Fight the Good Fight. On Second Thought:

August 27, 2008
By Cameron Smith, Knoxville, TN

A couple of nights ago I had gone out to dinner with some friends around 10:00 p.m. At this dinner, I drank an excessive amount of caffeine begetting a death match between my bed sheets and I throughout the night. Time, as it so annoyingly does, taunted me until I unplugged the alarm clock, only to plug it back in a half hour later. The clock seemed to smile victoriously at it glared the number 2 across my walls. I decided I would take a drive, and simply go about town until I fell asleep at the wheel. At this point in the night, anything would have been better than the jail cell that my once so lovely bed had become.

As I drove through the darkness, with no music to occupy my mind through my nocturnal stupor, I could not help but to think; and when all that I can do is think, I cannot help but to dream up big questions. I started to question my faith, asking myself questions like, " what if this whole God deal gets old to me.' 'Why am I able to differentiate between right and wrong?’ ‘And For that matter, who in the world decided what is right and what is wrong anyway? “These questions were quickly oppressed because I simply knew the answers to them. But then another question haunted my mind. I asked myself what happens if I just quit. What if I just give up on this whole God thing and conform to the ways of this world? The world seems to have a pretty good time. Just the other day I overheard a conversation in which a guy was telling his friend how drunk he had gotten the previous night and that it was the best night of his life because by the end of it, his ex-girlfriend had gotten drunk enough to sleep with him again. I could not help but to laugh at the ignorance of the situation, but I knew there was no joke about it to this guy. Getting drunk, getting laid, getting high and watching illusions on the internet, that was his life, and he enjoyed it very much.

I took a pass through an imaginary photo album in my head to see what my life might look like if I simply decided to give up on this God thing. Picturing myself standing there half-naked with glazed eyes, a beer in my left hand, my right arm slung across my best-friends girlfriend, quite honestly, I laughed aloud at my reflection in the window. However, I knew there was more to it than that.

After the realization of what life would be like if I simply renounced my faith, the very next breath was as if I were at the bottom of a lake, my feet tied to a concrete block, breathing through a coffee straw. You see, if I abort my faith, I am immediately burdened with the rigorous worldly standards of which must be abided by in order to achieve a happy temporal life. Only the goal of a happy life is not an attainable one. As Jefferson so honestly wrote, only the pursuit of happiness is offered. For if there is no God, there is no afterlife; if there is no after life, death places a limit on every joy.

Furthermore, if I abort God, the only source of validation for myself will be that of humanity. This means I will have to join in on the battle to get to the top of the invisible socio-economic ladder, created by humanity, so that I may be accepted and better than the guy next to me. I will have no choice but to build up treasures on this earth, so that I may enjoy my life up until the millisecond before I die, at which time death will render all in vain. Also, if I have truly learned not to conform to the ways of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, it is now impossible for me to betray my intellect and conform yet again to the illusions of reality.

Even if I betray my God, from the bottomless pits of my soul will be a shriek for something infinite, something that transcends the temporal world, and that something refers to God. In the words of Jean Paul Sartre," That God does not exist, I cannot deny, that my whole being cries out for a God I cannot forget."

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