On Super Bowl Sunday there were many in Patriot’s Nation who believed that a Cosmic force had rained down grace and blessing upon the faithful. How else to explain coming back in the later part of the third quarter from a 28 – 3 deficit? We went from the impossible to the improbable to a ‘Win for the Ages’. What else but Divine intervention?
Unfortunately I have to agree with Joe, my favorite cynic and atheist. While he is misguided in many ways (a Yankee fan), I agree that this improbable victory was a mix of great coaching, great plays, unlikely heroes (thank you James White), Falcon miscues and that intangible we call ‘luck’.
Joe ends his reflection with this: ‘If there is a cosmic force, I would hope it would devote its energy to more important issues. This world presents a plethora of choices. The variety and seriousness of these choices point to the absence of such cosmic phenomenon.’
Joe and I agree that the idea of a God/gods intervening in a sports event is a low bar to set. It says more about us and our priorities than those of any Divine being.
Praying over a sports event can distract us from the real question: Does God act when the real shit hits the fan? Where is God when we or our loved one receive a difficult diagnosis? Does God hear the prayer of the Syrian mom and dad as the bombs fall around their home in Aleppo?
Rabbi Harold Kushner in his book ‘When Bad Things Happen to Good People’. Asks this timeless question. Their son Aaron was born with a terminal disease called progeria. He and his wife knew from age two that their son would not live beyond his teens.
They prayed countless times for a miracle. They prayed that their son would be healed. Such prayers went unanswered. Their boy died.
Rabbi Kushner then asks this question: ‘Because our prayers went unanswered does that mean that God does not exist? Does it mean that God doesn’t care? Does it mean that God is not all powerful?’
He ends the book by saying: ‘I don’t know why God didn’t answer our deepest prayer. I’ve never received an answer that makes sense….But to the question ‘where is God?’ …to that I have an answer’.
Rabbi Kushner goes on to share how he and his family felt God’s presence, comfort, strength and peace when they needed it the most. The Rabbi says that he can’t prove it nor measure it …but for he and his family, God walked with them through their pain and offered a measure of blessing.
People like me know what Rabbi Kushner speaks of. There have been moments in my life, moments painful and sweet, when I too have sensed the comforting presence of a cosmic force which many call God.
Is there a cosmic power at work in the universe? Yes. Can I prove this? No. But as with the Rabbi, I know this to be true.