As a kid, I was never really sure what “God” meant. It was something that everyone else seemed to understand that was completely beyond my grasp (little did I know that most people were playing a pretty good game of pretending they knew what it meant, too.)
By the time I went to college, I’d pretty much decided that God was not a factor in my life – regardless of whether this entity actually existed, He/She/It simply didn’t matter to me.
Growing up where I didn’t feel safe or protected from the winds of chaos, that conclusion makes a lot of sense – if God exists, how could He allow so much craziness in my world?
Then I entered Inner Visions and everything changed. I was brought back to a concept of God that I could understand and feel good about. It was not the God of Judeo-Christian tradition who seemed so angry and overwhelming. It’s a God who loves each of us as His or Her unique children – each with a different story, a different challenge, and a different victory. The God portrayed in the book “The Shack” bears a lot of resemblance to the God I imagine in my head. And honestly, I’m not at all hung up on the idea of one God or many Gods, or God vs. Spirit vs. Universe vs. Life Force Energy – they all mean roughly the same thing to me. I simply use the word “God” because it’s the easiest shorthand in our language. I don’t really know what it means. I’m okay with that.
Since coming to this new relationship with the God of my understanding, I’ve still been shy about using the word “God” in public. I’ve told myself that I was shying away from the concept because I don’t want to step on anyone else’s religious triggers and lose them for the really important stuff. But the truth is I was scared that someone would hear me use the word “God” and think I was a religious fanatic, and that would be unacceptable to me.
It’s a thin line that I’ve been tiptoeing for years.
Recently I’ve spent time in conversation with someone who doesn’t believe in God, but who is deeply respectful of my beliefs and who actually wants to hear about them. We have fascinating conversations about the intersections of spirituality and science.
And you know what I’m finding?
These conversations with a skeptic are actually making me MORE okay with the idea of speaking about God publicly. Two days ago I wrote something in this journal I wouldn’t have written a couple of months ago:
…the very fact that God put me on this earth in this body means that I am worthy. And perhaps – just perhaps – someone or something Greater Than Me knows more about my future than I do. Who am I to limit the way that the Universe moves in my life? Who am I to tell God that I will not accept all of the goodness that the Universe has to provide?
This is very new territory for me. I am so grateful.
Isn’t it funny that it would be an atheist who brings me the next step back to God? I tell ya, God’s got jokes!!!!