Parousia? God – dog spelled backwards?

What options are available for those of us who are unaffiliated non-non-believers? Is there a growing proportion of “Spiritual but not Religious” members among us? Do even avowed agnostics find occasion to pray?

Roger Zelazny, Creatures of Light and Darkness, © 1969
The Agnostic’s Prayer

Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.

For weeks I’ve been mulling over what God and therefore prayer means to those who do not ascribe to a particular faith. I tend to prefer the Smörgåsbord approach, sampling tastes of the divine as the occasion allows. Which brings me to parousia: Greek for coming, arrival, personal presence and is often used to describe the second coming of Christ. The experience of the living light has moved me to tears, to poetry and to deep and abiding love. So, like the tree in the forest which may or may not make a sound if it falls and no one is there to hear it, can we be grateful to that which is largely unknown and only occasionally recognized? Is it, as the Navajo say, “In Beauty it is Finished.”

Or could it really be this simple?