The lady said she was an athiest, and it got me thinking.
To believe or not to believe; that is the question. Is there a God, or isn't there? Were we created by a supreme being? Or are we accidental freaks of nature? When Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) was queried as to the evolutionary origin of life, he replied, "For all the right events to have come together at exactly the right time is impossible. However, when you consider how much time was available for this to happen, it was inevitable."
He's got a point. Billions of years is a very long time. Of course that still doesn't preclude a guiding hand in the process. Billions of years could be like six days, or six seconds, to God.
It's not always easy to tell right from wrong. It can be awkward, and downright painful sometimes. And once in a while we make a mistake, and have to learn a lesson. Doing the right thing is a huge responsibility, and it seems that humans have always been more than eager to give up that responsibility to someone else. And who better to defer to than an all knowing, all seeing God. All we have to do is follow His instructions, conveniently written down for us in the religious text of our choice, and we never have to bother ourselves with annoying questions of morality ever again.
But subjugating your free will is not good. It closes your mind. You lose your ability to reason. You become lazy, and devolve into a sheep, easily led to slaughter.
But is it any better to go to the other extreme, and deny the existence of God completely? To say that in this immense, far flung universe that literally stretches to the end of time and back, there is no ultimate power. No God. That if we can't touch it or taste it or feel it with one of our pathetically limited senses, therefore it doesn't exist?
No. Believing unequivocally that there is no God is also not good. It also closes your mind, and restricts your reason. It is also lazy. It is avoiding the question completely, and sticking your head in the sand.
Questions are good. It is how we learn, and grow, and evolve. And the more we evolve, the more we discover that it is possible to believe in God without giving up our free will.
Yes, Virginia, there is a God. But you won't find Him in a church, mosque, synagogue, or temple. You won't find Him in a book, or in the words of a Pastor, Pope, Imam, Rabbi, Guru, or Swami. You'll find Him in a smile, or a snowflake, or as the poet Mike Puhallo put it: "...in the sacred orb, that is a horse's eye."