The Nature of God

I heard a story years ago that merits repeating here. (These are my words, not the original.)

A three-year-old asked to be left alone with her newborn sibling.  The parents, obviously, denied her request, but when she kept persisting, the grandparents suggested that the baby be put in the crib, and a monitor in the room turned on so that they could listen in.  The adults were curious.  As soon as the little girl thought they were alone, she whispered to her new brother:  “Quick, tell me about God.  I’m forgetting already.”

Imagine if we could all remember where we came from.  If God was not a mystery, but one evolving, omniscient force to which we all were consciously attached.  Imagine how that would change the world.

Yet, we do not have such memory.  We have opinions, speculation: faith.  Some would kill for their convictions, even without proof.  God is a super-charged, elusive concept that can empower, or stifle life, depending on human interpretation.

I don’t know anymore than the next person about the nature of our origins, but I do know this: looking into the eyes of my newborn granddaughter there is a presence of something beyond the innocence of her being.  Watching her approach life with such enthusiasm and hunger, makes me believe that there is an innate wisdom there that surpasses our mundane knowing.

I have more questions than I’ll ever have answers.



“I don’t know, Lynn;  I just feel flat, as if I’m stuck.”

“You’ve probably just reached a plateau.”

“What do you mean?”  Lynn, fifteen years my senior, was a beloved cousin and mentor.  When I was young, I knew her as a famous singer who traveled and performed with celebrities.  Poor health forced her off the road, and a failed marriage stripped her of all material wealth.  Yet, Lynn never lost her quiet dignity, and I found in her a gentle friend, who was always willing to listen.

“The spiritual journey has been compared to climbing a mountain:  sometimes the going is easy and exhilarating; sometimes it is steep and difficult; and sometimes you reach a plateau.”

“That feels about right.”

“Have patience, and when the time is right, you will move again.”

I always pictured Lynn as a pillar in my life.  Her strength and presence often held me up.  Since she died fifteen years ago, no one else has taken her place.

* * * * *

My quest for spiritual enlightenment started as a little girl.  I distinctly remember being five and having a strong sense of purpose, as if God put me here on this earth to do something.  I felt it was important to keep the door open for God, so that I would be ready when the time came.  My faith was pure, innocent, and wholehearted.

Fifteen was when I started to have doubts and  turned my back on God.  I also fell into a depression that would not break for many years.

At twenty-eight, I felt like I suddenly woke up from a deep sleep, and the quest was on again.  These were the years when Lynn and I bonded, and I tackled that mountain with fervour.  I had never felt so alive.  Even through hardship and pain, I never felt alone.  I knew that God was with me.

Then I turned my back again.  It was nine years ago, but now I’m backing, asking questions again; wondering.

I guess I just hit another plateau, Lynn.