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Thoughts On God.


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My Thoughts On God.

 

Growing up, I was taught that God was omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. To this day I still believe he is all those things, and more. I was taught that he was like a father, brother, best friend, true friend, the mighty God of heaven, and many other things but I had never had the chance to experience him in any of those forms. To me God was hidden behind the, back then, dark clouds of wonder, doubt and mystery, to only be discovered through years of hard work and study. I had, and still have, questions about God that no one seemed to want to answer, and the answers I received weren't satisfactory enough for me. I wanted to know more about God, about Jesus, about the Holy Spirit. I wanted to know where God was and how he could see everything. I was told that he was in heaven and he could see everything because he was God and to just have faith. I was told to have faith in and about many things but I was never told how; faith was as mysterious as he God I was to have it in. I was like a baby told to make her own bottle, because mommy or daddy was too tired or lazy to make it themselves, and not able to do so. I sought teaching but could find no teacher who was willing to explain "grownup Christian views" to a child who just wanted to know. I was told God was too complicated for a child to understand and to wait till I was an adult to ask those questions. No one would take me under their wing and show me how to know God myself.

Everyone wanted their children to be "saved" at an early age but didn't want them to experience God until they were adults, but by the time children become adults, they forget about God because they don't remember or don't want to remember him. The adults that do remember him don't remember much and are afraid to admit that they don't because they would seem ignorant. It's a vicious circle that needs broken. Adults don't know much about God because they weren't taught as a child, and are afraid to ask because, seeing as they're adults now, they are expected to know everything about God. Children learn from adults and when adults don't teach them they wonder why the child-now-adult doesn't know anything. You can't learn what you're not taught!

Now I see God as all the above mentioned forms. He's my Father, my brother, my best and true friend; however, the form I see him in most is a small eight-year-old-boy, peaking over my shoulder, wondering what I'm doing and being curious about me. It depends what the situation as to what form he takes. For example: My town square has a fountain in the middle of it, and if the breeze is right, you can feel the spray from the water. My four-year-old niece and I were at the square one day, and the fountain was squirting particularly high that day, and she was running in, around and through the fountain with some other children her age while I sat on a bench nearby, hearing their laughter and feeling the spray from the water. It had been cloudy that morning so it was a relief when the clouds parted to let the sun out from hiding. When the sun hit the fountain, the most glorious rainbow appeared in the middle of the fountain spray. The combination of the warmth from the sunshine, the laughter of wet children, the spray from the fountain and the beautiful rainbow, made me feel closer to god as a personal friend than all the years of going to church and listening to "soul stirring sermons" ever had. In the beauty of that day, I could feel God sitting beside me on the bench watching my niece and the other children play.

Having rediscovered God, I'm still a bit shy. It's like finally meeting a relative you've heard so much about but never had the chance to meet. Now that we've met, I have a lot to discus with him. I just haven't gotten around to it yet because I don't know what to say.

If I sound like I'm repeating things please tell me.

Kyler.

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Kyler,

 

Thanks for sharing your deep and innermost thoughts on God. it seems to me a good thing to hold to your experiences. Have you noticed during those times such as you wrote

The combination of the warmth from the sunshine, the laughter of wet children, the spray from the fountain and the beautiful rainbow, made me feel closer to god as a personal friend than all the years of going to church and listening to "soul stirring sermons" ever had. In the beauty of that day, I could feel God sitting beside me on the bench watching my niece and the other children play.
that there were no questions to ask since you were experiencing the presence of God in whose presence all is perfect and complete as is. Perhaps it is far better to experience that stillness and peace and presence than to have everything figured out and an answer to all your questions and the questions of others.

Just something to consider and a formal welcome to TCPC and thanks again for sharing,

 

Joseph

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Well Dutch, I don't know as if I'd call my thoughts on God, Holy writing. I was just puting down my thoughts and part of my journy for the inspiration and hopfully the enlightenment of others.

When I journy with God, I look for peaceful moments every day. Sometimes I find them in odd places or with odd people. One of the oddest places was on the bus with my niece, as she was listening to my mp3 player and bee-bopping to the beat of the songs as they played. She was trying to sing along with the songs but still can't quite keep up with them. Watching her bee-bop and listening to her tiny voice was like listening to a baby angel trying to sing; eventhough she hardly acts like an angel, my niece has her momentswink.gif .

I am trying to see the peaceful moments where there are usually sighs of relief or looks of "here we go again!". It's hard to do, having rediscovered God, but I shall keep looking.

 

Kyler.

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Just thought I'd put another slice of peace out there for you all.

Another beautiful day in my neighberhood. My niece and I went to the square again, but the water fountain wasn't shooting verry high. That didn't stop her from soking herself through thoughrolleyes.gif. We sat down on the bench we usually sat on and she asked me where the rainbow was; I told her it was hidng and she'd have to go closer to see it (If the fountain isn't shooting verry high, there is no mist to catch the rainbow). She went closer and then came running back to me screaming that she'd found the rainbw and to come see it with her. She draged me over to the fountain to show me the rainbow, and started chasing me.

I never thought I could find peace and quiet in motion, but running around the fountain with my niece laughing as she chased me, I felt another presense standing in the fountain. He was there watching me and my niece, running around the fountain, from inside the rainbow that moved with us as we ran. A little boy, beconing me to play with him in the water. If I'd had a change of clothes I would have been soking wet too. Unfortunately I can't run forever and I was forced to rest on the bench and wait for my breath to come back before running from my niece again.

I was also meeting my boyfriend at the square, and when he got there I sat on the bench to rest and tell him about the God-boy in the fountain, but my niece came and sprinkled us with water, dripping from her hair and clothes, and spoiled the moment and I forgot about my experience utill now.

Hope you find this insperational and uplifting.

 

Kyler.

 

P.S. Dutch, I'm not used to having my writing prased so highly and I hope you weren't offended at my last post. I do appreciate the compliment.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is yet another piece of, I hope, inspiration for you to enjoy.

 

A storm had been brewing all day and was finally rolling towards my home waiting to break loose and pour down. It didn't rain as hard as previously thought, but there was plenty of thunder and lightening. I felt compelled to stand in the rain and watch the lightening because it was my favorite part of any storm. While standing in the rain thunder and lightening, I composed a poem that does not rhyme traditionally and probably repeats itself.

 

GOD IN A THUNDER STORM

 

Smelling the lightening, feeling the cold rain, listening to the thunder boom and roar!

 

Saying God reins ever more!

 

 

There is nothing like a good thunder storm to let you know that god does still exist.

 

Though you feel lost in life's mist.

 

 

There are fire flies, and birds seeking shelter; and I feel that God is standing with me there.

 

In his awesome stormy air.

 

 

Beautiful lightening! Wondrous thunder! Through the rain I here God talking to me.

 

In the wind blowing through the tree.

 

 

Hear him in thunder, see him in lightening, feel him in the rain as it comes down.

 

Knowing him all aroun'.

 

 

In the rain he touches my shoulder, in the wind he comes and whispers in my ear.

 

Saying there's nothing to fear.

 

 

Thunder is gone there's no rain or lightening; now that it's done the air is starting to get warm.

 

I danced with God in a thunder storm.

 

 

I find it fun to stand in the rain and let it wash away the pain of the day and make the soul feel fresh. It is rare to find the perfect storm to do that with though. It's even rarer to take the time to let the rain wash your soul, the lightening illuminate your mind and the thunder speak to your heart.

 

I hope we all at some point try to dance with God in a thunder storm.

 

 

Kyler.

 

 

P.S. I should have mentioned that your free to express your thoughts on God in this thread no matter how abstract or random. It's not just for me and I apologize if it seemed that way.

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I don't have much familiarity with peace through a relationship with God. My faith and thoughts on God are in constant conflict. It keeps me awake at night. God challenges me, spotlights my faults and short comings, and sends me into regular bouts of personal reflection and re-evaluation. God highlights my weaknesses by continuously subjecting me to situations where I must work the hardest on character traits that need strengthening. If I am deficient in patience, I am subjected to situations where I need to exercise patience. If I am feeling anger, I am introduced to more situations that evoke my temper. My attempts to understand God are full of doubt and suspicion. My motives for following the path of God are under constant self scrutiny. Like Jacob on the mountain, I am constantly wrestling with God, and the way I describe my faith is in constant flux because of it. My God loves conflict and takes joy in confronting me. Through this conflict and confrontation I have learned more of faith and my dedication grows stronger. The peace so many express from their relationship with God makes me jealous, and, this too, provokes another round of wrestling with God. I often wonder if this conflict comes from God, or from my current and ever changing understanding of God, and then I wonder if there is any difference between the two.

 

Kyler, no need to apologize. Your reflections on God add more fuel to my attempts at interpreting the divine in my own life,

...and, yes, thanks for the poem. I have also dance with God in a thunderstorm, on the deck of a 36' sailboat far from sight of land. I was twirled like a whirling dervish and my perceptions were permanently altered by the experience.

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I don't have much familiarity with peace through a relationship with God. My faith and thoughts on God are in constant conflict. It keeps me awake at night.

 

 

Hi Jake,

 

It is my experience that God is profound peace and never in conflict with us. There is nothing in God but unconditional Love for his creation as it is at this moment in time in all its perceived imperfections. All else in my experience is created by a projection of the egoic mind.

I often wonder if this conflict comes from God, or from my current and ever changing understanding of God, and then I wonder if there is any difference between the two.

 

 

It seems to me that our current understanding (conditioned teachings and perceived experiences in relation to that) have much to do with the way we view God and the world. In my view, if we follow that in which Love and Peace is present, all conflicts will be removed. In my view, this is part of the teachings of Jesus and most all the great masters in finding truth.

 

Just something for consideration as relates to your thoughts above,

 

Love in Christ,

Joseph

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Thanks for the input, Joseph. It is definitely another perspective for me to consider and may be true from your experience, but not from mine. Forgive me if I voice a conflicting perspective since this thread is outside of the Debate and Dialogue section, but I disagree with several of your statements.

 

It is my experience that God is profound peace and never in conflict with us.

 

My personal experience difers, as does the text of the Bible. Frequently God has generated a conflict within the hearts of his followers. Take Abraham, for instance. God calls on him to sacrifice his son as a sign of faith. In spite of his love for his son being greater than his love for himself, or with any knowledge of the reprieve to come, Abraham obeys. He is spared the guilt of delivering the death blow, but the minute he raised his his hand, holding the blade, with the conscious decision to strike his son done, he was a murderer. There is conflict on a grand scale.

 

There is the Jacob, late in the Book, whom God actually picks a fight with. They wrestle until Jacob subdues God, demanding to be blessed before releasing him. He then was given the name "Isreal".

 

Numerous other figures have pleaded with God on behalf of man, some even managing to change Gods mind on some topics, such as the destruction of this or that city, or the deaths ofcertain people.

 

Again in the New Testament, we have conflict with God, such a the betrayal of Judas. If you step outside the literal translation the suggests Judas was evil or greedy enough to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver then one must ask themself who was really betrayed. Perhaps Jesus needed the hand of a killer to assure the fulfilment of prophecy in his own death, so Judas was put up to the task. (That is a conversation with numerous and intense implications that I will address on another thread when I have more time).

 

There was also the dream of Peter, where God lifted the Jewish law condemning certain meats a food, in direct conflict with God's own previous command.

 

There is peace and harmony to be found following God, but there is also a kenetic life of tension, striving, and conflict. Absolute faith involves continuous questioning and wrestling wih God. It seems that, although unquestionably a God of love, God also loves a good fight.

 

Just an alternate opinion, and food for thought. This is not offered to suggest any one else is incorrect, just that God is infinite, we are finite, and so is our comprehension of God.

 

*also, please forgive my atrocious spelling.

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I have wrestled with God at various times in my life. When my daughter spent 50 days in a hospital in San Diego (We Live in Denver.) I felt disconnected from Scripture: my experience in God's world and my understanding of God's word didn't jive. My thoughts and words about what I believed about the source and nature of evil and suffering were vague and inarticulate. I was not ready for a moment like this.

 

I think these jolts, traumas, or trials signal us that we need to deepen our understanding of our faith. John, a friend of mine, observes, "When times are hard, God wants you to learn something."

 

For me three movements happen

(1) A jolt--a realization that my understanding of God's word does not match my experience in God's world

(2) Then there is a time of wondering, wandering, and wrestling, searching for a new understanding that is coherent with my experience.

(3) Finally there is a new ability to articulate my understanding and a re-anchoring in the Scripture, understanding passages in new ways or becoming familiar with other passages.

 

At this point in my life I need to seek peace, centering, calm. This requires, for me, a change in “religious practice” as well as a new understanding.

 

It is a small thing but I now hold and manipulate prayer beads while in Bible studies and book studies so my comments are more considered and do not distract from the discussion. I haven’t figured out how to do this online but it would be worth while. I wonder if they would work when I talk to my estranged wife.

 

Dutch

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It is a small thing but I now hold and manipulate prayer beads while in Bible studies and book studies so my comments are more considered and do not distract from the discussion. I haven’t figured out how to do this online but it would be worth while.

Dutch

Funny, I do the same thing. That, and tie knots in string, while meditating on a particular scripture, or sometimes repeating a memorized prayer. It helps me remove my conscious thought from my attempt to be open to God. It is a calming practice, and I also wish I could find an online method of the same. Unfortunately, it would restrict my typing to one-fingered pecking in order to manipulate the beads, and I tend to be much too long winded in posting for that.

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Hi Jake,

 

No offence taken here and spelling is accurate enough to understand your point. As you discerned well, it is only my perspective and that is why I prefaced it with, "in my experience." I realized that is not your experience from your post and I freely admit that many Biblical writings make your point well taken. Agreement is never required of anything I say as a member here. It was only written for your consideration.

 

Being progressives here there is a very broad variety of views concerning the Bible and interpretations of which you may discern rightly from my posts that the written book known as the Bible of today does not, in my mind, supersede my experiential knowledge of God. So there will obviously be differing views and I respect your right to disagree and leave open the possibility that your view is true and I am in all sincerity most happy if it works for you.

 

Love in Christ,

Joseph

 

My spelling leaves much to be desired also so I use the spell-checker that comes with the Google toolbar. smile.gif

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Jake,

 

I had been wrestling with God since my childhood because I could never find anyone to tell me what I wanted to know about God, and my opinion changed with every church my parents joined. I am no longer a member of a church, but I am attending and helping out in one; ironically one of a different but similar faith.

I was 20 years old when I finally found peace with God and it was through the wrestling that I found it (I also had a teacher. namely my boyfriend). It is difficult to explain how I found it. One minute I'm wrestling with God, the next I'm at total peace because I realize that no matter how much we wrestle with God he will always be there to wrestle with. The realization of his presence ended our wrestling, and I can now look at God and actually see him for who/what he is.*

 

Just a stray thought here: Haven't you ever thought that maybe your not supposed to be wrestling with God about everything? Maybe through your meditations you can just let him hold you. Don't fight him, just let him hold you. Maybe your wrestling would end or at least calm down a bit if you just let God have you as you are and not try to wrestle him into your line of thinking.

 

Kyler.

P.S. I appologise if I seem to have strayed from the topic.

 

* more info in my posts in "Your Descriptions of God" Strictly my opinion.

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I think I detect a misconception that wrestling with God is a bad thing, or that the intent of faith should be to bring a peaceful, centered, and loving feeling to the faithful. Sorry, I don't see it that way. Faith grows stronger through conflict. My wrestling with God is growth. It keeps my thoughts on God new and fresh, and it stops any attempts to objectify God. Life is in constant flux, constant change. Every second brings a new opportunity for reflection on God. Since the nature of God is infinite, and my capacity for thought is finite, I will forever be viewing the perimeter of something I can never fully comprehend. It is a parallax. Every step in my life puts me in a position to view God from a new perspective, creates new questions about the nature of God, and generates new awareness. There are no definitives , no right or wrong answers, and never will be any packaged understanding of God.

I would love to continue, but i am going to be late for work if I don't put the keyboard down.

 

*Once again, my opinions, not meant to offend but to enlighten.

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