“There Is No God” – Said My Elem School Teacher
In Part 2 I left off talking about my ‘cool’ elementary school teacher. And I mentioned the fact that he confidently told our class one day that there is no God. After a few minor protests and inexperienced ‘debates’ from my fellow classmates he gave the following explanation as proof. He said:
“Perhaps the greatest fear man has ever had is a fear of the unknown. The biggest unknown we can face is where did everything come from? Not having the answers our earliest ancestor’s came up with a solution that for a time worked well. They made up a solution by believing in gods with magical powers.
So, because they didn’t understand where the sun came from they had a sun god. They didn’t understand the moon so they made up a moon god. They had a god for everything. Sun, moon, stars – even rain. Finally, to solve the question that bothered them the most – the question of where did we come from – they made up a god to worship who had power over everything … our lives, our deaths and everything else. The answer to every question they had was ‘god this’ and ‘god that’.
While none of this could ever be proven they were ok with it, because it satisfied their greatest fear of all … the fear of the unknown”
I Was Off The Hook!
That did it for me! That was all I needed to quit worrying about the God I’d cussed out because He was only made up. After all – He was only a figment of our imagination – made up so we wouldn’t fear the things we had no answers for. What that meant was I was off the hook! I didn’t have to worry about facing God in the future because there wasn’t one. What a relief! And to top it all off I had this on the authority of someone who obviously knew what he was talking about, right?
Plus, it wasn’t hard for me to believe what he said because it made so much sense to me at the time.
Now I knew there wasn’t a God, and I had nothing to worry about.
Gone For Good
Over the next few years things kept going from bad to worse at home until I finally gave up and ran away for the last time. I was 14 years old and never lived at home again, except one time temporarily (for about 3 months) when I was around 16 years old. The rest of the time I was on the street, staying at friends places, at drug/party houses, hitch hiking around the country, etc.
By that time my step-father had beat it into my head that I was no good and would never amount to anything. Growing up I’d always done well at school (school was a sanctuary, a place where I got treated well) and when there would be a parent teacher conference my teachers would give a glowing report on how I was doing, and all my step-father had to say about it was “you sure gave them a good snow job”.
All my accomplishments were minimized and didn’t count. I could bring home a report card with all A’s and 1 B and all I’d hear about was the B (I never did get straight A’s, I’d always get at least 1 B). Anyway, he pounded it into my head I was no good and would never amount to anything … and I finally believed him (subconsciously).
And I gave up.
When I was 15 years old my only goal in life was to turn 16 so I could quit school. When I was 16 I promptly quit and then my only goal in life was to get as high as I could that day on whatever I could – for that day. The next day my goal would be the same. I’d been smoking cigarettes for years, drinking when I could get a hold of some alcohol, sniffing glue, and trying to the best of my ability to find drugs. And I finally did.
The Fog Of the Late 60′s to the Late-70′s
I was 14 years old in 1969 and the next 10 years (’69-’79) were basically divided in two sections – 1969-1975 and 1975-79.
From ’69-75 I was completely directionless. I never knew where I was going to live, didn’t have a job I could hold over 3 weeks , no education, and no belief I’d ever have a future. (Except in the summer of 74 I worked the whole summer for an excavating company – half that time while in jail on work release. I’d get to go work by day and be back in jail at the end of my shift. Towards the end of summer I lost my work release and had time added to my sentence when I came back drunk one night)
I also got into shooting up drugs (using the needle) and had friends who were dying from drug overdoses or going to prison. This all took place in Lincoln, NE.
Then in October of 1975 a friend and I hitch hiked to San Antonio, TX. It was in San Antonio that my life took a major turn and set me on a completely different path – though it was one which still wouldn’t be free of drugs and alcohol. But October of ’75 did result in a major shift.
Here’s what happened …
Coming up next in Part 4 … A Misleading Ad
NOTE: I know my story isn’t unique, and many people have had a troubled past. I’m wondering – is there anyone out there who can relate to my story? Did God pull you out of a pit like He did me?