As a child, my mother took me regularly to a solid and very loving Christian church. I loved it. The church was just up the road so I knew everyone and where they lived. They were friends and neighbors and I adored them. I wholeheartedly believed all that they taught me.
At 8 years old, I learned that it wasn't always right. We were taught that if we prayed a certain way with the total and complete faith of a child, our prayer would be answered. One fateful night, that teaching was tested. With total and complete faith and conviction, I took my little brothers hand, assured him that everything would be all right and prayed exactly as we had been taught. I believed it so completely, that when adults tried to tell me my prayer had not been answered - my mother had died - I refused to believe them.
In the months that followed I struggled to determine which truth was wrong. Did God really operate the way we were told? If so, my mother was out there somewhere and adults were lying about it. I was angry either way.
My aunt started taking me to her church where the preacher talked a lot about hell fire, damnation and the wrath of God. That brought on a whole set of internal questions. What a horrible girl I must be that God could not hear me.
So, decades later, what is my view about God?
I believe God is very different and much simpler than is taught in most Christian churches. And yet it is more complicated perhaps because the focus is not on what God will do for us, but rather getting in tune with God and what God is. God is all the energy of everything combined. God is everything and everywhere. There is a natural flow and our energy is part of that.
It's like learning to surf. There are multiple waves continuously coming. Choose the right wave, at the right time, and get your energy flowing with it, and you have a great ride. The person next to you can try the same wave and it can knock them down. It's not the waves fault. It's all about developing the right skills and getting in line with the wave.
God is not going to intercede and put us on the wave where we want or need to be. And God is not going to purposely knock us down. It is simply about our getting ourselves in line with the energy force that is "God". Simply, I say. Well, as simple as developing any skill. Put me on a surf board with some big waves and you'll see me knocked around a lot. And as I work on this simple spiritual skill, I still get knocked around a lot. Still searching for that perfect wave.