Stu News and Photos

My name is Stu and I am here to share what I can.

First, a quick shout-out to my UConn homies - sorry for the confusion, the championships haven't started yet, I was referring to their game last Thursday against West Virginia, where they were participating in the Big East finals. The NCAA championships are just getting underway. But that's the men, the Huskies also have a women's team and they kicked total butt in the Big East.

Now, let's get down to the heart of this post, which is theological in nature. Those who wish to leave the room for this portion of our broadcast may do so now.

Allow me to start by saying that my health and the heath of my family is excellent. So those of you who worry, turn that down to a simmer.

I've had a philosophical conundrum rolling around in my head for a few years, maybe the past five or so. It starts with my chosen religion, Judaism. One of the main aspects of my religion (some would argue the chief aspect) is that I believe that there is a single entity that is omnipresent and omniscient, whom I/We refer to as G-d. Yes, I don't spell out the whole word, out of respect. We Jews take the 3rd Commandment pretty seriously, the taking of The Lord's name in vain. To me, this translates, in part, into, don't let The Lord's name get destroyed. That's what I was taught as a kid, which went for printing, and now, as an adult, it works for me in the Digital Age. So when I type His name, you'll see the hyphen.

So, obviously, I respect G-d. A lot. And in doing so, I want to do my best, especially the aspects of my religion that are specific to G-d. One of these is where it's ok to think about or pray to G-d. Seems to me, and feel free to correct me on this, the only place I'm not supposed to think about G-d is in the bathroom, where there is a toilet present.

At first, this made sense to me. Pee and poo are, to most folks, unclean. And thinking about G-d while in the process of something unclean seemed to be disrespectful.

And then, as I grew older, I began to delve deeper, and to fall more in love, with the idea of G-d's omnipresence. That He was everywhere slowly began to take root in my soul and initiated a level of comfort that I had never felt before.

And as I got deeper in that state, the more I began to think, the deeper I dug into my own brain, my own knowledge, as well as the knowledge of others.

And then I had a bathroom issue that involved a mild level of discomfort for a very short period of time. But the discomfort was such that I started to pray. And then I stopped myself. I remembered where I was and just stopped. I hummed. I sang. I talked to myself. And I got through the pain.

But I didn't get over the thought: Why was I not aloud to reach out to G-d, who was there? Surely G-d would have received me. He might not have relieved my discomfort, but the pain would have surely lessened if I had been able to lean on G-d's shoulder for a bit.

I've spoken to many knowledgeable folks, rabbis, fellow Jews, as well as Christians and Catholics and Muslims and Buddhists and Protestants and Lutherans and such. Most of them have repeated the same sentiment, that I should honor G-d, that in times of discomfort while at the commode, I should not think of G-d, that if G-d pops into my head, I should mask it with other thoughts.

I am having great trouble with this. If G-d loves me, and if G-d all-knowing and, therefore, perfect, and G-d is omnipresent, then why would G-d not *want* me to reach out for Him when I truly need His support?

That's it, that's where I'm at. Feel free to comment, I'd love to hear what you think, especially those of you with an answer to my paradox.


Melissa said...

He's there all the time, whenever we need him.

Why not everywhere? If you believe He made you, then he knows what you have to do in the bathroom and it's certainly by His design, not something dirty.

As the good book (not that one) says, Everybody Poops. (My daughter is potty training now, so indulge me).

So why not?

I think that our leaders who tell us what "He's" thinking show a bit too much ego. I can't speak for the big man. Can you?

Stu, this is one of the strangest things you've ever posited.

Suldog said...

He built the intake system. He also built the other end. If we pray to Him before meals, or thank Him for his bounty, why can we not thank him at the end of the process?

I believe that G-d's feelings are not as easily hurt as some others believe. He would not be omnipotent if He couldn't stand to have you talking to Him from the bathroom. If it offended Him as greatly as some might think, then perhaps He would have built us differently to begin with, right?

There's a difference between talking to G-d reverently or in our need, and talking to Him profanely, no matter where we are. If the heart is right, then it doesn't matter where your body is at the moment. If your heart is wrong, then being in a house of worship does you no good. Our physical surroundings are - IMVHO - utterly irrelevant in relation to our inward spirituality and humility.

I'll add this, though: Just by worrying about this, you've probably accomplished two things - you've given G-d reason to believe you are sincerely caring, and you've given G-d a good laugh. Both are worthwhile to have done.

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CrazyCath said...

Hi, I came over via Suldog's in reading his post for today.
I agree with Melissa and Suldog. G-d (I refer to Him this way out of respect for you, friend - I pray to G-d using his name)...G-d knows how you are made because He made you. He certainly would not want you to stop talking to Him because of where you are in my opinion.
Sometimes, it may be when we are in "unclean" states or places that that is where we just need Him and need to pray and reach out.

I think those who say we should not pray in certain areas or states (of dress, undress, whatever) are trying to speak for G-d and that is very presumptuous and arrogant. To me, it is like telling your father you will call him when you need him and you fall in a bog, but don't call him because you are dirty and must first get out the bog and get clean. To me, that is ridiculous if you can't get out the bog without his help.

That's just one opinion. Interesting post.

Anonymous said...

Stu, you are one of the most thoughtful people I know. So, when I saw this post, I knew that you were serious; that this really was a conundrum for you.

Like the others who have answered here, I truly believe that G-d welcomes your petitions wherever you may be, as long as you are sincere. I truly believe that G-d is our Father - and just as our earthly fathers (and mothers)have changed plenty of diapers and cleaned plenty of bottoms, G-d Our Father knows that it all has to come back out. Literally and figuratively - all G-d's children gotta go.

I really believe that G-d doesn't care where or when we come to him, only that we remember who he is, and where he is.

Thim :)