This I Believe

Annie - Briarcliff, New York
Entered on June 6, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: question

Textbook God

I find it hard to believe in a god, or higher power. Not that my bat mitzvah was a lie, but rather a time to explore. When I was 4, I went bike riding with my older sister around the circle of our street. My sister rode with determination and speed, as I stood in the middle and stared in awe. My sister fixed her eyes on mine, and happened to hit a small pothole. Her wheels spun around, and the bike fell out from under her. Within moments, my sister was on the hard cold concrete with gashes on her knees and elbows. I heard shrieks of pain, and the sobbing of my sister in the back round.

“MEG!” I yelled. She looked up, and I saw her pale blue eyes wet with tears. I helped her up and let her use my shoulder as a crutch as we took the long walk home. Neither of us said anything and the only sound was her whimpers and cries. After I set my sister down on our front porch I ran to the end of the driveway to retrieve the bike. Although I was a very small child, I knew I needed to punish her bike for what it had done.

As I walked home, I hit the bike again and again, and began to cry. I screamed at the bike, and begged for an explanation. When I reached the front porch, my sister had been escorted inside, and I was left alone sobbing. I wanted the bike to pay for the pain it had caused. My mom saw me hitting the bike, and told me that it wasn’t alive, and couldn’t hear what I was saying. I began to wonder that maybe something higher could hear what I was saying. I knew that couldn’t be so, because if it had been true, something this terrible wouldn’t have happened to my older sister.

For my bat mitzvah I had to interpret my torah portion. The portion told me that God would punish humans whenever they became too comfortable and forgot about him. I recited this portion shortly after September 11th, 2001, and I was extremely uncomfortable with the torah, and what it seemed to imply. I knew that if there was a God that he wouldn’t have made something so terrible occur. At the age of twelve, I could not comprehend life after September 11th. There was no reason for pain like that.

I am not an atheist and do find a sense of higher power in many things. I believe in beauty, and love how it can be hidden in many outlets. Beauty in humans, beauty in nature, these all show a sense of godliness. For years I have questioned the so called “god” and do see him in many ways. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t believe in a textbook god, but I believe that there is something godly in all of us.