Alphabet Series - G is for God
Goodness Gracious I am going to go with God. I have to admit I have some discomfort writing about God. On the one hand it is hard to believe that writing about God could be controversial, but these days expressing an opinion about most things can easily result in controversy.
So, let me begin by stating my intention. I want to write about what God means to me and what God means to you. While many people may share beliefs about God, I tend to believe we all have our own relationship and it is our own unique relationship with God that I want to address.
A typical dictionary definition of God is: the one supreme being, the creator and ruler of the universe. I am sure many people will agree and many will disagree with that definition. Rather than jump into that controversy, I would like you to consider what is your definition of God. I would say your definition is true for you and it is upon that definition that your relationship with God is built.
I was taught in graduate school that belief systems are everything. I think that is a bit of an exaggeration, but if my professor believed that than it was true for her. If you believe there is a God then there is for you. If you believe there is no God than there is no God for you. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a relationship with God. You relate to God by not relating to God. When others may pray for guidance, you look elsewhere. When others might ask God to protect those they love, your desires for the welfare of loved ones is manifested in different ways. If you believe one thing it is hard to convince someone who sees things differently because both of you are invested in your belief systems. After all, they are everything.
I don’t believe there is one supreme being, one creator or one ruler of the universe. I do believe that people who do believe that tend to have a greater peace of mind in their life that comes from holding that belief. It is comforting to think that there is some force, some being, something that has control. That is especially comforting when you don’t feel you have much control. The saying that there are no atheists in foxholes alludes to how in times of fear and uncertainty people want that higher power looking out for them.
I certainly want to reach out to whatever forces there are in the world so that they can look out for and care for those people, places and things that are important to me. I also hold the belief that the supreme being, creator and ruler of the universe is within me. As far as I can tell the life that was created for me came from my parents and their ancestors. As I have aged I have taken on more and more the creation and ruling of my life. Certainly some may think that I am following God’s destiny for me and perhaps I am. I also want to believe that I am able to create my own destiny for me.
I know some people when in doubt ask: “What would Jesus do?” Some may replace Jesus with Buddha or Muhammad or anyone else. I see the value of that question. As a therapist I sometimes ask “What would your mother have you do?” or your father, lover or best friend. I often ask myself what is the greatest good and what is the most loving thing I can do.
All those questions provide opportunity for you to take a moment and reflect on the best course of action. Some people hear God tell them what to do and others ask the question and trust that their actions will be in accord with what Jesus, Muhammad or your mother would want you to do.
Many people’s relationship with God mostly holds steady through their lives while other people see that relationship shift as they make their way through life. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to believe in God or not believe in God. I think it is valuable to think about your relationship with life, the greater good and the planet you inhabit and do your best to walk that walk.
When I get down to the core of my beliefs about God I think that if there is a reason we are alive it is to do our best to make the world a better place. I don’t think anyone gets perfect scores in making everyone they meet and everything they touch better, yet I do think that is a meaningful goal. I don’t know what God, Jesus or anyone else would do, but for me, I would like to do those things that help make our world a better place for us all.