jonathan stone's blog

. . . posts on faith and life

Practical Atheism

All babies born in the Czech Republic are required to have their hips sonographed three times within the first three months of their life. These sonographs are to take place once at birth, once at rougly 6 weeks of age, and once at 3 months. I was told by the doctor that they are checking for “developmental dysplasia of the hips” which is somewhat common in the Czech Republic (Alethea—AKA Dr. Allen, my pediatric consultant from the States,HAHA— you were right!).

Last night Lillian and I headed out for her second sonograph appointment (the first one was done in the hospital after birth). Her appointment, scheduled for 5:10 PM, was in a section of town with which I am less familiar. So I was a bit worried about finding the office. After we got off the tram at the right stop I wandered around for a while not able to orient myself to which direction I should follow. I stopped a young woman and asked for help. I followed her directions to no avail. I looked at my watch. I was already late. Would they even still let me in to the appointment if I was to find the office? I was becoming stressed as I realized that if I could not find the office I would have to reschedule the appointment, a frustrating inconvenience to have to arrange our schedules so Jon could watch Eloise or get a baby sitter, not to mention getting Lillian all bundled up to go out. As I grew more and more anxious I heard a small voice in my head whisper: “You could ask God to help you find it.”

I was immediately ashamed of myself. I quickly asked God to help me, apologizing for not asking Him sooner, for not trusting Him with even the “smallest” details of my life. Not too much longer after that moment I found the office. And, yes, the doctor still saw Lillian.

I live in what is called the “capital” of atheism. The vast majority of people in this city profess with their mouth that there is no God. They are by their theology and their ideology atheistic. Unfortunately, so often, I am atheistic in practice, or “practically atheistic”. My day to day practice does not recognize God’s presence in my life. I do not always practice my belief that God is personally involved in my life. My professor, Dr. Kevin Reimer, from the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, introduced this term to me. He challenged his students to evaluate their lives for the presence of practical atheism. If we are to influence those in the world, including those who claim to be atheistic, our practice and not just our statement of faith must testify as much. They must be congruent. God’s presence, which permeates our lives, must be so acknowledged.


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This entry was posted on December 8, 2005 by in Uncategorized.
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