by Ron Holland
I believe GOD, the Creator of our Universe and all that we behold each waking day, has given us the tools, talent and tenacity to ferret through life’s arduous journey. The question is often asked: Does the God of scripture intervene in the affairs of Man?
Theologians and Philosophers have wrestled with this question for hundreds of years, especially as it relates to human suffering and the evil that pervades our world. Does GOD, the Creator of our Universe, violate the laws of physics and interfere with nature to find us a parking space, or hit the lottery, help a football team win a game; nudge a truck from careening into a bus load of church goers; halt a tornado from barreling down on a family huddled in a basement; heal a child from a dreaded disease; or stop a rapist, murderer or child molester; prevent a holocaust, genocide or the enslavement of an entire race of people?
If the God of scripture does intervene in the affairs of Man, especially in the aforementioned situations, it would mean that he’s partial to some people and not others. To say that the God of scripture is sovereign and does what he wants in these circumstances is both disingenuous and sanctimonious. It’s beneath GOD’S character. It contradicts the notion of partiality. We all know there are victims of these tragic events that also called on the God of scripture to intervene and was met with complete and utter silence.
I’ve personally stopped asking if the God of scripture intervenes in the affairs of Man. All of the pain, heartache, despair; sorrow, loss, disappointment; joy, happiness, triumph, peace and serenity that I’ve experienced and witnessed helped me to arrive at this conclusion: GOD, the Creator of our Universe and all that we behold each waking day, has planted deep within our DNA, the molecular structure of our cells, our genetics and the limbic system in the cerebrum of our brain, the tools to navigate life and our physical world.
GOD does not have to peel back the ceiling of our Universe or part the clouds in the sky to find us a parking space or nudge a football to the center of a goal post. To me that cheapens GOD. And in a world full of rich diversity, traditions and need on an unbelievably large scale, I don’t believe that GOD violates the laws of physics or tinker with nature just to play favorites.
What of Prayer? First, prayer is a natural inclination of all human beings. Prayer reminds us that we’re intimately and spiritually connected to the
Creator of ALL of humanity. I don’t embrace the notion that one group or religion has exclusive access to GOD. Life is universally connected and ALL of life is connected to GOD.
Now, our prayer is a manifestation of the physical, emotional, biological, and I dare say, spiritual yearning we have for the Creator. It’s also the interconnectedness we all have to each other. We’re all intricately tied regardless of race, ethnicity, culture and tradition. In fact, all of life – whether it’s a leaf in a tree, a bird on a branch or a newly born star in the distant regions of our solar system, life is the connective tissue that binds us to existence. This too is the genius of GOD.
When you examine prayer beyond its religious implications, there is a physiological consequence to the action. Triggered during prayer is an increase in activity in the Frontal Lobe and decrease of activity in the Parietal Lobe of our brain – which is known as the “god” parts of the brain. This ingenious structure of our body was the gateway in which I believe GOD already “intervened.” At the moment of our creation GOD fashioned and tooled humanity to survive and persevere in this physical existence.
GOD has prepared us to physically, mentally and emotionally survive a world fraught with so many challenges. GOD equipped us to respond to tragedy, turmoil and all of the grief that bedevil mankind. So as we traverse life’s arduous journey, there’s a function in our brain, chemical reactions in our body and other physiological and emotional activity that causes us to act. The regions of the brain – the Amygdala, Hypothalamus, Thalamus and Hippocampus are all activated providing us the physical interconnectedness to address the needs within our prayers. So when someone says GOD answered a prayer, it makes perfect sense because he provided all of us with the tools to address our needs.
What guides a surgeon during an operation on Aunt Nancy are the hands of a trained physician who responded to the human and spiritual interconnectedness that GOD buried deep within all of us. GOD does not have to lean over Heaven’s balcony, disrupt the fine-tuned and precise physics that governs our world to physically intervene during Aunt Nancy’s operation.