Sunday, April 29, 2007

Imagining God

I grew up with a God who was on my side.
God helped me with class tests and conversation with girls. God was this Magical Male in heaven who had blessed me with a stable family, opportunity to study, and a wonderful (White’s only) beach to play on after school. I was dimly aware that things were not well in my country, but thought that if Black people really believed in God then they would stop rioting and knuckle down to gain a good education. And they would discover the joy of serving the Lord.

I have since realised that this was a God of my imagination. I projected my needs onto God – and viola: a God in my own image. Richard Rohr puts this well “God turned into a mirror image and projection of our own self”. (Simplicity: the Freedom of Letting Go New York, Crossroads Publishing 1991 pp21-22) Rohr continues:

In the end we produced what was typically a kind of tribal god. In America God looks like Uncle Sam, or Santa Claus, or in any case a white Anglo-Saxon. In England, God evokes the British Empire. A Swiss God, perhaps, resembles a banker or a psychologist….we find it very, very difficult to let God be God who’s greater than our culture and our projections…..and so we’ve created “God” to go on playing our games: a God who fits our system. A God who stands outside our system and who calls to us is something we can’t endure. Thus, for example, we’ve continually required a God who likes to play war just as much as we do. We’ve required a domineering God, because we ourselves like to dominate.

Once we realise that God is a projection of our own need we have one of two choices: either we reject the notion of “God” and plough our own furrow in life. This allows me to live life as I please, choosing my own beacons for direction. The other option is to seek a Divine Being larger than my personal imaginings. This option asks me to dissolve my personal ego-driven life into the possibility that there is more to life than I will ever understand. This asks me to allow for a God who is beyond my explanation. This asks me to submit my life to a Divine Will that is beyond my manipulation. A God who will take me to places that are alien, that will make me uncomfortable, and even afraid.

I choose to be drawn into life by the Unknown God.
And ask your prayers that I can occasionally glimpse signs of the promptings of the Divine Spirit.


Gus said...

isn't god weird

Murray & Gina UK said...

now thats a real projection Gus...