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The Most Important Things Don’t Have Molecules

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Topic: Faith
Scripture: 1 Peter 3:15
Source: Illustration Exchange
Author: Mitchell Dillon

I am a regularly scheduled spiritual counselor at a local drug and alcohol rehab center. Unfortunately, most of the patients at this center aren’t there in search of spiritual answers, so group sessions can get rather interesting. During one session a particularly cynical young woman objected to my attempt to turn the discussion in a spiritual direction.

“I only believe in the physical,” she said, “what is physical is real, everything else is just a bunch of #$% &#$%.”

Like so many of these men and women who enter rehab at such a young age, she carried herself with a surprising air of self-confidence given her current circumstances. Nevertheless, despite the dead end that had become her life, she was confident that she had it all figured out.

“Really?” I replied. “So, if it doesn’t have molecules it isn’t real. Is that what you’re suggesting?”

Her slumping form came to life as she sat straight up in her chair and leaned more intently into the conversation with a bold and brash, “Absolutely! That’s the only reality!”

With this statement she had laid out her gauntlet. She then relaxed back into her chair with a satisfied smirk, confident that she had done her part to put an end to my foolishness.


“I don’t believe that and I don’t believe you do either,” I countered.

“What do you mean?” she asked with an ever diminishing interest in the conversation.

“Well,” I said, “things like love and justice and freedom don’t have molecules, yet men and women are willing to give their very lives in pursuit of these things.” I continued, “Doesn’t the importance we all give to these things suggests that they are just as real? How can one thing be more important than something else and yet not be as “real.” Isn’t it true that all of the most important things in life don’t have molecules?”

Disarmed by the questions, she simply rolled her eyes and went mute for the remainder of the session.

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

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