This has been an interesting thought process for me. When I first thought about what to write about for this post I thought about a range of things. Traditions, churches, the bible, certain practices like communion or blessings, prayer... in short, religion.
But that is not what day six of this challenge asks me. These are all things that stem from God, but are not in actuality God. I'm not surprised that I thought of these things first. They are the representation of God that surrounds us. They are some of the most widely publicised, not to mention badly publicised, things in the entire world. But to write this post correctly I feel I need to put them aside and thinks some undiluted thoughts on God.
First of all, as with anyone else, you start with a name. God. Elohim. 'Elaha. Brahman. Gitche Manitou. I AM. El Shaddai. Allah. Yahweh. Adonai. The list is endless and spans many faiths. Big Man Upstairs is my favourite.
Next you would go for a visual. Now this is a tricky one. There is a thought that as man is made in God's image, God might look like us. I don't know myself. And if I wake up on the 22nd of December this year and nothing happened then I may never know until I shuffle off this mortal coil. I do have an image that comes into my head, which now I think about it is a projection of the God that I myself would have been made in the image of. This person sits on the clouds with bare feet dangling over the edge watching the world. The feet are swinging happily. I have to admit that this person looks entirely like Dumbledore. Not because I believe God is male, but probably because Dumbledore is the most clever, the most wise, the most all-knowing personality I can conjure up. Though saying that, God pissed off must look a whole lot like Professor McGonagall.
Now, what does God sound like? For me, God sounds like me most of the time. My own voice in my own head telling me a thought that makes so much sense it's incredible. Almost like the voice of reason in my mind. When a brilliant thought comes to me as if from nowhere, like it has just been dropped there, I'm willing to think that maybe it was. I find that often when my brain has been rejecting this thought it gets bounced off to someone else who shares it with me, and in those instances, God sounds like the people I meet. There is certainly no big booming voice. Not in my experience.
You'll notice I talk about God in close connection to myself and my experiences. That's because first and foremost I think that God is different for everyone, and is incredibly personal to that person. God is whatever guidance, encouragement and love YOU need to make the best of YOU and YOUR life. That may be why my God sits on a cloud swinging his feet. I'm really good at taking the hint. "Oh that way? Sure, I'll go that way. I need to be on Iona? Oh, ok." Not for one second do I think that I'm perfect at this and need very little help, but I do think I'm good at listening for direction. Myself, my plans and my life are so laid back that maybe God has time to sit around in between fixing stuff for me. If I ran around crazy, hectic and constantly busy God might pace around on his cloud instead.
Most importantly of all, I keep this as an image and only an image. An image dreamt up by my understanding, which in truth is quite little. Even the most learned mind doesn't have much of a clue.
Unlike many learned minds and religious fanatics, however, I am willing to admit I may be wrong. The important thing for me is for my mind to remain open.