If you haven’t heard of Pokemon Go, you’ve been living under a rock (or a Rhyhorn). I downloaded it a few weeks ago, becoming just one of millions of players. I’m not hardcore about it; I’m only on Level 7 and I play it when I get the chance.
Anyway. Today, people were rude to me at work, other conflicts arose, and I was overall just feeling really miserable. Later in the evening, I decided to triple-task picking up groceries, taking a walk, and hunting Pokemon.
Usually I don’t get more than Rattatas and Pidgeys. But on my walk, I stumbled across a CP 250 Pidgeot–something I’d never caught before. Just 100 yards later, I caught a Bulbasaur. Both of my eggs hatched on my walk. One was a CP 185 Rhyhorn, and another was an Exeggcute. I had neither of those, and for a casual player who’d never hatched any eggs before, I was absolutely ecstatic.
I didn’t really think much of it at the time. I got home and started feeling emotional again. It wasn’t for another few hours that I realized that maybe, just maybe, those Pokemon were a sign from God that he loves me.
Many people think God’s voice must be found in visions, dreams, or sunsets. He certainly can speak that way, but the way he loves us through the things we love cannot be ignored. If we keep our eyes open during our everyday lives, we can start to see God’s love in countless more ways. He’s leaving signs of his deep love for us everywhere, like treasures.
We need to go catch ’em all.
I always doubt God. Sometimes, in the middle of sermons or services, I’ll start feeling really weird. Talk to God, they say. Really? We’re all praying to absolutely nothing. Singing to nothing. Gathered here in a building talking to ourselves. And then just as quickly as the feeling comes, it passes.
I have tried to become an atheist before. Really, really tried. In tenth grade, I went through a time where I felt loss and loneliness constantly. Weirdly, I wanted the satisfaction of making someone hurt for me. I felt let go of, and I wanted to be the let-goer. God was my only option, because I couldn’t have brought myself to do anything like to that to someone or something tangible. So I let go of God. I immersed myself in atheism, in science, in reason. I read articles on how to make myself stop believing. But I couldn’t. Honestly, I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was up there. So I quit the pursuit of godlessness and just settled for “being angry at God.” I believed he was unjust, unkind, a liar, disgusting, shameful–but I believed he was.
I got over the anger, though I am grateful for it (I wrote a fantastic, ruthless piece of religious satire, for which I will never stop being proud of). But I’m still a doubter. I’ve accepted that I always will be. Maybe I like it a little, because it makes me feel rational. Unsheeply.
So here I am, caught. I can’t believe, but I can’t not believe. Nobody will ever convince me that God is undeniably real. He will never be proven to me. But beneath all the doubt, there’s this sinking feeling that he’s there, defying everything that science says should be true. That’s Christ in me. It isn’t a constant peace, a blessed confidence, or a warm feeling that I’m never alone. It’s a literal, rock-solid presence that cannot be shaken, no matter how much the world and I have tried.