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A Place that even God Forgot

October 12, 2009

I was researching goodness-knows-what online when I came across the PDF file entitled

Reflections from a Place that God Forgot

A  feeling of such intense desolation and hopelessness crept over me.  I could only stare at the title for a few minutes.  To be abandoned, to be forgotten, to be in some place that even God – supposedly omniscient God – has forgotten… what could life be like in such a place?

We often find fault with people who are fond of saying “Bahala na ang Diyos” or its contemporary version “Bahala na si Batman.”  These people, we often say, have no proactivity.  They love to wait for help rather than to actively find ways to solve their problems.

But I’ve noticed, that not all people who are “bahala na” sayers are non-proactive.  Some people I know say that only after they have tried everything they absolutely can to solve their problems.  When they have done everything they possibly can, then they say, “Bahala na ang Diyos” (o si Batman).  Why, if they have already done everything humanly possible, do they still choose to rely on faith and leave everything to God?

Social scientists would tell you that people say “Bahala na ang Diyos” because of the feeling of hope and comfort that relying on a higher power brings.  Even if there’s no proof that such a higher power exists, it doesn’t matter.  As long as one believes that God does exist, then relying on Him is possible – and relying on Him will bring relief.  Karl Marx’s statement, “Religion is the opiate of the people” says it all.

Is it wrong to rely on a higher power?  I think it’s academic.  As long as you don’t abandon your will and your means, you can say as many “Bahala na” as you can.  What is wrong with taking comfort wherever you can?

Of course, others are bound to argue, “But that’s self-deception.  Why rely on someone who doesn’t exist?  Courage, comfort, relief, hope – such things that you can get from relying on a higher power no one can prove exists – can you really call that true courage, true comfort,  true relief, and true hope?”

Well then answer me this.  If someone who lost his wife and children in typhoon Ondoy, after praying and saying “Bahala na ang Diyos,” chose to face the next day instead of sticking a knife into his belly – can you call what prayer and faith gave him true courage?   If someone who was hungry imagined himself eating a delicious 12-course dinner and felt full afterwards – can you call such relief true relief?  Saying that faith – belief in a higher power that you can’t prove exists – can’t really bring courage, comfort, hope, and relief, is like saying that light from a lamp is not true light and you can’t really read using that light.

Does God exist or not?  That is truly not the point.  People don’t need to know that God exists.  They only need to believe that He exists before they can say “Bahala na ang Diyos” then feel courage, comfort, hope, and relief.  That’s the essence of faith.  Take that away and you are forcing people to feel the desolation and hopelessness that comes from being in a place that even God forgot.

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