The God of Your Understanding

This past weekend, I was part of a discussion where everyone was asked to share their idea of God – the God of their understanding. It turned out to be an insightful and fascinating discussion. As I’ve said on here before, I don’t think of God (or the Higher Power, if you will) as a one-size-fits-all deity. In fact, I’ve even found in my own journey, my idea of God has evolved and changed and grown.

Since I started to feel that I was “OK with God” (in other words, not too messed up for him to love me), and that it was OK for me to really believe and trust in this higher power, there are some characteristics that have remained as constants:

1. This God is loving. Why would I put faith into something that’s scornful and punishing?

2. This God is stronger than me. I can surrender my problems, my pain, and ask for the burden to be lightened. It’s worked for me, many times.

3. This God has a plan for me that will be revealed if I really listen for it – and it’s greater than what I can come up with on my own. And it feels a heck of a lot better than trying to “fight the universe” or forcing decisions that just don’t work for me.

But, there have been some changes too. As I’ve gotten away from a formal church environment and found other places and ways to develop my relationship with God, the way I interpret God has changed too: I now see God less as an “outside entity” and more like something that’s a part of me, something I carry around all the time. I think this part of being mindful – I really try to avoid doing things that go against my spirit. Most of the time, I know when that’s happening. (And I’m far from perfect on this, but it’s cool – I try to get it right next time.)

I’m sure this idea of God will grow and change for me as time goes on. That’s OK – I’m growing and changing too.

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Andrew Hines

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