We use religion to help us deal with the things that are too great to handle on our own. We don’t know where to turn but we feel the need to cry out for help. We’re too stubborn or proud to ask our family and friends, so we call on God. a cheating husband, a lying child; God help me forgive. We don’t ask for advice. We don’t ask for support. We ask for God.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. It’s the mantra for those with problems beyond their control. We don’t all believe in our own ability to overcome crippling adversity, so we call on God. A traumatizing childhood, a loss of life or limb; God help me to get through. We’re afraid to look weak. We don’t know where to look at all. We look to God.
God grant me the courage to change the things I can. We know that something has to be different but we don’t want to feel like we’re doing it alone. We need to feel protected and no one, no matter how much they love us, can protect us from everything, so we call on God. A teenage mother, a battered wife; God give me a sign. We need to believe everything happens for a reason. We need to believe we have a destiny. We need to believe in God.
And the wisdom to know the difference. God is a coping mechanism, and for many people, a necessary one. We cannot be judged for relying on that tool anymore than we can be criticized for using a different set. None of us can know what goes on in another’s mind. Call on God. Call on Bob. Who cares? Isn’t the most important question this: Why aren’t we calling on each other?
The wisdom of human experience is beyond comprehension. If we must call the collectve knowledge of everyone who has ever lived by the name of God in order to get people to listen, so be it. We cannot allow a name to separate us from the idea that our strength lies within ourselves and those around us. It is their knowledge and experience that will help us live better lives. If we don’ ask for it, we are already in hell, and no God can save us.