Good thing it was parked.
Eighteen months ago, I wrote about attending Catholic school in Springfield, IL in the early 1970s. My classes had been taught by nuns, daily church attendance was mandatory, and "religion" had been a required class, presently as seriously as history or math. Sometimes religion was taught in the classroom, other times lessons were given in the church, itself (where the stations of the cross provided fitting visual aids). During class, we watched Catholic films, made "stained glass" out of crayons & wax paper, and listened to Father Rick tell us stories from the Bible - like Jesus turning water into wine, or Joshua stopping the sun. Being young, we took in every story and accepted every explanation - no matter how ridiculous. And by "ridiculous" I mean stories like Noah's Ark, the parting of the Red Sea, or Jesus feeding the crowd at Woodstock with just a few loaves of Wonder bread. Forgive me for asking, but don't such Bible tales sound just as unlikely as the "rainbows & unicorns" within North Korea's official biographies of its leaders? Didn't Kim Jong-Il attempt to solve his country's starvation by breeding giant rabbits? Jesus gave us carbs, Kim gave us protein...makes one wonder if the two dear leaders played on the same team.
QUICK SIDE NOTE: On the subject of ridiculous, I've always thought the resurrection to be especially hard to believe. BUT if by chance it wasn't, could we PLEASE put Joan Rivers' body in a cave for three days? I mean, before Melissa strips it of jewels? I'll pray to Jesus, the Kims or L. Ron Hubbard...hell, I'll high-five anyone who can raise her from the dead. Who keeps Betty White alive? Which deity is responsible for Aretha's heart not exploding? What keeps Keith Richards animated? I'll even sit in a minivan with a rosary, if that's what it takes to bring my favorite comedienne back. Can we talk, God? Can we? Can we, please? Sigh...
All jokes aside, I'm serious about God being like the Force. Forgive the geek reference, but Obi-Wan describes the Force as this: "It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together." I like that description a lot - at least in how it describes the common spiritual bond that every planet shares - but I also see it as going even further, acknowledging the higher power that I believe is God. Chuckling...Space God. A being that once fed five thousand worlds with just a few scraps of asteroid. He also walked on Waterworld, too...after parting the red spot on Jupiter.
Well, whoever - or whatever - is watching from above, I still find myself praying to you almost every day. And maybe "praying" isn't the right word...maybe "talking" is better, acknowledging your existence. When you've grown up with religion, it's hard not to pray - even during moments of sobering agnosticism. It's not implausible that the galaxy is connected by a consciousness we've yet to understand...but breaking free from our Earth-centric religious will take a courage that most don't have right now.
Maybe that's what the grandma in the minivan was praying for!