The release of Sam Harris' latest book, Letter to a Christian Nation, and its climb up the bestseller list, continues to feed the national firestorm surrounding our relationships (or lack thereof) with the Lord Almighty. Everyone seems to have a take on the high and low points of our intimacy with the Heavenly Father, but I have to ask myself what any of these people - Mr. Harris, his critics, his supporters, and all of them - really know about dealing with The Holy Creator on a personal level. Wading through all the blather on the internet and in various print media, I only managed to find one bit that I felt came from a writer uniquely qualified to comment on the perks and downfalls of knowing God.
Lately, things haven't been going to well with my boyfriend. His name is God, and, to put it simply, our relationship just isn't much like it used to be. I feel like we're drifting apart!
In the beginning, he used to see me all the time. He was always around when I needed him. He'd swoop down and rescue me from danger, or depression, or confusion. And when he wasn't actually with me, he would talk to me! He always had time to talk and talk and talk to me, no matter what other things he had going on. But that feels like thousands of years ago ...
For starters, since I gave myself to him - you know what I mean - we barely communicate anymore. I always have to be the one who calls, and most of the time he doesn't even answer the phone. I get that damn answering machine thing: "Sorry, I'm on another line - actually three billion other lines. Your call is important to me. Please continue to hold and your call will be answered in the order received." Then I'm stuck there listening to some Muzak version of angels singing.
Things are almost worse when he does answer. Now, it's always a one-way conversation with God, as if whatever I say - be it loving or needy or shocking or angry - just goes in one omnipotent ear and out the other! He always seems to have better things to pay attention to. God tells me I'm just calling at a bad time, but I don't believe that either because no matter how many times I ask him to, God never seems to call me back!
Now, Abbey, I've dated men before who weren't great in the communication department, so I understand that maybe God just isn't very comfortable talking on the phone. But he never seems to have time for dates anymore, either! I remember the beginning, he couldn't get enough of me. He'd be there in the morning when I got up, and at night before I went to sleep. He'd always tell me about what he'd been thinking, let me know how business was going, tell me his plan for us. But not anymore. We make a plan - or is it just me, talking to myself? - and I leave him ten million messages, but he never ever shows.
My friends have told me to relax, but I think God may be dating someone else. Maybe everyone else. Sometimes I get so desperate, I drive past one of his "houses" but he's never there. Sometimes I go inside and sit there for hours, just trying to talk to him, but I feel like I might be better off talking to a brick wall because it'd be just as responsive! I almost wish God was deaf because that's the only way I could understand him never hearing what I have to say....
To be fair, though, he is around sometimes. Times when he can take credit.
Have you ever had a boyfriend like that? The kind who, whenever you achieve something, whenever something miraculous happens, he's right next to you saying that as a couple all your successes are mutual? But when I fail, it's like the guy has forgotten I exist.
Abbey, I think maybe we should break up. Yesterday, a woman I know told me she'd been dating God at the same time. I couldn't believe it! Why are some women so jealous of anyone with a relationship that they'll try to make trouble? Worse, she goes on and on about how considerate he is. I wonder if it's the same God, or someone pretending to be God.
I really am at a loss for what to do. Should I keep going with God? Should I dump him and try to move on? He's been working on some big project for the last few years, but he promises it will be done soon - and that I have nothing to worry about. But I'm not sure if I should wait around? Does he really deserve to have me when he just takes me for granted?
The problem is that I really do love him, Abbey, but I need to know if he loves me back. What should I do?
Dear Unsure Girlfriend,