I’m not sure I’ve ever had a discussion with a true atheist. Plenty of agnostics, many that are just indifferent and some of different religions, but I can’t say ever a true atheist. Many of you know I’m a software developer by trade, so I deal everyday with things that a large majority of people don’t understand. I write lines of code, that the computer somehow magically interprets and makes the computer do crazy and wondrous things. At least that is how my children view what I do. When I step back and think about it, what we do is kind of magical. I write some code, that is nothing more than a few lines of semi-english looking text. The computer translates it into a bunch of numbers and ultimately into a bunch of 1’s and 0’s. When you put enough of those together, they make the game you are playing or work application run or the browser that you are reading this post in….it’s really quite amazing. But it all takes a little bit of faith.
I ran across the article this morning called, How Programming Has Strengthened my Faith in God, that got me thinking about all this. I can play around with code to make it operate however I want. The following code is from a game I started writing recently. What it does is not important to our discussion, but to get the game to work properly, the code has to precisely tell the computer what to do, but it essentially controls the movement of the main player character. With some very minor changes, I could make the character fly, appear frozen to the ground, run at twice the speed or half the speed. I could make anything happen.
This world, in a very simplistic view, is much the same. I drop a ball from the roof and the routine of gravity kicks in and the ball falls to the ground. If you know anything about gravity, you know the formulas, the constants, the calculations that need to happen to tell us how quickly the ball drops and with what velocity. When it hits the ground does it bounce and how high? And then how long does it take until the ball finally comes to rest. All those calculations and if one little calculation was changed or one constant was tweaked even slightly, the ball could very well not drop to the ground but fly horizontally across the sky and out into space.
But we know it drops and we know before we release it, that it will drop. How do we know that? Well it takes a bit of faith at first. Then after much experience, we come to trust and believe that it is true, even though we don’t understand it or really can tell anyone exactly how it works. But we know it does and that it always will.
Is our faith in God any different? At first we may be skeptical and not be sure if there is a God or not. Then something happens that gives us a little bit of evidence. We ultimately step out in faith that God exists and works in our lives daily. We may not know how, we may not know the reasoning behind things, but we have faith that God is there, even though that faith can be a little scary at times. Then after we become more mature in our faith, we just “know” that God is there. It is still faith, because we ultimately don’t know the inner workings, but we know from experience that He works in our lives. After dropping the ball from the roof fifty times, we still may not have a better understanding of how gravity works, but we have faith that when we drop it the fifty-first time, it will work much the same as the previous tries.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1
I’ll finish this post with that one quote from Hebrews as it pretty much sums it all up. We have faith in so many things every day that we don’t understand, yet so many find it hard to have faith that there is a God that works in our lives every day, despite the evidence that surrounds us.