Not “what” but “how.”
That is, this post is not about theology. We’re just noticing the “grammar” of the “language” our mind uses when we want to reach “deeper” or “higher.”
“I pray to God every day,” a friend told me. (He knew I had been a pastor and wanted to have a talk.)
“Does God hear you?” I asked. (His ego was strong enough to enjoy such a probing question.)
“Well, sure.” I sensed there was more, and waited. “I believe he does.” (We had an even longer pause, and then he looked me straight in the eye.) “I’d really like to experience him, wouldn’t I?”
We both laughed. He’d gone through several centuries of theology in thirty seconds.
“Sounds like it.” I said.
The Tale Wagged
Putting God outside us seems to turn him into an idea, a concept. Rationalism did that, theologies do that. It’s unavoidable.
But seeing God as inside us seems to reduce God to my feelings and my thoughts. That happened with Romanticism and certain charismatic movements.
What these two viewpoints have in common is the assumption that you’re separate from God. It’s a conundrum!
When we notice these two ways of thinking and suspend both, it opens a space that’s more useful than our “maps” or ideas or feelings.
Like gravity, like a magnetic field, God waits for us between our thoughts and feelings, beyond them, below them. Luckily, perfecting our thoughts and feelings is not really a prerequisite for knowing God.
The lonely, hungry, restless feeling that you need something Out There or In Deeper is okay; take a deep breath. Be thankful if you can. Raise hell with “God” if you can’t. Shrug your shoulders at your mental process if you don’t believe any kind of God hears you.
Experiment with the notion that it’s only our own static that keeps us from receiving the signal.