin" is "Self-Inflicted Nonsense". An unfortunately still common idea is that we are somehow (by the "Guy in the Sky"?) "punished for our sins".

Let's be clear here. God doesn't sit on high, judging us for the mistakes we make. That is left up to the Law. AND, we are not punished FOR our sins. We are punished BY them. No one is capriciously singled out for abuse by an arbitrary power intent on punishing "bad actors". Similarly, we are not rewarded for our successes, but by them.

In our creative freedom, we often set in motion trains of events, causally related, that end up biting us on the ass, so to speak, even though that wasn't our original intention. Usually, we learn through our actions and their lawful consequences, and we often learn faster through our mistakes than our successes. But we couldn't learn anything from our actions, "right" or "wrong", unless the universe responded to us in a consistently lawful way!

Nothing that we can do can "break the Law". The Law always holds. Our primitive ancestors had the same access to the Law as we do, but their understanding of it was less developed, certainly in the field of the physical sciences, for example. The same law that governs the functioning of airplanes and computers has been "in effect" since the dawn of our race, but our consciousness of it has only recently grown to the point that we can use it intentionally.

Someone may say, "Sure, that's all fine, but what about my wonderful friend who got killed by a drunk driver, or the innocent victims of hurricanes or floods? What "mistake" did they make?" These examples certainly appear to be terrible and meaningless. Any glib explanation would only trivialize the suffering of the victims and the grief of their survivors. When we consider cases like these we are confronted by our ignorance of what might be called "the big picture". All we can truthfully say is that we don't know.

But, even in our ignorance, we have the freedom to choose whether we will believe in evil forces that do terrible things to "innocent victims" or an infinite Good, freely available for our use that we only imperfectly comprehend. Does anybody still believe that death is the end?

It may be helpful, if somewhat humbling, to consider ourselves as little children learning to walk. We stumble and fall and weep bitter tears over our skinned shins, but we pick ourselves up and try it again. And we go on... to learn to run and dance and ride bicycles and drive cars and fly planes. Would we have been well-served if our great big parents had picked us up and said, "There, there, little one... you don't have to learn how to walk. I'll carry you everywhere, forever."? No. Our parents believed we could do it, and, even though we may have doubted our own potential from time to time, we DID do it. And here we are... walking, talking, and using computers.

So, let's remember that "God" lets "good" stuff happen too. And let's remember that God obeys the Law, just like we have to. In treatment, we're not "asking" God to do something for us. We're making free use of a Law that has been made available to us.

The wonderful truth of "the way IT works" is that "whatever we believe to be the truth, IS the truth... for each of us". To reiterate what Jesus said, "As you believe, so it is done unto you". If we believe that "life's a bitch and then you die"... so it is! The Law responds to our belief by giving us ample evidence to "prove" the "truth" of what we believe. If we believe we are "seekers", we will be rewarded by our belief with a life filled with mysteries to ponder. If we believe that we have to work hard for everything we get, we will be rewarded by endless opportunities for hard work. Similarly, if we believe we are immortal spirits having a learning experience in this transitory, human incarnation, we will live and learn and "die" and go on to further adventures.

The toughest aspect of changing what we believe, is to believe we can change! Let's be plain about it. Did we always believe what we believe now? NO! Therefore, we can change what we believe. How? By taking what you believe now and building on these truths. (Oh yes, they're truths... you believe them, right?) Don't give the energy of your attention to those ideas that you don't want to believe. As the old saying goes, "Plan for the future you want, not the one you fear." This is what we mean by turn away from the appearances, the momentary, transitory face of experience. Turn toward what you desire and what you want to believe. And, for heaven's sake, if it doesn't work the very first time you try it... try it again!

Author's Bio: 

Peter and Helen Evans are writers and workshop facilitators. They
are
founders of OneCenter, an organization devoted to the development of
human
potential. Please visit OneCenter's website at
"http://www.icomm.ca/onecntr/"