I used to think thoughts like: “If this fantastically painted sunset is God’s throw rug His throne room must be truly something to behold”, “Just look at all the colors on that mountainside in the fall, it’s as if God painted each leaf with His own fingertip”. My every thought about nature and life was encompassed by God and His hand in it’s creation. Naturally when I began to doubt I wondered if I could ever see nature and life with the same amazement and wonder as I had. Would it have the same meaning? Would there be a point to our existence? Moreover would there be a point to my existence?
Some of those who enter the Dark Night of the Soul have come away nihilists. They feel empty, depressed, unfulfilled, and unsatisfied. I can understand why, when everything you were before was ensconced in belief in YAHWEH, nihilism would set in. With your worldview shattered you ponder the meaning of it all. Agnosticism/Atheism leaves something…well…missing. Just like any other habitual practice, the void left unfilled creates a vacuum, a black hole, an empty space. I can see why many who travel this road have lost their moral bearings without their God to hold them accountable. This is the road I began to travel. This is the route which can lead to self-destruction.
I did not get very far down this road when I realized something very important. My life has the meaning I choose to give it. It has no less meaning without a God. That empty void is filled with family, friends and love – real love that I choose to give, not fake, forced love that I’m commanded to give – and living. It is filled with watching my adorable three-year-old nephew and my precious Carmen and Alison grow and learn. It is filled with work and travel and future plans. It is filled with living in the moment.
As for accountability; oh, I’m still accountable – not to an invisible God who will smite me for the least infraction of the rules – to my fellow man and to future generations. While I was caught up in my God I didn’t give much thought to preserving this beautiful planet for future generations. I was going to be raptured at any moment. Jesus was going to reign for a thousand years and after that there would be a new heaven and a new earth and this earth was going to be thrown into the inferno. This beautiful earth: