Monday, June 20, 2011

My God Comes in Flavors

WARNING: If you don't tolerate beliefs that differ from yours very well, this is not a post for you. Feel free to leave now.

I was born a Roman Catholic. I went to a Catholic school for nine years. I am Christian. My children are Christian. I believe there is only one God. I believe that God is so much, that we, as humans, do not have the capacity to understand anything but a small portion of God.

Starting with the premise that there is only one God, I looked around at the many different beliefs. Either I was right and all the others were wrong, I was wrong and somebody else was right OR  we were all blind men looking at the elephant.

When it comes to God, I believe we are all blind men. We touch the part of God closest to us and assume that is all there is.   I know my Christian beliefs are not wrong. However, I also feel that a lot of Christians put God in a box and try to limit Him and what He is capable of. I believe that the parts of God seen by Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Shintos, and Lutherans are just as real as mine. There is only one God.  Each have touched a piece of God, each a different piece. None of them are wrong- each is just an understanding of a limited portion of all God is.

When I was young, I read a book, Mister God this is Anna by Pappas Fynn. I read it again each decade of my life. The older and more experienced I get, the more the book resonates with me. God is so enormous, it is silly to put him in a box, and, more importantly, foolish to try to limit Him to what we understand.

I will return to my usual posts tomorrow.


Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

My family and I have had many conversations on this and have a long convoluted theory that basically agrees with what you say here. God is enormous. We don't know all the facts.

Oh, and Lutherans, same One God as Catholics, we just skip rosary and saints days ; )

Medkid said...

Amen sister. :) Having traveled part of my journey at a Christian College during which I visited the dark crevasses of depression known by far too many I learned, juxtaposed against the messages of "one way" putting God into a comfortable box, that in the crevasse God simply IS. Beyond definition that I can verbalize, beyond my ability to conceptualize even the tiniest part of Her, God IS. God was the "life" that I could sink into when the darkness faded all else around me into grey. In my own depression induced dementia I could know only this, that God is there; indescribable, but alive, real, present. My respect for all ways of encountering this universal God of love deepens as life goes on and I experience the broken-ness and heartache and joy of what it is to live fully human. I never went back to my old ways of belief after that.

Medkid said...

P.S I'm a newcomer to your blog! I love your honesty and spirit.

Anonymous said...

I read that book as a child and loved it. Thank you for reminding me of it {}

Ranger (under anonymous for no other reason than Blogger being touchy)

Anonymous said...

I found your post to be quite powerful! I have a strong faith and believe in God, but I also believe that others who believe differently from me also are worshipping God. God is good and sees our intent and I think having values, morals, and giving back are a key part of whatever faith a person has. Anyways, loved your post!


robyncalgary said...

Perfectly amazingly well said. Thanks for this!

Karen -AspergersMom said...

You are spot on.

Denise said...

Well said. I've never read that book; I'll have to look for it.

Ten Beautiful Years said...

I first saw this poem years ago in a children's book of poetry... I immediately thought this is how so many in the world perceive Who God is!

The Blind Men and the Elephant
John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a WALL!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, "Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a SPEAR!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a SNAKE!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he:
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a TREE!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a FAN!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a ROPE!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

GB's Mom said...

TBY- Thanks for sharing. They are the blind men I was thinking of!