I think there comes at least one time in every person’s life where s/he seriously contemplates if God exists. Perhaps it’s in a time where everything in life is falling apart and there is nowhere else to turn (see Job). Perhaps it’s a reflection about the words someone else has said on the subject. It could even be a realization that something seems to be missing in life. For me personally, it came from sitting on a vacant beach one afternoon and watching the waves crash on the shore. My thought was simply this: “I cannot understand how someone can look at the ocean or the beauty of nature and not believe there is a God.” The final episode of the second season of The Story of God with Morgan Freeman (Monday, 9PM/8CT Nat Geo) discusses the proof of God we all look for. The answers have the ability to drive us right to him—if we’ll allow for it.
In my opinion, this was the strongest episode this season by a large margin. It felt like a return to the questioning, inquisitive nature that encouraged people to take an interest in faith. Freeman showcases his usual alluring charm and sharp analysis as he introduces a number of ways people find personal proofs for God. Sujo John’s story was fascinating—he survived 9/11 after climbing down 81 floors to escape. There’s more, but I won’t give it away. These times of crisis will often drive us to a realization that God is real. Of course, this also brings up the question of why God allows some to live and others to perish in situations. John’s comment involved peace and the confidence that if he was to die, everything would be okay.
Some people see miracles as proof—the dancing of the sun in the sky in Fatima, Portugal (top photo) is one example. Some people find their proof in healing others via dead ancestors, such as villages in Namibia. Others find God’s proof within themselves, like some Buddhists who have the ability to channel what they call “inner fire,” giving them the ability to raise their body temperatures through meditation. Many Muslims see their proof in the words of their holy book, the Qu’ran. Even scientists aren’t immune to looking for proofs of God, as theoretical physicist Art Lovie shares by describing nature and mathematical equations that demonstrate the existence of life itself.
Freeman ends the episode by noting that we’ll find God in the space between knowledge and doubt. If this is to be taken at face value, it means that somewhere within us is a space only he can fill. The French mathematician Blaise Pascal said something to that exact effect: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing.” Christians believe the form of the filling comes only through Jesus, who is proof of God in human form. He calmed the wind and waves (Mark 4:35-41), healed people (see Matthew 15:30 for one example), and even sweat blood at one point (Luke 22:29-44). But without Jesus’ return to life after death, his life was lived in vain. And yet God allows nature, individual situations, and other people to help bring about the filling of the vacuum. This way, people are without excuse regarding a proof of God, because it’s seen every day (see Romans 1:18-20). All that has to be done is to slow down, stop, and look around to see it.
I’m looking forward to a third season of The Story of God with Morgan Freeman. There’s way more to God than meets the eye, and the show has just scratched the surface. Who knows what will be found as we go deeper?