As the brain needs oxygen, as the lungs need air, as the body needs nourishment, as the fish needs water – so we need God. Our physical structure, our emotional balance, our social relations and mental health – all have need of God. The person who denies this need should explain why from the earliest recorded time and through every age Homo-sapiens has experienced a sense of fear and need, but also of awe, transcendence, beauty, love and a moral law within.
Millions have denied it and still do, but even a cursory glance at history confirms the human characters whose life, wisdom and effort have been an influence for good, making life better for others in many areas, have all acknowledged a need for God. Their impetus, inspiration and intelligence has been prompted by a Spirit, or Source other than themselves moving them beyond self-interest to a level of beneficence and compassion. We have seen examples of this under the pressures of Covid, but we desperately need such qualities at international, universal level. As the simple song puts it, ‘What the world needs now is love, real love!’
If that became a reality all the elements in human behavior so destructive of human relationships and social health would disappear. The Jesuit scientist de Chardin’s finding was ‘The nature of the universe is love.” The primary note in the New Testament is ‘God is love’. The universe and God are one. The universe needs God to exist and God needs the universe to express his being. If the nature of this co-relationship is love, as displayed in the nature of the Trinity, then the solution to our most basic need is a recognition of God, the source of love. Whatever terms or language is used all world religions promote love as the primary element in divine and human relationships. We have been misled to believe our scientific and technological ability has removed, or will remove, all the boundaries, securing our future with its apparent limitless skill, as a replacement of God. (Turn to Google not prayer.) That’s idolatry! The concept of God is not an emotional, psychological crutch. There are aspects of human consciousness and human nature that remain a mystery to science, e.g. the human response to all creative art forms, music, sculpture, painting, poetry, literature, and theatre. We have within ourselves an element of the divine. As Etty Hillesum, when sent to Auschwitz, observed, and recorded in her diary, ‘There’s a little bit of God in everyone’. Human experience also tells us there is a little bit of evil in everyone, not as a substance, but as an inclination, or desire. The Eden story shows us both aspects of human nature. The exercise of our ego and pride create a false sense of independency and diminishes our primal relation with God.
If we are to discover the secret of life in everything around us we need God in our everyday living. If we are to find moral and emotional resources when our own prove insufficient, if we are to make spiritual progress, if we are to develop to our full capacity as humans, if we are to overcome our social demons, if our planet earth is to be saved from ecological disaster, if wars are to cease and nations live in peace – we need God, not to come in as some new Demolisher or Renovator, but as the Designer Director (the One who is with us and in us) who will not change the scene with a solo exhibition of strength, but will change the scene through changing us. The change must begin in the human heart. Everything must happen on the inside – our inner universe.
Much emphasis is given to education and courses are offered on self-effort and personal achievement which are beneficial, but our best effort is never good enough to make us whole. We need God’s help. We are here to love and be loved. The wealth we accumulate, the highest rewards and accolades of success somehow leave us empty, lonely and dissatisfied. Our physical need changes, but our deepest need never changes. Augustine put his finger on it, ’Our hearts are restless ‘til they find their rest in Thee’. Even our technical successes are dependent on the reliability of God’s laws. We take pride in what we have achieved but let’s realize that our being, our creative energy and the earth, on which we are codependent, comes from God.
Life is constantly changing. It is not perfect. It is difficult. There is much we do not understand. ’To call for help is brave’, said the horse in Charlie Mackey’s book, ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’. We all need help, but we are reluctant to admit it. Let’s begin each day, each endeavor seeking God’s help with the prayer, ‘I need thee every hour/ Teach me thy will/ And thy rich promises/ In me fulfill:’