Keeping God Small

We limit God. We want to understand God in terms that are familiar. We prefer to think of God as an indulgent grandparent or a withholding administrator. We want to make God into something we know. That way this whole God thing becomes handle-able.
But the truth is God isn’t handle-able, we can’t manage God, and we can’t possibly comprehend the power and extent of God. We can experience God in our own particular terms but beyond that we’re intellectualizing. And that’s a sure way to distance ourselves from God. With our minds in the picture, there isn’t room for God.
God is an experience and that experience is momentary. It’s parochial to say that God wants me to be good. For heaven’s sake, that was your mother! You’re not a child any longer. Grow up and open to God in grown up terms. No more self-indulgence, no more hope of being saved from yourself, no more innocence. It’s inappropriate to pretend guilelessness if you’re over fourteen.
God offers engagement and redirection and reflection and change. God is not an authority who can be manipulated. God is and God is in the very deepest cell in you. God’s not out there, you can’t avoid being known by God, and you can’t wrestle anything from God. It’s all yours right now and always has been and always will be. How’s that? God is not a goal to be achieved but a state of being to experience.
If it’s so simple, why don’t we all just open to God and say, “Your will be done” and relax? My theory is that we don’t really want to know God. We don’t want to experience our oneness with God and we don’t want to lose our boundaries. We’d rather be separate and think we’re in control of our lives than surrender. Then maybe we can be somebody.
By midlife we’ve gone lots of places and tried lots of things. We know the outside world pretty well. We’re established in business and in our lives and we think we know who we are.
Life has been predictable and relatively logical until midlife. Then slowly the bottom falls out and the rules change and we realize we don’t know who we are at all. And that’s when we can open to know God.  It’s our choice. If control is still a big word for you, surrender might terrify. We have had many many opportunities to learn that we are not really in control. Nevertheless, our minds still try to convince us we can yet work our own will if we only persevere. We can live out our lives in that vein if we choose. We can forego mystery and magic because our Controller doesn’t want those anyway.
If, however, we’ve had enough pain and we’ve cried enough tears and we can’t do the same old thing in the same old way one more time, well, then we open and say, “Your will be done.” Partly it’s out of exasperation. We’ve seen repeatedly that our will can’t cut this job called Life. And partly it’s out of excitement—we want the magic and the mystery that beckon and we’d hate to die having foreclosed on those options.  
And that’s when we’re ready to know God. We stop. We move inside. We wait. We say, “Yes” to what we don’t know, but we know we’re available. And then we accept what happens.


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