You can’t figure out God (maybe we should stop trying)

Since the beginning, humankind has been trying to figure out God. Numerous religions currently exist, even denominations and factions within the same religion, all claiming to have the correct understanding or interpretation of God. And yet most religions agree that God is a mystery and can’t be comprehended definitively.

If this is true, what is the value of pouring our energies into understanding, comprehending, and determining the correct view of God? And further still, devising a system of beliefs and practices based on this understanding? Would this make sense if your starting premise was that God is a mystery and beyond comprehension? Wouldn’t that be like saying, “I know I can’t jump high enough to touch the moon, but I’m going to keep trying anyway.”

Further still, where did the premise of trying to figure out God come from? Does God expect or desire this of us? Does God want us to pour ourselves into determining this correct understanding? Was it all meant to be about increased comprehension? Are there any clues in Jesus? Did Jesus focus people on the task of unraveling the mystery of God? Did Jesus encourage people to develop a comprehensive understanding and belief system about God?

Yesterday I experienced deep feelings of love and peace and connectedness and intimacy and acceptance and joy. Is it possible that this experience was all the “God” I need to “know.”At the time I felt no inclination to understand or comprehend anything more than what I was experiencing in the moment. Trying to further conceptualize it in some way to fit some certain comprehension of God seemed more of a distraction than a value added.

So, I’m wondering what would happen if we became less concerned about figuring things out and comprehending God, and instead became more in tune with those deep feelings of life within us, whenever and however they happen. Maybe the premise of comprehension was never meant to be the focus. Jesus seemed to keep it pretty simple, even using children as an example to follow. A child enjoys the moment and isn’t terribly analytical about any of it. Maybe these deep feelings and the responses they stimulate and inspire is the kingdom of God and no further analysis is needed.

I’m not meaning to discount any person’s search for truth , including the desire to understand and comprehend God. This isn’t one of those, “the intellect is worthless, only ignorant people try to comprehend God, blah, blah, blah…” I’m just thinking out loud here about where we place our focus and why.

What would it look like to let go of the need to understand and comprehend God, and instead to simply be present in the experience of God’s kingdom with no further need to comprehend or explain it? Like, what if that was enough and that was the way it was meant to be? No need to formulate concepts about it, no need to locate some place within a coherent belief system to authenticate or justify it, no need to judge it, understand it, or analyze it.

Jesus once said that knowing his truth resulted in living freely and unencumbered. Jesus invited the “weary and burdened” to come to him and find that “yoke is easy and burden is light.” Maybe Jesus was referring to freedom from the wearing and burdening weight of religion, and it’s insistence upon figuring it out.

Latest Comments

  1. Cheryl Stone says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. When I’ve attended religion classes, one ‘mystery’ that people always try to unravel is that of the Trinity. When asked how I would describe the Trinity, I always say, “It’s a mystery. And yet, I get it.” I really do get it. I think I ‘get it’ because I didn’t spend half my life trying to ‘get it’. I just – get it.

    Let go and Let God is a popular saying. This post explains that very well to me.

  2. Jenny Joy says:

    Hi…I really enjoyed this article…It put into words what I often think…I’ve come from many years in man made religion to enjoying the last 8 years Free from it, and I’d never go back…These days I keep it simple….Live Loved by God and Love whoever…And I so appreciate those random times where God lets me know He’s always there…Like when I was waiting for my son at Arrivals at the airport and as I stood among all the people rushing into each other’s arms, seeing the smiles and tears of joy, I was suddenly bowled over by waves of Love and I just knew God was saying “Hi” to me too…By the way, your Book Divine Nobodies was one of my stepping stones to Freedom, Thanks! 🙂

  3. jonathanmontan says:

    Balance is the key to all things.

  4. thewisetent says:

    I appreciate where this post is coming from and where it is going (as it begins to help my understanding), but as someone who deeply and richly struggles with understanding who God is and what He expects of me as a human being, suddenly giving up the search for “knowing” or “trying to know” just leaves me with the same feeling of just how intangible He is and that frustrates me. I need a place to start (I’m referring to my “spiritual journey” [sorry I cringe at that over-used phrase] but as a Christian I feel like I’m wandering and I need a place to start.) I hope this makes sense.

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