Getting to know God personally
When you start asking the real hard questions - the existential questions - a reality sets in that humbles you. At least this is what happened to me as a child.
Just writing to know God.
I’ve decided to pick up writing again because, well, I’ve enjoyed it since my youth. It’s kind of like sketching except words instead of quick lines are used to birth imagery. The ability to put thoughts together, primarily supported by coherent sentences that can draw pictures in our minds is really amazing when you think about it. So, I’ve set about to do something amazing, which is write.
But not just write about anything. I could you know? Write about anything. However, there isn’t much that I’m so passionate about I feel compelled to scribble down my thoughts. But writing about one thing, or person in particular gives me the greatest satisfaction and also delivers the greatest mental challenge. There is simply no thought higher, nothing more maximal than God. No matter how hard you press yourself to think, to stretch your finite mind, you can not, you will not reach beyond the idea of God. I need to be careful though, because when I say God, many people have their own definitions, characterizations, assigned stereotypes, biases and stigmas. Even those who proclaim from the rooftops they are atheists. Belief in that being existing is moot. While atheists may reject the very notion of God they still have an idea of who this being is supposed to be or at a minimum represent. Kind of like Santa Claus. The truth is, the very mention of God creates different imagery in the minds of people. And because there’s no maximal thought higher than the idea of God everyone has a mental ceiling. These ceilings however, aren’t the same for us all. Some have a ceiling that is lower than others, some are smooth while many are like popcorn. Then there are ceilings with lights and those without. Point is, we don’t all share the same ceiling and because of this fact we have differing worldviews. Let me explain a bit better.
God is the ceiling.
When I say God, for some people images from Greek mythology formulate in their minds. For others, it’s a picture of Jesus, Allah, a Hindu deity, a luminescent spirit, or even the wonderful Flying Spaghetti Monster. Each of these beliefs carry a defining nature which helps to shape the person’s worldview and subsequently a distinct perception of reality. If you believe God is nothing more than a figment of one’s imagination then your mind is the ceiling. Why? Because there’s nothing higher than yourself, or rather humanity. It’s a reflection of the belief in naturalism. If you believe God is a being like Zeus or Hercules, then your ceiling is humanity with superpowers. If you believe God is the creator of the universe your ceiling stretches past the abilities of mere mortals. And if you believe God equates to Jesus, your ceiling stretches past a supernatural creator and into the depths of this God also being personable. See, high ceilings, low ceilings, smooth, popcorn, light or dark. What you see, how you see and how far you see when you look up will define your worldview. It will define your ceiling. Many people don’t realize they live inside of a bit of a conundrum. Reaching for so-called truth and knowledge, they’re like a nine foot giant crouching around in a room six feet high. They’ll never really obtain truth and knowledge because they’ve predetermined their ceiling and refuse to walk from underneath it. Truth and knowledge only becomes relative to the limits of their imagination or what they’re willing to allow themselves to believe. Which should be based on evidence of course.
Why did God create the world?
Since my youth I’ve always believed there was a God who wasn’t some kind of watchmaker being. A God who isn’t involved with His own creation never made much sense to me. I can’t think of anyone who’s ever gone through extraordinary lengths to create something, only to not be bothered with it the moment they’ve finished. If absentee parenting is abhorrent, then absentee God-ism (is that even a word?) is much worse. Furthermore, I knew there was an ultimate good because as a child I learned there was such a thing as ultimate evil. More on that some other time. And like many, if not most kids in school, I learned about the Big Bang theory, macroevolution and microevolution, astronomy, cosmology and other fields of study. However, none of it was even close to satisfying my questions not of how, but why , where and for what reason? See these questions presuppose the idea of purpose which is only presupposed by intelligence. Intelligence meaning something that thinks, but in this case this intelligence can go farther and actually execute on their thinking. Just how lightning strikes has never been of interest to me. What has interested me, is why is it necessary? Why a world with lightning vs a world without? Hypothetically, could a world such as ours exist without lightning? Or how about this. I’ve been been intrigued by the fact the human body contains enough DNA to reach the sun and back over 60 times. But, I’ve been more intrigued with where that much data came from and why it was necessary to exist? Sure, I know we need this data as humans to fully function, but why not more data? Maybe I’d like wings so I could fly. Why did this data need to arise at all? The ever-so unsatisfying and empty answer, evolution, which is nothing short of genetic loss of information through mutation doesn’t help. In short, who asked for humans? Did this inanimate, non-intelligent rock we live on one day just magically decide, “Hey, I’ve got it! Humans!”. No. That just screams ultimate level absurdity. Why? Because rocks don’t talk let alone think or give life.
When you start asking the real hard questions - the existential questions - a reality sets in that humbles you. At least this is what happened to me as a child. The world, the universe, became much larger and I became much smaller. It wasn’t enough to just live in this world. Instead, I wanted to know who was behind it all. What was the reason, the purpose? Why did it have to be?
Dreaming of the Creator or the creation
Think about something incredible that was created by someone else that you simply admire. An amazing meal at a new restaurant that kept you talking for days. A new car that has all the bells and whistles you wanted and drives like a dream. A new pair of shoes that you’ve been eyeing for months and you finally took the plunge. How often do we really care how any of it is made? We don’t obsess over how the proverbial sausage was created, we just care that it is good and we’re more obsessed with who made it. Why? Because when we want another pair of shoes, a new car, an amazing meal, we know who to go to so we can experience the thrill all over again. The person behind the things we love is way more interesting than knowing how everything we love works. And so it is with our universe and all of creation within. Sure, we can obsess over how the universe works, coming up with theory after theory, explanation after explanation and that’s great. Yes, the how is important to an extent as it concerns our universe but I want to stress that the deeper, harder, more fundamental and basic questions are much more important. Why, who, where?
Think of someone you’d really like to meet. Maybe it’s a famous actor, athlete, the president, entrepreneur or a musician. While you may enjoy what they create, the moment that you dream about is meeting that person. When you get the chance to meet them, what would you ask? The more shallow questions pertaining to their craft such as, how do you shoot a jump shot, what is the manufacturing process for your cars, or how is a movie made, or even how do you produce a music track? Or do you ask the deeper questions as you search for what drives them? The questions that expose their humanity as they ascended to greatness. What is the origin story? What gave them their drive? Why their craft? What was the journey like? What’s the end game? Who gave them their break? What can you emulate to be like them?
Chasing after God’s heart.
And so, as I look at life, it is the person behind it all that is most intriguing to me. It is this person that I chase after. I believe we should all be like David, a man after God’s own heart. Constantly seeking Him, constantly being obedient and willing to do whatever God asks. It is this kind of chasing, that physically and spiritually brings us closer to God. It enables us to not only know about God, but it provides a pathway to getting to actually know God. Personally.