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.
The 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.