How does one describe something that another has never had the opportunity to experience? The question becomes even more challenging after the normal use of words, metaphors, pictures, analogies, and descriptions all fail to convey the scene and experience. Coming to the Redwoods each year always brings this question.
I know that my words cannot do justice to the scene. How does one describe the feel of minute droplets of water that rest on you with the morning fog? What do you do with the smell of the breeze drifting off the bows of a young Redwood tree? Does a blend of clover, mint, and blackberries make sense of anyone who is not standing in the midst of the swirl?
Pictures are never able to get the physical nuances into the scene. Analogies are poor imitations of the real thing; besides, they are never completely accurate! In the end, only the real thing will do.
Many people talk about God. Some even try to describe what a relationship with God could be like. My experience with many who are the most aggressive with their descriptions leads me to conclude that either we know different Gods or we experienced something very different! The question always comes back to having your own experience.
In your search for God, be informed. Do not accept another’s description, because it will always fall short of the real thing. Remember, “you’ll find wisdom on the lips of a person of insight, but the shortsighted needs a slap in the face.” (Proverbs 10.13) Take what helps you grow closer to God; when it hinders, move on. Confront wrongs by standing tall; get physical if necessary.
Today the coastal fog blankets the Redwoods. I know it is going to burn off before the morning is out, leaving us bathed in sunshine and the smell of the Redwoods. I know that you are on a search for God. The Spirit is close, looking to guide you in your experience.
Be informed. Experience God. Live life to the full. Three redundant phrases that make the difference.