Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Voice of God

What makes me so special that God chose to speak with me? The truth is that I am not special, just willing to listen. God talks to all of us, every moment of the day, but few actually listen. Traditional religion might point to the conditions of modern life as the prime explanation for this. I say that religion is as much the problem as the solution. Traditional religion is a creature of rules and systems. As much as they might talk about following your conscience, they also expect that conscience to conform to their creeds and customs. After all, if this was something you could do on your own, how could they earn a living? What need would society have to pay for all the institutions to discern God's will? But we cannot let their fears about losing control or losing their livelihoods stop us from claiming what is really our birthright. God is our Parent. We don't need a middleman to talk to our Parent.

So does this mean that whatever feels good is God's voice? Trust me, most of what God tells me doesn't make me feel good, and it certainly hasn't made my life easier. The saying that ignorance is bliss has a lot of truth to it. And yet everything that God says brings me joy, because that is the nature of truth: joy. I know that where God is leading me is a place of love, goodness, and truth, even if it is difficult and costly. Perhaps the paradoxes of life are God's purest language.

Our ability to communicate with God does not depend on the amount of talismans we possess or the amount of time we spend in worship. You cannot meditate your way into the mind of God. What is required is an openness and desire to see. A willingness to look for God's words, especially in the places that we really do not want to look. This isn't to say that the former activities are useless. They are tools that may advance our readiness to hear, but they are not the means of communication itself. Again, God is our Parent, not our overlord. There is no need for ritual and formality. We can speak with them plainly and simply.

My purpose in life, as little as I have discerned of it, is to encourage others to speak to God in such a direct manner. It is not just the mystics who are called to have this kind of relationship with God; it is all of us. We are all that special.