I heard on a morning radio show the other day that 92% of us Americans believe in God.
‘…is that so,’ I said to myself, ‘well, that is an interesting statistic.’
I was so interested in this statistic that I searched for the source of the data. I found that USA Today wrote about this statistic (Gallup Poll of 1000 adults May 1-2, 2010) as well as that 83% of us believe that God answers prayers!
I wonder, who is this God that 92% of us believe in? Well, wait. Rather than say, ‘this God’, perhaps I should rephrase my question and ask what faces of God do 92% of us believe in?
Then I wonder, why the disappearance of 10% of people believing that God actually answers prayers. Maybe these 10% don’t know because they don’t pray? Maybe they just don’t know. Maybe that face of God doesn’t focus on answering prayers?
Truthfully, I was surprised that the number of believers was so high. I figured that most of us don’t believe in God. My reasoning? Not a very good one — it doesn’t seem as though we believe in God because I don’t think we act like we believe in God. See, in my own private little world point of view, I figure that those of us who believe there is a God are active believers and seekers of God. We believe he, she or it hears our pleas and answers us in some kind of way. We actively seek union with he, she or it. We Believe that the belief in God surely must open our hearts to love, does it not? Believing in God offers us hope of a new day, maybe even a new earth, right? [screeching halt sound going off NOW] Wait, wait, wait a minute here, if my private little world point of view were true, then wouldn’t there already be peace on earth? [shaking my head, snapping myself out of this reality].
Here is the thing, that 92% of people who believe in God, representing the general American population, are most likely believing in their own personal version of God. That God may or may not answer prayers; in fact, for all that each one of us knows, that God may have special prayer requirements and may even have a specific gender assignment. Heck! Maybe that God doesn’t even reside in a place commonly called Heaven.
So, here’s where I say to myself, ‘Oy Vey!’ Not because we all believe in diverse faces of God but ‘Oy Vey‘ because the fact that we do believe in diverse faces of God may confuse us and turn us to intolerance for others who do not believe in our face of God, despite the fact that they may actually be believers of God.
I worry (and take it to God) about us humans, brothers and sisters, separating from one another because of what we believe about God and because it may be different and therefore it becomes an ‘Other’. I get that ‘peace, love and harmony’ doesn’t work for everyone, however, I do believe that on some level of our existence, we all have something in common — for example, that we are all created of God. Yet another example? That 92% of us are believers in God. In some kind of way, God works for us.
If I may be able to be with someone, accompany someone, sit with someone, guide someone along their sacred personal spiritual path to their face of God despite or regardless or even with or no matter what my personal belief in my God is, then it is there that I would be serving my God’s will for me.