Giving up on God

Giving up on God: I’m considering it.

I don’t ponder this from an atheistic precipice or in a state of existential angst; rather, it’s an all-out gamble on (and hunger for) a God who supersedes my doubt, who surprises, who stays, who’s relevant and BIG and full-of-felt-love.

From stock.xchng ~ http://www.sxc.hu/photo/857236The argument could legitimately be made that the God I’ve known since childhood is this God. I would not disagree—completely. But it’s much more complex. That God has often been so bound in strictures of thought and doctrine and prescribed behavior that I’ve felt suffocated at times – unable to breathe deep, to imagine wildly, to believe in ways that expand my heart, my soul, my world.

If God is, as I have been taught, full of unconditional and endless love, then my experience of such should be defined by freedom, grace, and ease, yes? Instead, many of my learned patterns take me to compliance, obedience, aspiring-toward-perfection, penance, offerings, and yes, that prescribed behavior; the manifestation and “proof” that I am good enough, worthy enough…enough, period.

I do not believe these things to actually be of God, still, they are the predominant ways through which I’ve come to not only measure my own worth, but also the health/status of my relationship with the Divine. And yes, I can intellectually argue myself out of all of this, but that does not lessen its grip; its ingrained, deep within, at-a-cellular-level hold on my heart.

I should be quick to say that I’ve also had profound personal experiences and seasons of belief that have been incredibly meaningful and even miraculous. It’s not a binary – my thoughts of God: all good or all bad, all true or all false, all worthwhile or all folly.

It’s complex: this God thing. And some days, it exhausts me; other most days it’s the only thing that sustains my hope.*

*
Lest you are worried, it’s not actually giving up on God that I’m considering; it’s giving up on the work of considering God. It’s my desire, intention, and prayer to fall into Open Arms, ease, acceptance, flow, and grace; into a Presence that strengthens and soothes; into a God I inhale and exhale as naturally as I breath.

And maybe this is that:

If God is God, then I can trust that He/She/It will not give up on me.

Inhale. Exhale. Yes.

Share
Click any and all of these buttons to share! Thank you!

    My writing. My heart. Your inbox. Subscribe.
    Blessings. You deserve to hear and know the most beautiful truth(s) about yourself. FREE.

    { 11 comments… read them below or add one }

    Lisa March 22, 2013 at

    I understand what you are trying to say about our relationship being “more complex”, but it’s our fleshly nature that makes it complex when it doesn’t have to be. God wants us to come to him as children. Faith like a child. That’s all. We are the ones that make it so complex with rules and regulations and have-to’s. That is not from God. That is called “religion.” Jesus did not come to bring a “religion” he came to bring freedom. Our problem is that we think it has something to do with us. We need to “do something” to earn this freedom, to “attain” it, when all He asks is for us to believe. That’s it. Then live our life in relationship with Him knowing we are a child of God. That changes us. It’s a process. Things I did before I knew God I don’t do now because I have a relationship with him. I don’t have a relationship with rules and regulations, but a person. That’s different, and so your whole paradigm of the world shifts.
    If I have a season in my life where I don’t feel God’s presence or my spiritual life is dry, it’s not because he took himself away from me, his Word says that nothing can separate us from Him, it’s because I’ve taken myself away from Him. It’s always a choice though. His love is scandalous. He loves us, all of us, regardless if we know him at all. We don’t deserve His love and yet he sent his son to die for us. He even died for those that would never accept him. That is scandalous. That’s outrageous. That’s Jesus.

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick March 22, 2013 at

    I love that you are clear and focused on this, Lisa. And…the tyranny to make it more complex nips at our heels, doesn’t it? Of course, not from God…but still quite real. Thanks for being here…

    Reply

    Trenton March 22, 2013 at

    This is something I pobdered a lot over the last few years and ultimately I’ve made up my mind that I am an atheist. My logic and my reason could not lead me to a conclusion that there was a God that cared or was involved in my life, much less a God at all. I believe strongly that faith is a strong force that helps people live their lives, my heart just doesn’t feel it and my mind can’t fathom it. I would never advocate atheism to anyone, especially those with faith. Listen to what your mind tells you and more impotantly what your heart feels.

    Reply

    Lisa March 22, 2013 at

    Trenton- if your open to it, trying listening to Ravi Zacharias. He’s an Oxford professor who challenges you to think about what you believe from a logical prospective.
    http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking-broadcasts/
    I wish you great success on your journey of discovery.

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick March 22, 2013 at

    Mmmmm. Love hearing your heart, Trenton. Logic and reason. Faith and belief. None of these are black/white categories, are they? And your words – powerful and true: “faith is a strong force…” Indeed.

    Reply

    Elinor Predota March 22, 2013 at

    So much yes. My own deprogramming from the Christian ideas of salvation and original sin took a long time, even though – when I was a strongly practising Christian – I was a member of a liberal Methodist congregation.

    What helped my deprogramming the most, and enabled me to open to my current experience of God Herself within feminist Paganism, was working through A Course In Miracles with a supportive group. (I am forever grateful to the Divine, to Miranda Macpherson and Robert Holden, and for all of my fellow questers in Birmingham, UK in the late 1990s for that opportunity.)

    It doesn’t matter, I don’t think, how we free ourselves of the straight jackets around our minds, hearts and souls when it comes to our relationship with Source. What matters is that we do.

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick March 22, 2013 at

    Beautifully experienced – and said, Elinor. Thank you.

    Reply

    Melissa Rohwedder March 23, 2013 at

    I saw this post first on G+, and was moved by it and compelled to share my very personal experience with finding a new way to look at all things Spirit, which I wrote about a lifetime ago. http://www.litebleu.blogspot.com/2005/07/sunday-morning.html
    Melissa Rohwedder recently posted..liar, liar, pants on fire.

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick March 24, 2013 at

    ‘Read your 20005 post…and then a few more. Beautiful writing. A beautiful heart. And one that beats similarly to mine. Thanks for reaching out, for sharing you…with me. And yes, these decisions/moments do feel a lifetime ago. Though I wrote the post this past week, this has been an ongoing conversation/movement/journey for nearly fifteen years now. So many iterations. So many changes. So much grace. I’m grateful.

    Reply

    Joanna Paterson March 24, 2013 at

    I’m pretty sure complex doesn’t even get close to it! Your willingness to explore and share these questions Ronna makes me feel – I don’t know what the word is, hopeful, reminded, connected – because it is somewhere in this human mix of doubt and faith that what matters – love, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, grace – comes flowing through.
    Joanna Paterson recently posted..Catching the Light

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick March 24, 2013 at

    So appreciate your words, Joanna. They encourage me in deep and needed ways. Thank you.

    Reply

    Leave a Comment

    CommentLuv badge

    Previous post:

    Next post: