The Journey series
I was raised Anglican and, as a youth, wanted to be a priest. As a teen, the devastation I saw in my own family would not allow me to accept divorce as part of God’s plan. As I understand Anglican teaching, marriage endures until the death of the husband, the wife, or ‘the relationship’. Surely, that relationship is the marriage. This ‘third death’, then, amounts to saying that marriage endures until it doesn’t. I couldn’t accept that part of Anglican faith. If that is wrong, how much is wrong? Everything? I could no longer be a priest so, when I turned twenty, I moved to Fremont, California to study at Ohlone College. During my first Christmas there I found myself all alone. Everyone I knew in California was busy with family and friends; my family and friends were all back in Vancouver. The angst of that isolation led me to seriously ponder why I was – why anything was. Why be?
I read voraciously; religion, science, and philosophy. I found one common thread; stated in physics as, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”; in Judeo-Christian tradition as, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap”; and in eastern thought as some variation of karma. Even some rather rough characters I met claimed, “What goes around comes around,” to justify their brutality. I decided to embrace that idea. That led me to consider the corollary. Every action must be a reaction to a previous action. Was there a first action? What was it? I wrestled with that thought for days until I realized that time is finite; it’s measurable. No matter which units of time one chooses, those units must be stacked on a beginning to reach now. So, what was before the beginning?
I could find two propositions, everything rose spontaneously from nothing or everything was created by an entity greater than all that is. I can’t believe our universe arose from nothing so, by default, must accept it was created. Once I found that beginning, my despair evaporated. Everything exists by the creator’s desire; I am because my creator wants me to be. Of all the possible beings my creator could create, my creator chose me! I now look at everything around me as a key to unlock the mystery of the nature of my creator. My life has become a journey of discovery and appreciation.
Peter T Elliott