The Question

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In AWAKENING, J. D. James shares his Spiritual experiences illustrating we are interconnected, while giving readers a new and different perspective to life’s timeless questions.

We believe AWAKENING’s stories are worth reading; and it’s worth your time to ponder, reflect, and consider the stories underlying messages. To read other stories click here.


One lazy hazy summer’s evening, after a long day under the hot Northeast Texas sun; one of those days, when the heat and humidity keep the hound dogs in the shade under the wood-framed houses, too tired and sweaty to chase a half-dead squirrel, Larry decided it was time to ask his question.

The sun was just starting to recede into night. Larry sat on his family’s home’s wraparound front porch with his mother, quietly knitting and humming a gospel tune, and his dad, smoking a pipeful of Prince Albert tobacco. Larry had just turned twenty. Larry decided to make his move.

With a look of confusion written all over his face that betrayed the little boy in him, he looked his dad straight in the eye and inquired, “Why does God require us to worship Him?”

His father almost choked on the stem of his pipe and his mother nearly drove one of her knitting needles through her forefinger.

There was a total silence that seemed to freeze the heart in his chest. Slowly, his father raised his right arm, seized the bowl of his smoldering pipe in his right hand, removed the stem from his lips, and said, “What did you say?”

Larry hastily repeated the question, “Why does God want us to constantly worship Him?”

His father, who was always cold and calloused toward him, who barely spoke to him, and never ever told Larry that he loved him, raised his voice and nearly shouted, “What kind of devil’s work is this? How dare you question God in my house, young man! What kind of question is this? Only a fool like you would ask it!

Every Christian knows that we worship Him because He is God! And I personally don’t care to hear any more of your blaspheming Him! So just shut up!” His mother nodded in total agreement with his father. But Larry continued to press the point.

“I know, if I were God, I would get tired of people begging, praying, and asking for favors all of the time. I could not stand the unending adulation. It would drive me crazy!”

His father bellowed, “And that is exactly why He is God and you are not!”

Larry’s mother joined the fray by saying, “I tried so hard to make you a good boy, Larry. What happened to you? How come you turned out to be so bad?”

Larry could hardly believe his ears. His mother, who he loved with all of his heart, had turned against him, just like his dad. A sour bitterness started to rise up into his throat that was made from years of his father’s uncaring detachment towards him, and the milk toast love given to him by his mother.

The Sundays, sitting on hard wooden pews, listening to preachers that condemned everyone to hell’s fires for the slightest indiscretions, and the obvious lies spoken to the congregation, who did not have a questioning, thinking bone in their bodies, started to choke in his throat, as he spat out, “Dad, you have the nerve to call me a fool!

I have watched you and your arrogant fellow deacons lie to church members about mansions in heaven; all the while, you and them are amassing riches on earth, and they are just too dumb to see you and them for what you really are. You can take your church and your make believe God and keep it for yourselves.

As for me, there are answers out there in the world and I intend to find them!” Thus, began a search on Larry’s part that would consume his entire life, a rift between him and his family that would last forty years, and the death of his father without any reconciliation.

Larry’s guiding Soul knew that the ensuing rejection by his family was the first step in an important encounter that was to take place decades into the future.

It was necessary for his family to ostracize him to prepare him for the role that he was destined to play in bringing forth the true word of the Creator One many years down the road.

As for Larry, he was personally devastated by his family’s reaction. He could not have anticipated, under any circumstances, the almost violent rejection of him and everything that he stood for.

Not just by his mother and father, but also by all of his siblings and members of his extended family. They all turned their backs on him; and he could not understand why. And it pained him dearly for the rest of his life.

Fifty-five years later, Larry received the answer to his question, and why his family was forced by their intolerant religious beliefs to cast him out.

I was led by my guiding Soul to give him the following answer: When you, like many others and myself, questioned why a Creator God needs affirmation through constant worship, your family ostracized you and was fully willing to allow God to eventually send you to the bowels of hell.

After all, it was your fault that you would be condemned for all eternity for asking a simple question for which they logically had no answer.

I once asked my mother-in-law, who like you and your family was a member of the same Fundamentalist church, if she were in heaven and a loved one was in hell, would she endlessly suffer knowing her son or daughter was enduring a punishment beyond the scope and understanding of even the most decadent sadist?

She paused for about ten seconds while she searched for an answer. Then, with a gleam in her eye and a smile on her lips, replied “There would be no need for me to lament. God would take all memory of that person from me.” How convenient can you get; in other words, what you don’t know, cannot hurt you.

Now let me suggest a few things for you to consider. First, your family members, like every other person, question the why and where of the same question; but unlike you, their fear of God’s wrath precludes them from admitting their own private concerns.

Under the rules of the Bible, since God is privileged to all of your private thoughts, to even think of this heresy is enough to condemn you and them to hell.

Can you imagine the fear that your questions created within them? Their collective and individual fears left them no alternative than to run you off both physically and intellectually.

Second, no one, and I mean no one, truly believes. I know for a fact that the power elites don’t believe because of their actions. I will give you the ultimate proof of this statement.

When a so-called good Christian person’s doctor gives them the final prognosis that they have but a few months to live, they do not go readily into that dark night; instead they try every alternative form of care available in order to prolong their lives.

They do not sink to their knees and thank God for finally allowing them to escape this veil of tears called life and go to their just rewards in the sky; they, like the drowning man, grab for any straw of hope that they can reach.

Third, the Creator One does not desire anyone to worship It. The practice of worshiping gods is a mystical practice from the dark ages of the beginning of mankind and carried forward into present times.

A large portion of humanity, the Europeans in particular, have started to not deal with religion in any shape, form or fashion. Recently I read a statistic that 90 percent of white Europeans do not attend any church services; and most of them freely admit that they do not believe in God.

The One does want you to do no harm and help everyone that you can. You do not have to love them; if anything, the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” has produced more chaos than it has good. People, in general, don’t believe it so they don’t practice it.

You have been on a long and arduous search for truth and enlightenment, and have reached the point in your search that you felt you would never find the answers.

As your end time approaches (since you are now seventy-six years old), a so-called chance meeting has introduced you to the light that you have so fervently sought. It is the promise to you by your guiding Soul that was made some fifty-five years ago that has been fulfilled.

You have traveled and searched the world; and now all that you seek lies before you. Your story reminds me of an incident that happened over fifty years ago.

In middle school, all of the students in my Speech class had to memorize the speech, “Acres of Diamonds,” which tells the story of a young man, who left his family farm to seek his fortune, only to return to that farm decades later as a broken, empty-handed, old man.

Weeks later, while digging to plant a garden, his spade unearthed a crystal-looking stone. First one, then another, and yet again, another diamond stone; with each shovelful of earth, more and more diamonds, acres and acres of diamonds.

The moral to the story was that he spent his entire life, looking for a fortune all over the world; only to find that the fortune he sought was in his own backyard, just waiting for him to dig it up.

We, the seekers of truth, have searched and studied teachings from around the world. Although they have been helpful, we have not obtained what we sought. I say to you, be like the man in the speech.

Now is the time to look within because in the garden of your guiding Soul, you will find your answers; and what you will find will have more value than all the diamonds on earth.

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