Over all, I don’t know much about making peace with God, or our concept of who “god” is. Mostly because I’m not very good at making peace with my self. I can’t seem to reconcile my emotions, fears, dreams and hopes with how I live in the every day.
I’m not who I want to be. Probably never going to really be that guy. I’m too selfish, near sited, weak, and human to ever love like I want to, do what I *really* dream, and truly live carpe diem.
There is this verse in the book of Malachi [edit: ok it’s actualy the book of Micah] that says (in the Aaron-says-it-like-this version), “God has shown you what is good; And what does the Lord require of you? This: do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.”
I like that verse. It gives me some boundaries for being at peace with God, for doing the kind of life he calls good.
Over all, I don’t think people can really argue or complain at that verse. I mean, who really doesn’t want to live justice or be merciful? Walking humbly with God… I know some people can take it or leave it, but it’s still a beautiful picture ain’t it?
Even with these boundaries and my full heart wanting to live them out well, I suck at it. I don’t know how to do this stuff. Maybe I’m just too critical of my self. Maybe I just listen to that voice of failure that shouts loud and lots in my head. I don’t know.
What I do know is that I never feel that I “got it figured out”, never really feel that I’ve made peace with God.
Maybe that’s part of the point.
Psychologically speaking, they say our concept of god is largely shaped by our experiences with father figures. My dad was sort of around, seemed to sort of care, and took me to his girlfriend’s house when we were going to spend time together. Not sure what that says about my concept of God. I certainly don’t picture Mr. Freeman in a white suite. In fact, I don’t really picture anything at all. Left to my own paint set, I draw God as far off, aloof, having better things to do than hang with me. I mean, I know he loves me and all… but does he like me?
Making peace with God is something I don’t think about mostly because it seems too big and hard and too much work for me to try and connect with some far off deity and hope I did enough that was good so that he will like me.
This is one of the big reasons I’m still a Christian. The story of God and Jesus that the bible tells me isn’t a story of someone who I need to make peace with. It’s a story of someone who comes close to me in my broken mind, heart, body and life, someone who made peace with me because he simply loves and likes me.
I think it’s awesome to face your childhood fears of the god you were shown. I think it’s healthy to show the little one inside you that that god is a figment of bad theology and human error. The concept of god as the big ol’ bastard in the sky is like the monster under your bed: scary as hell but ultimately it’s just an old shoe and a moldy pizza box. I applaud you for wanting to reconcile those fears and be free.
As for me, the only way I know to get rid of my bad un-picture of God is to try and get to know him as he really is, and be willing to let him teach me how to lean into the person I deep down want to be, the person he wants me to be: healthy, hale and whole.
It’s this better, more true version of me that I have a problem coming to terms with. It seems like that person is so unreal and so unreachable that it must be imaginary.
But the God who loves me, likes me, and made peace with me even after I gave him the finger (a couple of times over) seems to insist that health and wholeness are the best for me, no matter how hard the healing is.
Here is love. We didn’t love God first; rather, he loved us and sent his son as the sacrifice that makes peace for our broken lives.
1 John 4.10