Does God Really Test People?

Does God Really Test People?

(If there is, in fact, a God.)

 

I know a woman who lives her life as if everything is out of her control. Somehow, her upbringing prepared her for a life on the stage that is the grand drama that is Life. She will say things like, “God is testing me” when things aren’t going well. It’s her religion and her religious truth. 

 

My life is not like that at all, but there are times when I, too, could see myself on the stage in some kind of Greek drama or comedy of errors. But life isn’t like that; life isn’t a comedy or a drama. Unless you have entirely no sense of humor, life is both that and more. 

But I can still see her viewpoint. Last year, I almost drowned during a rafting trip. It probably wasn’t all that dramatic because I was rescued by a river kayaker who was on the tour and I didn’t sustain any injuries. The vulnerable state I was in got me to thinking about religion, though, but I knew I couldn’t and wouldn’t convert. (If someone can convert from being an agnostic that is.)

 

What was the religious connection in my case? 

 

The morning I almost drowned, my Dad called me before my trip and told me that he had gone to church that morning, which was something unusual for him. If I had been religious, I might have attributed my rescue to religion instead of an organized rafting trip (thanks to the organizers for choosing a trip with kayak rescuers). But because I wasn’t religious, I just felt sort of lucky, and half-drowned. 

 

When I started to think cynically and a bit strangely because I was too nervous to eat, I wondered if there was a grand design after all. Something which would have tricked both my dad and I into becoming Christians. 

 

Logic prevented me from that conclusion. First of all, if there really was a God, why would he focus on me? There are so many people who are more powerful, richer, and more amazing than me. Even if you go by the definition that the meek shall inherit the Earth, there is no way I’m among the meekest. 

 

Second, if there is a God, is He (or She) really all that manipulative? Even if I was important and could sway the masses, would staging a fake rafting trip emergency rescue really be the way to go about it?

 

I don’t think so. 

 

As for the woman I know who believes God is meddling with her life, I think it’s a little unlikely. But if He is, she should take His tests for what they are--stupid standardized tests that all women have to endure at some point in their lives--and study for the important ones by learning lessons from her life.