This is the second installment in the Faith in God: I Has It series. It'll last as long as my conversation with the lady on Jezebel lasts. And I might add in other parts. Who knows? Donavenesque's reply was short than I had thought, so her reply, and my return reply, are both in this post.
You and I disagree that God doesn't give people anything they can't handle. I see plenty of people getting more problems than anyone can handle. (Which begs the question: why aren't I doing more to help??) I personally don't believe God hands out suffering and favors, and if She did, I wouldn't like Her very much. I'd be like, Damn, God, what did Haiti do to you?
I'm not saying this to talk you out of your beliefs, though! And we absolutely agree that God can help us deal with bad stuff, in one way or another.
And I think that's a really interesting point about being more careful with your health if you feel your life is precious to God. (You've just inspired me to go ahead and make an appointment today to get a lump in my breast checked out, even though I know it's just another benign cyst like I always get...)
Some of what I say may contradict what I've said before. This is normal. It's not a contradiction in my mind; different circumstances have different explanations, and it's never an all-or-nothing explanations.
"You and I disagree that God doesn't give people anything they can't handle. I see plenty of people getting more problems than anyone can handle. (Which begs the question: why aren't I doing more to help??)"
Where's the line between not being able to handle something, not being willing to handle something (which includes asking for help), and realising you weren't meant to handle it? If you come to me, wanting me to remove your cyst (yes, go get it checked out, because the one time you don't is when it'll be nasty!), I can't do that because I'm not trained. I can't handle it, but I can see it as a tip that maybe I do need to be able to handle it, and then maybe I enroll in med school. Or maybe I don't help, even if you really need me to cowgirl up, open the Wikipedia article on breast surgery, and dig it out of you, because I'm afraid of failing or I think boobs are icky or whatever. And sometimes you need to fail in order to see what you're doing wrong, or to see what you need to do in order to not fail again.
I don't believe that humans were made to be perfect. I do believe that we were made to improve. You don't improve if you don't fail once in a while.
"I personally don't believe God hands out suffering and favors, and if She did, I wouldn't like Her very much. I'd be like, Damn, God, what did Haiti do to you?"
Do you consider God as being personally involved in every tiny aspect of life on Earth? Or do you view God as stepping in once in a while, but largely, having given us directions and free will, stepping back and lettings us get on getting on? I take the second view, personally.
The problem with an omniscient being, one that transcends time and space, is that, well, they transcend time and space. In the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, when Death looks at a creature, he sees it at every stage in its life, from embryo to infant to adult to elderly. He transcends time and space, but that doesn't mean he can, or chooses to, interfere. Which he does, actually, a lot, but that's a different conversation.
I'm still pondering the handing out of favours and suffering. I'm leaning toward that all happening after you've lived your life. I'm thinking that it makes more sense, to my mortal brain of severely limited understanding, that God gives us directions and the free will to do what we please, and then tallies it all up after we're dead. The Qur'an talks about good deeds that live on and continue to benefit a person - righteous children, being prayed for, and charity that outlasts them. Everything you do in life, and all the good and bad you continue to influence in the world after your death, are all taken into consideration on the Day of Judgment.
Sometimes I view God as a scientist - God's started this experiment on Earth and doesn't really interfere because we've got free will, and if God interferes too much, it skews the results.
Also, Monday post FTW! Let's see which other day this week I update. Those will be my update days. For all 27 of you that care - and much love that you do! :D
Welcome to my blog!
This blog is an honest look at what life is like for this particular American convert to Islam. We're taught in Islam to cover our sins, to not air them, for fear of lessening the severity of sinning. In this blog, I may relate past indiscretions from time to time. This isn't to make light of them, but in the interest of educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike as to the realities of life as an American convert, I present my mistakes honestly. I make no excuses for them, nor do I claim that they were okay to make. I am not perfect, and I make no pretenses as to that. If others can learn from my past, know that Islam, and religion in general, is open for people no matter what mistakes they've made, then I will gladly air my sins when needed.