Five Things I Wish God Had Told Us Long Ago

Last summer, while hanging out with a few friends of a certain age, we began to discuss how much life had changed since we were kids. One thing led to another and eventually we arrived at a kind of mutual consensus that our parents had done a pretty poor job of preparing us for the realities of adult life. “I wish my parents had taught me something about finances. Even how to balance a checkbook would’ve been helpful,” one friend confessed. We all laughed in agreement. Sex, marriage, raising children, money, practically all the big topics had been given precious little attention. Furthermore, because we were born in an era where technological change was faster than it had ever been before, our parents wouldn't have been able to imagine the changes in store for their children. 

After the gathering of friends had disbanded, I continued to think about our conversation. It came to me that Christians often compare Godhood to fatherhood, our heavenly father if you will. Which led me to ask myself the following question. “How does God, our sky daddy, compare to earthly fathers when it comes to sharing valuable information with his children?” This little exercise culminated with my husband and I making a list of all the things we wish God had told humans. Apparently, he had a giant advantage over our earthly fathers by being all knowing. Yet, the information shared with us was scanty at best while other bits were useless by either being totally outdated or utterly ridiculous from the start.

Is parenting by its very nature an act of colossal neglect or was god just choosing to withhold valuable information?

Could it be that god the father was actually the role model for our earthly fathers? You know what I mean. You ask him for an explanation and all you get for an answer is, “because I said so.” At any rate, without further ado, here’s the list that my husband and I managed to produce, narrowed down to the top five things we wish God had told humans in order to better prepare us for being alive.

I wish that God had told humans about: 

Germs! To think that for centuries and centuries we buried our children prematurely when something as simple as washing our hands could have saved lives is so cruel as to defy explanation. Because we had no idea that germs even existed, we had no explanation for why we got sick in the first place let alone an understanding of how germs spread.

Sunsets and sunrises! Since our ancestors had no idea where the sun went at the end of the day, they were often terrified. Mysterious wonders called for bizarre behavior. If they had known about the earth circling the sun, they might not have made so many human sacrifices. What a waste.

How Methuselah lived to be so old? We only managed to double the lifespan around 1950 with the advent of vaccinations. Before then, if two parents had twelve kids, they might be lucky to raise half of them to adulthood. Yet, apparently, long ago, people had lived to a ripe old age of many hundreds of years. In Methuselah’s case his age was mentioned,  almost a thousand years old, but why and how he lived so long was kept under wraps.

Rotation of crops! If we’d known from the beginning that rotating our crops would help us maintain our top soil, the Great American Dustbowl and the devastation of crops in China might never had happened. Scientists had finally come to understand the importance of this simple practice, but people being people, they refused to consider it. There’s no explaining the reluctance of humans when it comes to embracing new information. The stubbornness to keep doing things the old way isn’t God’s fault, but it would have gone a long way toward saving lives and preserving soil if God had just made rotating crops one of the ten commandments.

Harnessing the power of the sun and wind! Since God made the sun and commands the winds, detailed instructions about how to use solar and wind power to run our homes and keep us warm would have been great skills for the godfather to teach his earthly children. We might’ve skipped over the use of oil entirely, stopped cutting down trees for fires and avoided slaughtering three million whales in the 20th century alone. Gee, God, you could’ve saved your children and the entire planet lots of trouble.

On July 25, 1752, Peleg Folger, a great whaler from Nantucket, wrote the following: “In our boats after whales, we struck a yearling. At the yearling’s side the cow always keeps. Presently, she struck likewise and at last we killed her by much lancing. In her flurry, she made a miserable wreck of our boat, yet we were all taken up well and not one man hurt. Praise the Lord for his mercies and his wonderful works to the children of men.” 

While I fully understand that Peleg was merely trying to make a living, how might things have been different if the Lord had instead instructed him wisely like a true father and in turn saved Peleg and his crew from the terror of such a close call? Furthermore, how much better off the whale would have been? If you’ve ever read accounts of the killing of a giant sperm whale, you should understand that it’s a violent and long drawn out process. The raw aggression and suffering of the beast and the extreme danger the crew faces challenges the premise that every life is precious. Unfortunately, Peleg’s story at sea is the story of all creatures born to this world. If indeed we’ve been created by a heavenly father, he appears to be more like a deadbeat dad than a hands-on dad, abandoning his responsibilities as soon as we’re born. To think that we could have harnessed the power of the sun long ago if our sky daddy had noticed that we were cold and in need of light is heartbreaking beyond comprehension.

So there you have it!

It’s pretty clear to me that at best God has been a most negligent father according to human standards. He’s been sitting on some of the most helpful information, innovative ideas and thorough explanations in the entire universe, yet hasn’t been inclined to share jack shit with his creation, I mean his children. Instead, humans have been left to suffer and die while struggling to figure things out for themselves — the hard way. And, although we love to say that what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, deep in our hearts we know that’s a pitiful explanation for why a loving god would choose to blatantly ignore his own creation.

What would you add to the list of things you wish God had told humans long ago?

Teresa Roberts is a myth buster by trade. At eighteen she escaped the religious cult of her childhood, but soon learned that society at large also expected her to conform. She has spent her life debunking the myths, fairy tales and cultural expectations that limit the creative process. Turns out almost everything they told us was a lie. Her recent published book - Have We Been Screwed? Trading Freedom for Fairy Tales- can be purchased on Amazon.