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What Question Would You Ask God?

Story ID:5679
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various USA
Year:2010
Person:various
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I enjoyed reading about a young married couple who wrote their story of
marriage in the Catholic Digest. In it they also shared a conversation they
had one day when they asked themselves: What question would I ask God
if He were sitting next to me on a bus?

Their two questions were short and to the point. The husband asked God-
"WHAT IS HEAVEN LIKE?" The wife blew me away with her simple and so profound
and unselfish question - "HOW CAN I HELP?" The simplicity of it - the beauty
of its implications. There was nothing in that question re her needs or her
desires. She just wants to help God make this earth a better place. I wish that
her generosity of spirit had been mine too but it had not entered into my mind.
She wanted to know how she could help God -leaving it up to Him to decide. How
wonderful if there were many, many more millions of people like her in the US
and in the world at large. What a different world this would be, but still I do believe
that there are those who do good today in whatever capacity and are responding to
her question -How can I help? It's just the numbers we lack. So many ask instead
-What is in it for me? Who cares if people suffer? Who cares if animals suffer?

I sent this e-mail question to at least 25 people. Here are the answers of 9 who
were kind enough to respond and three of them were busy editors. Perhaps I
should have employed some of the tactics of those infamous chain letters which
(thank God) - I no longer receive, though occasionally one slips through. I should
have prefaced my e-mail with "If you answer this question, you will have good luck
this week and if you send it to 10 other people- the luck will last through the whole
month. Or I could have used a scare tactic and said- if you don't respond, bad luck
will follow you for the next 7 days.

No doubt the wife's response was altruistic. Another in the same vein asked:
"HOW CAN I BE A BETTER PERSON AND HOW CAN I DO WHAT IS BEST FOR THE
UNIVERSE? Certainly a laudable ambition and one we should all aspire to if we
want this earth to be a better place.

Two asked about why God is failing to intervene: One asked God - "WHY WOULD
YOU LEAD, AND WANT OTHERS TO LEAD HUMANS TO BELIEVE THAT YOU WERE
A GOD OF LOVE, WHEN THE CREATURES OF THE WORLD SCREAM FOR MERCY
IN A HELL ON EARTH FOR MOST OF THEM AND THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO
TO HELP OF ANY SUBSTANCE.....?"

I understood her sentiments perfectly and this question has been asked by
many, many people throughout the centuries. But I believe she is wrongly
faulting God for the ills of this world. After searching for an answer to this
agonizing question for years, I finally found one that made sense - at least to
me. If God would stop any of the cruelties - whether to people or to animals - He
would be taking back a gift which is really a two-edged sword - OUR FREE WILL.
If God intervened whenever He chose, we would no longer have free will. We
would no longer make our own decisions because our free will would be gone.
We would not be able to do GOOD or BAD. We would no longer be saints or sinners,
angels or devils. We would no longer take joy in our good works or be shamed by
those which were bad. Is this what we want?

Another heaven question- IS THERE A CHANCE OF HEAVEN FOR ME? (To those
who believe in a loving God - everyone has a chance.) For me it means following
the 10 Commandments and living as holy a life as possible- being unselfish, kind,
and compassionate to both people and animals.

Question on longevity - HOW CAN I SURVIVE FOR THE LONGEST TIME?

Another ntervention question- WHY DO YOU NOT INTERVENE MORE DIRECTLY
IN OUR WORLD, HAVING SET IT UP AS IT IS?

Another animal suffering question- WHY DO SO MANY ANIMALS HAVE TO
SUFFER NEEDLESSLY AT THE HAND OF HUMANS?

Animal suffering- WHY DO PEOPLE TREAT ANIMALS SO BADLY? (mine)

Among the last replies I received within the two-day waiting frame for responses
was also re animal suffering: WHY DOES IT SEEM THAT YOU HAVE CREATED
SOME ANIMALS (ALL OF WHOM ARE TOTALLY INNOCENT AND WITHOUT SIN)
ONLY FOR A LIFE OF NEVER-ENDING SUFFERING HERE ON EARTH AND THEN
TO DIE? (I would like to pose this very perceptive question to the leaders of
churches who are suppose to be kind and compassionate, but from whom I believe
none of us ever hear anything in this regard.)

He even wondered why God allows the human race to continue since we have
proven to be miserable, ungrateful, and certainly unworthy and disobedient
creatures? Sadly, I can't find much fault with this thought either.

A spiritual question: One writer said he isn't used to the concept of asking God
questions but thinking about it -he decided HE WOULD ASK HIM HOW CAN THOSE
OF US WHO BELIEVE IN GOD AND IN CHRIST CONVINCE THOSE WHO DO NOT
BELIEVE TO DO SO? (I think this person indeed loves God and I totally agree with
his question.)

And one of the very last replies I received made me laugh. The lady clearly has a
funny bone. She said she would ask God - WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON A BUS?

Re the people who responded - thank you so much. I learned even something
more about you than I knew before. By responding you showed a generosity of
spirit. And all the responses were thoughtful and so many of them very caring
about the animals who suffer at our hands. You are among those people who
I'm sure realize that no act of kindness is too small.