For many the word God has a garbage truck full of pain, confusion, fear, misunderstanding, anger, and resentment piled on it. Burned in my memory is an image of me as a seven year old boy, sitting with my family in a pew at mass. The priest was speaking but I wasn’t listening. I was staring up at an enormous statue of Jesus on the cross. His head, which was hanging down to the right, had a crown of thorns on it. Blood was trickling down his face. Nails were holding him to the cross by the wrists and feet. He was clearly in pain. He was sad, broken, betrayed, and yes … suffering! And for who? ME! He died for my sins. Geez, I didn’t even know what the heck I did to make him have to die, but it obviously was bad.
Something was really wrong with this picture of a suffering savior who just hung there week after week, year after year, for centuries transmitting the same message over and over – “I died for you. You need to feel guilty, but also be grateful – feel ashamed but be sure to love me.” How confusing.
I was told that it was God’s will that I suffer here on earth and that I would be rewarded for it later. Doing without, sacrificing my own wants would make God happy. Putting other people’s needs above my own was the right way to be. I got the message that if I did these things, when I died God would be well pleased (if he’d pardon my cheating on my SAT test, my sexual desires … and a few thousand other things), then, I could finally be free of suffering. But … not until then.
That’s intense and violent imagery for an adult to handle not to mention a young child. The God I learned about was mean! M – E – A – N. Who wants to turn to him? Nobody, that’s who. But here’s the deal … that old, external God will not and cannot help you be happy, prosperous, succeed in love or anything – because “he” is not real! That’s just a ghost of a God that was made up centuries ago to scare and control the people. HE’S NOT REAL!
Today I feel so blessed because when it comes to God my mind has been renewed. Not only do I not believe God is mean but I experience God as an infinite, unlimited goodness that is always available. Right now. Not after you lose that weight or stop doing that thing you’re ashamed of. Not once you have more money or start volunteering – God’s goodness is absolute, which means it is perfect and has nothing to do with time, space, or circumstance. Now that ‘s a new idea! It took me some years to understand this and even more to start living and accepting this as my truth and experience of life.
How is the “old God” still haunting you and keeping you from trusting, letting go of fear, becoming prosperous, more healthy and happy, and maybe even living your dream? Maybe … ha, no maybe about it … you just need to take the time to get rid of the old God and allow a new, fun, always-here-for-you God to awaken.
Remember “… with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26. This is really, really true. You just need the right God. He/She/It is easy to find … and I’m happy to help you.
Peace & blessings, MAL