Why I Don’t Worship My Hands

In my experience, hands are so important for so many people: for eating at restaurants, using a credit card, taking notes, using computers, playing games. I find the idea of a godly hand to be silly.

I have to say, I’m not a particularly strong believer in anything. I don’t believe in the Holy Trinity. I don’t believe in the Trinity. I believe in something that is better than that: freedom. There are lots of rules that govern life and death and a lot of things. I think that if you know how to respect people’s freedom, you can learn how to respect other people’s freedom. What happens as a result is that everyone is able to be their most loving selves. When some people use God to get others to do things for them (i.e., “make me happy” or “make me sad”), that’s when the world is really at risk. That is where you get a lot of problems.   My personal belief is that a person of faith is no more entitled to hold someone else back than a person without faith (that is, you). You see, as people go through life they make mistakes, some of them grievous ones. They are human. They lose their minds occasionally. When those events become an addiction, it causes a problem and the person who has no ability to fix it suffers horribly. In that regard, I believe we see the result of the Holy Trinity. In this way, I don’t need to worship God. I just give thanks.

I think my favorite verse from the Old Testament is this one (or many) of the same line. I don’t want God to have rules that I don’t believe in. I would rather obey than be forced to worship his rules.

When we give thanks for a meal we are saying, “God, we thank you for giving me this meal.” It’s not a question of whether or not he wanted a certain meal. It’s that he made us able to feed ourselves in the food we made.

What I love the most about the scripture is the implication that God is with us. He wants us to be happy and to have the best life we can possibly have. He wants us to succeed in all that we do. If he is not there to make us happy and successful, it does not follow that we are not making the most of ourselves. It does not follow that we are not making an honest effort to follow his will. It does not follow that He is not actually happy, if His will for our life is the right one. That, I believe, is the true message of scripture: we are responsible for ourselves, we are responsible for God’s will, and he and he alone is responsible for those things we want.

So. What would you do if you had a problem? What would you think about? I asked my husband to look at my bookcases, look inside, and think about what happens when he starts to make the wrong choices. Here is what I came up with when he looked at the books on his bedside table:

“I will make the right choices.”

The first picture is from the Good and Evil in the Old Testament. The second is from my son’s first book-writing class, on how not to write a bad book.

“I will always make the right choices.”

You can’t make a choice unless you have to. And sometimes choices that feel right aren’t—not right at all, maybe. But when you don’t have a choice, and you have one that feels right anyway, you still choose. You chose when you decided to try to get out of bed every morning. You chose when you decided to not drink, not to smoke, not to eat too much sugar; you chose when you decided not to worry about the money. You chose because you knew life would be better if you took risks and made choices today, or tomorrow, or next week, or next month. So the next step is to make the right choices, to be responsible, and because you have chosen you will be able to make choices today and tomorrow, tomorrow and next week and next month, until you make the right ones and, in a way, you will control who will or will not receive the grace you give it to.

So. Let me give you a very simple thought exercise.

“I wish that some day I had the ability to walk up to people and see if they have a problem.”

And tell them of the answer.

“I wish that some day I had the ability to see if someone’s a jerk” “If only I had the ability to see if you are a jerk.