The nice thing about the word ‘God’

Photo by zane carter

There’s a modern aversion to the word— the ‘G’-word — God… I know I’ve had my battles with it (some publicly on the blog here). At this moment in history, we’re bringing to light some of the nonsense we as humans have built around it. And I think it’s largely healthy that we’re doing this.

But I also see that we’ve thrown so many babies out with the bathwater when it comes to that word that we may have done more harm than good.

The truth of the matter is, when we’re speaking of the spontaneous life force beneath human thought, it’s hard to beat the word, God. Yes, we’ve turned a spiritual principle into a deity and given ‘him’ a name (and a belly button, which is an entirely new conversation), but it gave us the wherewithal to describe — as well as we could — the indescribable. With the word God, we can now have a conversation about the divine. Which has been nice.

The thing is, we’ve invested too heavily in our own man-made invention. It’s turned from a symbolic thing that describes the utterly real spiritual depths of our human experience into a real thing. A deity to fear, pay taxes to, genuflect in front of, and suppress a shit load of people in the name of. I won’t get into the weeds too much here, but you know as much as I do how much unneeded misery has been wrought under the name of God.

However, we can’t escape the fact that at a certain level, it just… works.

The best thing about the word God is that it gives us a nice picture of something (in this case someone) other than us — more than us — that’s living through us.

See, the good stuff in life lies beyond our personal thinking. We’re healed at the depths, not through personal thought, but through the presence of something beyond ourselves that creates thought.

We’re transformed when we live from the perspective of something/someone greater than ourselves who lies beyond our personal narratives.

God becomes less of a priority when we emphasize a life of safety and certainty. When we have the super secure 9-to-5, our health is perfect (or not critical, at least), we live in the good part of town, our car runs, and our bank account has a healthy balance, we can start to believe that our personal thinking has done us well.

But, if you’re like me, life always calls us to something more. Not more of what they tell us on the advertisements (this leads mostly to disappointment if we chase only that). But to more of ourselves.

When life has us on our knees, we’re clearly called to more. And this is why so many in this position find this thing/person we call ‘God’. Because they see in true color how their personal thinking is severely limited.

In either case, the only way to truly live an exuberant and full human experience is to live beyond our past selves. This is where the notion of God shines. Because, in ego-speak, it’s not just ‘us’, it’s something beyond ‘us’ (although, in reality, it actually is us as the divine can never be separate from us).

Thank God this is a possibility.


At this moment, I put aside my resistance to the word *God*, allowing myself to be open to more than I’ve ever considered before. I know the people who introduced me to a fear-inducing, limiting, Calvinistic, angry, resentful, judging God may have had my best interests in mind (or not), but regardless, I put that aside in order to make room for a new God. One who represents a deeper divine intelligence and love. One who calls me to see myself in the other and to create a world that works for everyone. One who knows that my past narrative is only an editable script.

I also know that this God is a much better writer than me. If I just hand over the pen to this deeper love and intelligence — this profound truth and beauty — and see where s/he takes me.