“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” – Arthur C. Clarke
Cycle 1: Everyone is gone. After the major computer failure, we determined that the best course of action was to escape via the jettison pods. I, as the failsafe officer, have been chosen to stay behind and try to breathe life back into our spaceship Ulysses. The closest space station is more than 6 months away. Unfortunately, the navigation system is offline as well as the propulsion system. The ship is moving at a slow rate of speed but with no idea of direction. I have been able to reboot the life support system, so I have ample food, water, and air. If by chance, I’m moving in the right direction I may be rescued in a few months. If not, God only knows how long I’ll be out here.
Cycle 6: I should have paid better attention to the star charting lesson. Looking out into this vastness is beautiful. But, it gives me no comfort. I know it should show me the way home. All I see are pinholes in the vast darkness. I wonder sometimes what God was thinking as he laid these stars out. Did He know they would be stared at in wonder? Did He know that one day we would leave our little home in this vastness and venture out into the great unknown? I wonder.
Cycle 10: The quiet is getting to me. I don’t think I’ve spoken a word out loud in over three days. I miss conversation. It’s funny, you don’t think about not talking when you are around people. Even when you don’t talk, you can start talking to others at any time. Now that I’m alone I see how that is missed. It’s only been ten days and I’m already confused about time. Being alone messes with my idea of time. Is this closer to how God views time? Alone, wherever He is sitting outside of time? Does He also go days without talking? Does He miss communication? Oh, to be able to talk to God. One on one. Ask Him all the questions you could. What would that be like?
Cycle 14: I AM ALONE. No idea where I am. No idea what direction I’m moving. God, if you are there, help me. Show me a sign that I’m going in the right direction
-G- I am here. I am always here. I am always speaking. You, very rarely, listen.
-RJ- I must be going crazy. I’m hearing voices. I probably need some sleep.
-G- You may be going crazy, but I am still here, and I am speaking to you. You have finally come to a state that you can hear me. You have finally removed yourself from the clutter that was blocking our conversation.
The quiet has calmed your mind enough to hear me. You, of course, could always do this, but you were too busy to notice.
-RJ- How do I know this is you, God? How do I know that this isn’t my mind playing tricks on me? Give me a sign so I might know it is you. Show me something only You could do. Show me something to convince me.
-G- Why does it always have to be this way? I’m not a parlor trick. I’m not a cheap magician. Oh, by the way, it’s never enough, either. Make the dew only on the grass. Make the dew only on the fabric. Make all the traffic lights green. Let my favorite team win. And on and on. Then you want another sign and then another sign. Listen to your inner voice. If you just listen, really listen, you will know. I have built that into you. But over the eons, you have been taught to mistrust it. You have been taught that your inner voice is inherently evil. That it is twisted and not to be trusted. That, RJ, is a lie. I created you. I created your desire to want and need truth. That inner voice is my creation. That inner voice is your connection to me.
-RJ- But, how do I know that is you? What if it’s just my thoughts deceiving me? What if I’m not hearing from you at all? What if it’s just my messed up thoughts?
-G- Let me tell you a story. There was a young girl of about three. She and I would talk for hours. She would ask me questions and I would answer them. She would tell jokes and I would laugh. Her father was an alcoholic and at some point decided to take his anger out on his young daughter. He would beat her and tell her she was horrible, useless and ugly. At first, she would ask me about this and I would tell her it wasn’t true. I would tell her she was worthy, needed and beautiful. But something started to happen. Over time, she stopped believing me. She would hear my words but say that they were wrong. As time went on, she no longer heard my truths about who she was. The lies she had been told over and over again began to twist her perception of truth. Over time these lies overwhelmed her to the point that her voice, my voice, was distorted and began to align with the lies. I was still telling her every day that she was worthy, needed and beautiful but what she heard was she was horrible, useless and ugly.
-RJ- So, why didn’t you step in and stop it? Why do you always ignore us when we are in the worst pain? Why even let these horrible people exist?
-G- You are looking at this all wrong. You think I’m some God up in heaven manipulating all you humans. You think of me as a puppet master. The truth is quite the opposite. I need people to intercede. I need people to care. I need people to realize that they are the miracles. You see it every day. You see it all around you. This idea of free will has been so distorted that you completely miss the point. Your free will isn’t to acknowledge that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Your free will is to join in perfect love. If you can do that, you will start to see people as they are. Not broken but wounded. If people continue to see themselves as broken, they lose faith. If instead, they see themselves as wounded, they can see a way to fix each other’s wounds. It’s a tired phrase but is worth repeating. Perfect love casts out fear. The base of most wounds is fear. Fear of not being enough. Fear of looking the fool.
-RJ- I’m not sure I’m buying it. I still don’t see why you can’t just snap your fingers and make everything better. I don’t understand why you ignore the suffering.
-G- This question goes a little deeper. We can save it for next time. Just know that you are not alone here. Know that I AM with you. We have a lot of time, and I am sure you have a lot of questions. Let’s pace ourselves.
-RJ- So, I’ll be hearing from you again?
Cycle 14 (cont.) And, just like that, the voice is gone. Was it God? Not sure. I guess I’ll see as time goes on.