Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ruminations on God and Faith

This blog began a short time ago as a status update in which I wanted to express certain thoughts and ideas. It soon became so much more than a few simple lines, and I felt it necessary to move it here instead. Hopefully it doesn't bore you to pieces or make you hate me. If it does, however, then so be it.

Having a relationship with, having faith in, God is often a troubling thing. On one hand, I know that were we to meet face-to-face (as much as one really can meet him/her/it face-to-face anyway), I will be humbled in the presence of such a powerful being; filled with awe, but not fearful as many might suggest. There are so many questions I have and too many problems with God's actions to just complacently open my heart and mind. Comparing God to our parent(s), do we open our hearts unconditionally to them, even if we can't reconcile to certain perceived affronts or evils perpetrated by them?

Many would provide arguments, for and against God, and to them I say, go right ahead. Cite scripture and tell me where I am wrong. Point out the fallacies of having faith in God. Tell me how I need to open my heart and submit. Give me a proverbial road map to spirituality. Most words will fall on mildly deaf ears, though not deaf ears due to an unwillingness to learn.

I have entered into a relationship with God, a sort of covenant, if you will. I will come to him, not as a subservient individual, but as a near equal. Not equal in the sense that I can create material things or will things into existence, but in the same way that, with my limited sphere of influence, I can affect change and inspire people to greater things. It is within my power - through understanding, compassion, and love - to example for people how best to live alongside our brothers and sisters. In that way do I see us (God and myself) as equals.

Cry out, "but Andy, you've got it all wrong! You make too many mistakes or you're not nearly as wise as the Lord God." I argue that God has achieved wisdom through meditation over the years, and through trial and error. It's apparent that he has changed his mind on many issues over the years, and that his love and patience have increased as a result.

The Book of Genesis details a simple truth: we were made in his image and likeness, men and women both. Not in a physical way, but in a metaphysical and very emotional way. Whatever he is mentally and emotionally capable of, so are we. The very nature of this belief provides an explanation beyond a simple thinking of "we look like God." I believe, it suggests that "God (also) looks like us." We're so perfect a reflection that whatever we are capable of, so is he as well. Read the old testament if you disagree with me, and take note the number of times he smites us out of disappointment or anger at violation of his commandments.

But it's not all anger and smiting (I love that word); he has matured since then, grown more patient and tolerant. Relating to an earlier statement I made, that his love and patience have increased, I only view these changes as confirmations of my beliefs.

If you seek to prove me wrong, by all means try, but don't be prepared for any real debate; in most cases I only participate to learn, with no real intent to change others' ways of thinking. Maybe I am wrong, and maybe I'm so far from the path that I shall never attain salvation. If that's the case, however, then I'm okay with the alternative. I'd rather burn for my beliefs than be rewarded for not being true to myself.

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