“How do you see God differently now as compared to when you were young?”
The question brought my multitasking mind to a stop. I do not often think about the change over time. Initially I was not sure how I would answer the question. I was not sure I had an answer. As I thought about it, specifically in a Singapore then to Singapore now context, the answer was clear.
“When I was young, God was aloof, remote, and somewhere above me. In order to approach, I had to dress, act, and be right – metaphorically speaking. Today, God is present. S/he is willing to talk, explain, listen, or simply hang out. There are no prerequisites.”
When I was young, I thought I knew and understood God. There were standards that had to be achieved in order for me to approach Divinity. There were way I should behave, if I was be anywhere near the presence of God (or where God might be). The rules and bar were high. One had to meet them in advance if one wanted to approach Divinity.
I do not put any blame on anyone for the conclusions I reached then. It was a synopsis of many themes of the time. Said another way, most of us did not know anything more. I do think there is an opportunity to reach for a more inclusive understanding now.
An old question plays out again; where was God when ________ (something bad) happened? A friend’s answer still stays with me. God was crying.
The God I know now has an opening, physically and emotionally, that is always unlocked. One can approach at anytime. There are no restrictions other than a willingness within to be there. That is the key. My experience with God says that “the moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked.” (Psalm 9.10)
When I was a child, I knew I needed to get ready for God. Today, God likes to remind me that s/he is ready for me. God loves me. God wants to do things with me.