But For The Grace of an Impersonal Reality

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity.

I do not mean this as a slander.
I do not mean this as an insult.
I do not mean this as an attack.

I mean this is an assessment.
An assessment based upon reason relative to natural reality.

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity.

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity in the light of a Universe which is indifferent and impersonal.

Nature is reality.

Nature does not care.
Nature does not give a damn about the wellbeing of even a single sentient being.
Nature is indifferent as to outcome and effect.

Nature does not bend the lightning bolt so as to avoid striking the fool standing in the water holding an antenna in his bare hands.

Nature does not alter the natural effects of water in human lungs when the baby falls into the swimming pool.

Nature does not redirect the tornado so as to avoid killing the masses whose unlucky lot is to be in its path.

Nature does not favor the side of the block whose houses are spared when several houses across the street are destroyed and several people are killed by the same tornado.

Nature is impersonal reality.

The concept of a personal God is an absurdity in the light of the fact that there is a natural reason for everything.

When I was 15, I was traveling with my sisters and a friend in a car which was struck by a train. The car was an AMC Gremlin. Now, the AMC Gremlin was a popular hatchback in those days which was known for efficient fuel consumption. In general a fine piece of machinery. However; the AMC Gremlin did not as a general rule hold up well against trains. At least ours did not.

Now, there were four of us in the car. My younger sister was thrown out the back window. The rest of us were suspended upside down in the car after several rolls in the middle of a 6 lane road. No other cars were struck by our car even though we were in the middle lane of traffic. It was 3:45PM on a school day, we were less than a mile from the High School that had only recently released classes.

As to injuries; everyone was shook up. The front seat occupants were fairly banged up, my younger sister cut her arm, and I had a sore neck for a couple of days. We were all taken to the ER at the local hospital, but I don’t recall anyone staying the night (I know for certain I did not).

Other than the AMC Gremlin, everyone survived.

Were we; the four occupants of the AMC Gremlin which was struck by the train on Josey Lane in Carrollton, Texas at 3:45PM on May 12, 1976; lucky to walk away from the mishap alive?

You damn right we were lucky. We all could have been killed.

Was it a miracle that no one was killed in the mishap? Of course not.

Was God watching over us that day?

If God were watching over we; the four occupants of the AMC Gremlin which was struck by the train that day, then why the hell did the train hit us in the first place?

Furthermore, what about those people who have died as a result of injuries sustained from being in cars which was struck by trains. Was God not watching over them?

Here is what happened at 3:45PM on May 12, 1976 on Josey Lane in Carrollton, Texas when our AMC Gremlin was struck and flipped by a train:

The driver was traveling at a certain rate of speed so that, when the driver pressed the brakes upon hearing the train whistle; the effect was such that the car stopped with the right fender and the right front wheel over the railroad tracks. (Bummer!)

The circumstances were furthermore such that all mechanical factors relative to maintaining the ongoing operation of the vehicle momentarily failed. In other words, the damn vehicle stalled on the tracks! (Another bummer!)

The speed of the oncoming train was such that the Engineer was unable to stop the locomotive before the driver of the AMC Gremlin was able to restart the car. In other words, KABOOM!! (REALLY a bummer!)

Then the train slid the vehicle through the empty lane to the vehicle’s left, whereupon after hitting the curb, the vehicle dislodged from the train, and rolled over once, then came to a stop upside down. As I mentioned earlier, my younger sister involuntarily exited the rear through the hatchback, and the rest of us had a momentary upside view of our surroundings.

Now, having reviewed the events of that memorable day (I still contact my sisters each May 12 to wish them a “Happy Choo-Choo Day”), I would like to point out the obvious yet oftentimes overlooked reality of such circumstances:

The obvious yet oftentimes overlooked reality being that there is a natural explanation for everything that happened that day.

There was no evidence of a miracle that spared my life that day.

I feel lucky to be alive today in the light of the events of that afternoon, but nothing took place that day that is not explainable by sheer physics. In that regard, the AMC Gremlin came out a loser; because the laws of physics do not allow a Gremlin much defense against the effect of being hit by an oncoming train.

But the laws of physics are such, and the circumstances relative to physics in the course of the wreck was such, that we four occupants were not injured beyond repair. (Would that the AMC Gremlin were so lucky)

Furthermore, there is no reason to doubt that were ALL circumstances identical, and were the occurrence to be repeated, that the outcome would be the same right down to the damage done to the car and the injuries sustained by we; the four occupants of the totalled car.

Such is physics.
Such is natural reality.

There is always a natural explanation for everything.

And, since I did survive a “close call”, I am grateful to have walked away from the wreck itself.

But I don’t thank God.
Nor would I blame God had any of the other three occupants of the vehicle that day perished in the mishap.

If I were to thank any “one” for walking away alive that day, I would thank Nature.

But why should I thank Nature?

Nature is impersonal
Nature does not care one way or the other whether I walked away from that wreck alive or not.
Nature is not happy that I survived.
Nature would not mourn if I had perished painfully as a result of the wreck that day.
Nature is impersonal.

And so I live with this reality:

I survived a close call on May 12, 1976.

And I am glad that I did survive that day. But there is no one to thank. Just as there is no one to blame.

It was what it was.
And it is what it is.

Such is the natural reality of living in an impersonal universe.

Dave Henderson


6 thoughts on “But For The Grace of an Impersonal Reality

  1. Agree with all you said.

    What blows my mind is that “God” is always thanked when there are survivors, but never when there is a death. The closest recognition of “His” presence in such a scenario is something like: “God must have wanted her/him home.” And then, of course, there are “prayers” for the surviving family and friends.

    It’s sad that so many people “need” a god in their lives. They are simply unable to handle the ups and downs of life without “someone” to blame, thank, pray to, lean on, etc. It’s like they never grow out of the childhood stage where mommy and/or daddy are always there.

    • Thanks for your read and your comments!

      RE: Your comment “What blows my mind is that “God” is always thanked when there are survivors, but never when there is a death”. I cannot overstate my agreement. It is amazing. Frankly, “God” gets a free pass.

      Reality is neutral, and life is real!!

    • Thank you for your read, and your comment.

      Having been raised as a Christian, having been a practicing Christian into my 40’s, and living in a society saturated with the assumptions that there actually is a God, then indeed I have this concept of the nonexistent God a lot of thought.

      And, I can hardly remember what it was like to not believe in God.

      But then came the era of my enlightenment to reality.

      I have a personal relationship with reality you see.

      And the peace and joy I have known since I came to realize that life is a one time experience.

      The peace and joy I have known since I came to realize how precious are the moments that I have with my loved ones.

      The peace and the joy I have known since I came to realize that when a person who has been suffering from Cancer, or Aids, or congestive heart failure, or just from living so long that their daily existence is that of suffering on scales I have yet to ever understand, finally up and dies, that they have “been released” from suffering regardless of their ideology and personal life choices; is a personal peace and jubilant joy.

      My lack of faith has lead to a peace and joy which I would not trade for my stack of Bibles that lie on my bookshelf.

      Thanks again for your read, and for your sincere comments.

      Be well.
      Be safe.
      Be happy.

      Dave Henderson

      • I see. I was raised a Christian too. In my teens and early 20’s walked away from the faith, having never made it truly my own and having never experienced a personal relationship with Christ for myself.

        I was always a seeker of truth though.
        I was fairly hostile to the Christian faith during those years. Knowing the word as I did, I was able to reason weak or uninformed Christians under the table so to speak.

        I was the most shocked of all that after all my searching, God reached down and found me. Christianity was the least likely place I ever thought I would find the truth! But I encountered ‘other realities,’ that led me to look beyond reality and the relationship that I had with it. It, beig reality.

        I have found that Truth trumps reality every time. I am still aware of reality but am now also aware of and acquainted with Truth. So my relationship with Truth goes beyond what a relationship with reality ever could.

        Truth says that Peace and Joy are found only in the person of Jesus Christ. Happiness, feelings of relief that come from having believes a comfortable lie, maybe found in a relationship with reality, but it is impossible to have found true joy and peace apart from God.

        We are created by Him and for Him and our hearts find their home and purpose in Him alone.

        Even if the whole world believes a lie; even if reality confirms that lie, it is still a lie. Just saying.

        I believe you have been deceived. And as you are operating as a public voice to deception, I am betting God has a grande purpose for you, to use your testimony to bring others to himself. The very things our hearts cry out against; injustice, sickness, war; the cross is the answer. Things are often not what they seem. All that ever needed to be done to secure ever lastig life for each and every person on the planet, to wash away the sin of the whole world, was done by Christ on the cross.

        Believe and receive eternal life. How simple is that!

      • “Things are often not what they seem.”

        … on both sides of the fence. More frequently, I have found, on the “Truth” side.

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