God has a plan

The last time I prayed and believed it, was when I was 11. I sat down with my brother and we prayed all night long, hoping it would save one of my other brothers' life. It didn't. He died a couple of days later.

I stopped believing in God right there and then and I've been very sceptic about it ever since. It is much more effective to be kind and be a light in the tunnel for those who need it, instead of believing that some superhuman creature will take care of you if you speak to it often enough.

This week I had some time to fix the server and network of the American College in Leuven. I have been maintaining only the mail- and webserver for some years now and it was time for an upgrade and a make-over. After upgrading the server and setting a new secure password policy, I had a look at the wireless accesspoints and found out that it wasn't secure at all: for years, neighbours had been taking advantage of the open accesspoints to download all kinds of crap.
Well, I took care of that. All of those APs are now secure as well.

The reason why I like helping out the ACL, is because the people there are so kind. All of the people there are religious, and some of them might actually be priests, I don't know. The reason I don't know is because they act like regular people. Unlike the priests (and religion teachers!) I had met previously, they were not constantly preaching about Jesus, God and all the magic anecdotes from the bible.

Anyway, they are building some kind of podium in their chapel and I was interested in that. During one of my conversations, father Mahar mentionend that they had had a mass in the chapel that day for me, to thank God for bringing me into their lives.

And I was overwhelmed by that. That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.
Maybe it was God's plan to guide me towards ACL, but I doubt he has to kill off my little brother to do that.

So now I was wondering. If God has a plan, and we are all part of it, then why is it necessary to pray to God ? Why is it necessary to believe in him ? In fact, if God is so powerful, wouldn't he be able to bake this God-belief into people from birth, and make sure noone ever questions it ?
And if people start questioning it, maybe THAT is God's plan ? It could be argued that whatever you do in life, is actually a part of God's plan.

I still don't believe in God, but I'm now more convinced that being nice pays off in the long run.