Deck Cheatham: Why I believe in God

Deck Cheatham

"Put that in your pipe and smoke it."

Those words, from my mother, take me to an admission and a time when I knew little. These words came often when Mom had something true to say to me. I learned when she said it, there was no retort.

Something similar happened in my faith journey. There came a time when I had to put God's word and desire to be central in my life "in my pipe and smoke it," which is to say I had to decide why I believed in God. My logic came in time, enough of it to give thanks for Mom and God. Sometimes I conflate the two.

My years have gleaned the reason.

Difficult best describes my thought when looking at creation and thinking all I see and am able to understand from observation and study is random. To think nothing, no greater power, is behind this universe belies the awe I sense when observing a sunset over the Atlantic or seeing a newborn miracle or lying in the grass on a summer eve and gazing at the stars.

The truth I find in observance overrides any bit of nature deconstructed by science.

And if creation produces within me such a sublime feeling, I can only see myself not as a biological result, but one of God's created.Despite scientific effort to dispel my interaction with nature, my observation compels me to believe this existence has purpose. And if there is purpose, there is God.

Because there is God, the story told through Scripture hints not at simple history, but truth. I read God's word knowing he has something to say not just in the words but also between them. What my mind is able to lift from the pages is his revelation to me. Believability comes not by proof or indoctrination but by humility imparted by the vastness of the universe and an equal depth of truth in the holy Scriptures.

Though there is logic involved in my thinking, it is all latent, an aftermath to the revelation grace opened me to unknowing. For my reason is not gained and affirmed by logic but by the Holy Spirit allowing me to see, not with my mind as man endeavors, but as God wishes me to understand, that I should profess him not by knowledge but by belief. Before grace appeared, I hardly thought about this at all. I dismissed it all as beside the point. But when the Holy Spirit awakened me to God's desire to be ever present in my life as Father and Creator, all the rest seemed like happenstance, a good addition to grace but not the bottom line.

Because I believe, why I believe compels me to what I believe. No longer can I recite the Apostles Creed mindlessly. And so, I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe …

I'll allow you to finish -- mindfully, of course.

I've put all this in my pipe.

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for some 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Please visit his blog at deckcheatham.com. Email him at pgadeacon@gmail.com.

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