There are no atheists in foxholes.
This aphorism arose on Wednesday night as I wandered toward the cafeteria a little too early to get anything. It was nearly 11pm and I had a few minutes to fill, so I wandered over to the chapel. I stood outside the door a moment and realized something.
I hadn’t prayed even once during the whole time.
For over a year now, I have been pondering what it is I believe and gradually coming to terms with a simple fact: I am atheist. I didn’t know this for certain because I knew what I believed can and often does change. And what’s more, I knew that what I thought I believed had not yet been tested.
But if ever there was a time to reach out to God, the past few days surely would have been the time to do it. And yet, I didn’t. In fact, I distinctly recall thinking there was no point in praying to God when whatever healing Rob needed was here already.
I never prayed to God for a miracle.
So, I can say with some assurance that I am an atheist. I may change my mind. After all, I claimed to be one back before I became a born again Christian so there’s no saying where I will turn next. Or it could be that like so many spiritual seekers, I am coming full circle. How many Christians proclaim to no longer believe only to return to the fold–albeit usually in a different denomination? From Catholic to Unitarian or Baptist to Episcopalian?
Do I believe in an after-life? I don’t know. I can’t say. I was still trying to come to terms with my atheism and was not yet ready to think beyond that single frame of reference. But now that I have God out of the picture, I do have some more thinking to do. A lot more.