You’ve probably heard the story about the atheist professor who was walking through the woods one day, admiring the accident of evolution. He looked at the trees and the flowers; he observed the rivers and the animals, and he marveled at the magnificence of evolution. All of a sudden, he heard a rustling in the bushes, and out pounced a seven-foot grizzly bear. Immediately, the bear began chasing him. He ran feverishly to save his life, huffing, puffing, and crying, with the bear catching up with him after every step. Eventually he tripped and fell. Now the bear hovered over him, ready to pounce. That’s when the atheist cried out, “Oh my God, help me!”
All of a sudden, a light came from heaven. The bear’s paw was in the air ready to swipe at him, but the bear froze. The river stopped flowing. The wind stopped blowing. Everything was perfectly quiet and perfectly still. That’s when the Voice spoke. Through the light, the Voice said, “Sir, do you really believe that after all these years of denying Me, after all these years of believing that this universe is merely a cosmic accident, and after all of these years of teaching your students why I do not exist that I would help you now?”
The atheist peered at the light and replied, “You know, You’re right, my track record is bad, and it would be hypocritical of me to call on You now, but maybe we could approach this a different way. Even though you can’t do anything for me, perhaps you could turn the bear into a Christian. If you did that, things would still turn out differently for me.
The Voice from the light responded, “As you request.” All of a sudden, the river began to flow, the wind began to blow, and the trees began to rustle. The bear sat back, picked up its two paws, and clasped them together. It looked up, and said, “Oh God, thank you for this food I am about to receive.”
There’s a point to that silly story: Life gets scary for all of us sometimes. When things get bad enough, it’s amazing the new direction that people are willing to look.
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.” (Psalm 53:1)