Since I started training as an Interfaith minister I have had a lot more conversations about God than ever before in my life. I like these conversations, because every single one of them helps me explore my understanding of what we tend to refer to as ‘God’.
The most important question I have been asked is:
‘Who is the God of your understanding?’
Now, regardless of whether you call the divine God, Love, Allah, Yahweh, if you do belief in some sort of divine force, you have a God of your understanding. What does this God look like?
The question obviously is, does it even matter?
In Interfaith it doesn’t matter, that is why I am on my current path. There is absolutely no rule that says what my God should look like, and there is no rulebook that says how I should relate to God. The important bit is the acknowledgement of a divine force, no matter what shape it appears in.
Quite a few people have assumed that, since I train as a minister, my God is an old white bearded man sitting on a throne in a bunch of clouds in space that plays evil ant farm with this world.
‘I don’t believe in God, because how could HE do all of this to the world?’ These people ask me, waiting for me to give some sort of response.
That is not my God. If you are waiting for me to defend that God, you’d have to wait for a long, long time. My question to those people is, ‘Why do you assume that God is making everything on earth happen? Is this something you thought of yourself, or is this something someone once told you?’
My understanding of God has evolved throughout my lifetime as much as I have evolved throughout my lifetime. I have even had times where I imagined there to be no God at all, and us humans just being a very highly evolved species trying to control all forces on this planet. Even referring to God as God now, doesn’t sit with me 100%. I’d rather call it the divine.
And, absolutely, if you really do not feel that there is any divine force whatsoever, cool. I’m not here to tell the world there is a divine force. I could try and explain to you the difference between an atheist and a humanist, but that is that.
One of the things I love about my training is that in the group of about 50 people, absolutely no one has the exact same idea of who or what God is. Isn’t that beautiful? We’re like a really big bouquet of all different ideas about the divine.
In my experience it is very natural for opinions to grow and change. I remember in my youth, thinking that everyone over 35 was ancient! I am very happy I didn’t hold on to that believe.
The same with God. My current idea of God is an energetic force that exists in everything and keeps the equilibrium. This changes the idea of prayer to the idea of redirecting the energy because of intention. I don’t pray to a person. I believe my prayer, because of its intention can have a direct effect on the divine energy that is alive in everything and everyone.
Will this still be my idea of God in 10 years’ time? I don’t know.
I would love to hear from you about the God of your understanding. Especially if your ideas on that are still evolving. Your God can be whom- or whatever you want that to be, imagine.