This is the third blog in a six-part series that’s looking at the concept of “Where’s God When Life’s so Hard?” In looking for answers for myself, I came across what I believe is an incredibly important link to the past and it’s found in the oldest continuously held (uncorrupted) culture on earth. Outside of the Bible Indigenous Australian life seems to be the only uninterrupted tradition left on earth that confirms a loss of something vital and that without it, or finding our way back to it, life on Planet Earth will never be the same again. The clues are wrapped up in the Lost Dreamtime – the time when the blueprints to Life were laid out and the creation season began.
o The Lost “Dreaming”
The Dreamtime stories are a complex network of knowledge, faith, and practices encompassing both spiritual and physical aspects of indigenous Australian life. The Creation time is “The Dreaming”. It held the blueprint for life. And “Dreaming” is spirituality or belief – it’s what we call: Faith.[a]
The Bible says: “Now FAITH is confident assurance in things hoped for and conviction about what we do not see… By FAITH we understand that the universe was formed and the worlds were prepared by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible… And without FAITH it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek him.”[b]
So the first thing we need to understand when we look at our own life, and the world around us (especially in relation to the storms we face), is that something went wrong after the time of “The Dreaming” (the creation time). We’ve rejected, walked away from, or lost connection with “Dreaming” (spirituality or belief). We lost our faith. This isn’t about believing in just anything. It’s about holding onto believing in the Dreaming – the Creation time – faith in the beginning. Faith in the original ‘Blueprint for Life’.
o The Lost “Life”
Indigenous Australians believe that, before all ‘life bearing’ forms came into being (i.e. plants, animals and humans) their life-spirit existed.
The Bible says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was LIFE …”; “… the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of LIFE, and the man became a living BEING.” Now our life-spirit is in the hands of the One who gave us life in the first place: “…in Him we LIVE and move and have our BEING… ‘We are His offspring.’” [c]
So losing touch with “the Dreaming” meant losing touch with the life source. After we chose to take matters into our own hands at the start of Humanity’s Epic Saga, God drove us out of the Garden of Eden then, “He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of LIFE.” [d]
o The Lost “Father”
Before 1770 there seemed to be little wrong with the life of Indigenous Australians. Mother Earth was providing everything they needed, and they lived at peace with their environment.
This was mostly because they had an important basic understanding. Each person is custodian of the place where they were born.In other words, their bit of land was ‘mother’ to them and provided everything they needed. No-one in neighbouring communities would ever dream of separating the ‘mother’ from the children produced by her, by invading or taking by force the territory that was in someone else’s ‘custody’ by birth right. So they lived with perpetual ‘peace on the borders’.
The Creator God said: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” …He created him male and female… God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, and subdue [cultivate] it…”; “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation…”; “He makes peace in your borders; He satisfies you with the finest of the wheat…” [e]
Connecting with The Dreamtime as best they could, became central to community life for Indigenous Australians. Through dance, music and costume, they interact with the Dreamtime in a fireside event at night known now as a corroboree. But in the thousands of years that they’ve handed the stories down, they’ve never been able to bring back The Dreamtime in a sustained and permanent way as it once was.
So I wonder if we could travel back in time to ask them, would they say that their only negative in life, was being separated from the LIFE within the Dreamtime. It’s a sort of vague sense that something serious was wrong with what they had. Perhaps a sense of being away from what is now lost — outside of, exiled, or excluded. Or was it more like a feeling of being … Fatherless.
Whether the root cause of our life-storms today are the consequences of our own actions or someone else’s actions, it’s interesting that Father God seems to always get the blame! The argument becomes: “If He’s at all as loving as the Bible says He is, why didn’t He warn me? Why didn’t He stop the chain of events before ‘xyz’ happened to me?”
But the question really should be who really is to blame and how did our problems begin. If you would like to read on, click on to the next blog 2.4 Who’s the Villain in the Story?
[b] Hebrews 11:1-3&6
[c] John 1:1-4; Genesis 2:7 and Acts 17:28 [NIV]
[d] Genesis 3:24
[e] Genesis 1:26-31; Acts 17:26 and Psalm 147:14 [NASB]