Although my parents were not religious and I became a devout atheist at a young age, I nevertheless grew up with this visual as God as an anthropomorphic being.
Like many in the predominant Judeo-Christian culture of America, God was this huge man with a long white beard. And, in my mind, He sat on a throne, looking down, passing judgment on humans and instilling fear in them. Even as a young child I never ‘got’ how a Being who I had been told was supposed to be all powerful, all knowing, and all loving, could also be a punishing One. This contributed to my not believing in God.
Thanks to page 12 in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, where the novel idea of choosing one’s own conception of God was proposed, I came to believe. And in choosing my own belief in an all powerful, all knowing, and all loving Being – a God of my understanding -, the face of God changed. And changed… and changed.
These days God is Spirit, Higher Power, The Great Mystery, and known to me by many other names. Its look is usually not anthropomorphic, except perhaps when Spirit takes on human form as an angel in my life. The look of God is fluid for me – but the qualities are not.
So while I may sometimes visualize my Higher Power as this great energy field, a huge wonderful wave washing over me, or all of Nature surrounding me, God remains eternally all powerful, all knowing, and all loving.
I’ve also come to know many other wonderful qualities of Mother Father God: great Comforter, ultimate Listener, peaceful, Helper, Companion, interested only in my highest good, and, of course, always with me.
Since my early days as a child, I’ve sure come a long way in my relationship with God. It’s the ultimate journey of my life and one I’m glad I didn’t miss.