A recent event really tested my ability to avoid seeking supernatural assistance. My eight-year old broke her arm on the playground. And as she lay in the hospital with a morphine drip to manage her pain before surgery, I felt nearly helpless. Nothing I could do physically could help her and while I'm sure she was happy I was with her and supporting her as a parent should, I felt totally useless.
This, of course, led me nearly down the path of praying to god that maybe he could pitch in a hand and get us out of this mess. Having been raised a Christian and being taught that asking god for guidance and assistance was perfectly natural in times of crisis, I felt this overwhelming urge to cry out "please, just let everything be ok."
I soon realized this was a fleeting, momentary lapse and came to my senses. But I'll admit, that in that moment of helplessness, with seemingly no where to turn, I nearly did what I had been raised to do and what countless others had also been taught to do--invoke, plead, beg, pray and implore to the Almighty to just fix it. I began to marvel at my own near-miss with the superstitious.
It amazes me that when we can't think of anything else, when we've exhausted all that intellect seems to provide, we go one more step, reach into the mystical and fantastic and ask god to step in. We hit bottom and with nowhere else to go, instead of stopping, we leap--a desperate leap of faith into the abyss of religion.
For my part, though, logic, soon reared its ugly, but ultimately necessarily clear head. It dictated that if there is a god, it could have stepped in to stop the entire episode and prevented my daughter from falling on the playground. But that didn't happen. Therefore, such a god either let it happen (perhaps to punish a sinner like me or for some other unknown cosmic purpose), in which case such a god is a sadistic tyrant, or it couldn't stop it from happening, in which case such as god is useless so far as deities go.
The internal debate quickly subsided as I came to my senses, noted that there is no purpose behind these unfortunate events and that nature or whatever the stuff of the universe is made of isn't out to get me; it isn't even aware of me. This is not because I am insignificant or unworthy of note; it's because there is no such thing as cosmic awareness.
Then I spoke to the doctor to better understand her injuries and got a good prognosis. In getting control of the situation I soon realized I didn't need the crutch of a cross.
As she has started that remarkable recovery only available to resilient eight-year-olds, I look back on those first couple of days as a test of my lack of faith. And I've learned that in times of crisis, hopelessness breeds superstition. And that leads to all sorts of dangers, not the least of which are the religious predators waiting in the apses to take advantage of that moment of weakness.
As I've reflected on this, it has filled me with new resolve--hence this blog. I've also resolved that when the next crisis arises (as I'm sure one inevitably will), I'll take a breath, bow my head, clasps my hands together, and call on ... my lawyer. At least then, I'll know I'm being preyed upon.