Thursday, June 26, 2008

What's in a Name?

Alright, alright, so maybe “the Cosmos” isn’t the most personal and intimate designation for the Almighty but, in a funny way, it works for me. As a former fundamentalist who took EVERYTHING literally in the Bible, I believed that God was in fact a fatherly type being who loved me and cared for me. I never questioned the patriarchal bias against women and assumed I was a second class citizen.

Anyway, after leaving the rigid fold of spiritual abuse, I encountered all sorts of names for God. G-D, let His name never be spoken. Her name? Its name. you see how confused I am. I don’t know WHAT to call this supreme being who seems to have manic/depression (note the seasons, wasps, sunflowers, typhoons, sea horses, bluebirds) or is wildly hyperactive with attention deficit disorder. No offense on my Higher Power but something seems to be a little amiss around here.

Like, for instance, why don’t we know its (their?) name? A friend of mine says we should just call God “ALL” but that sounds too much like a laundry detergent. (It IS a laundry detergent.) I have landed on the side of “cosmos” or “universe” or “Mystery” because those seem to be the most general and inoffensive terms to my sensibilities. Other strokes for different folks.

This doesn’t solve the problem of a personal relationship with the Lord. See, I said it. “The Lord.” Now is that Jesus or Buddha or Mohammed or Lao T’se. No, I like to think of hanging out with Jesus even though he could be disconcertingly unpredictable – one minute tenderly gathering the flock, the next minute trashing tables in the temple. It’s hard to let my guard down with him sometimes because I just don’t know what he’s going to do next. It’s kind of hard to get the warm fuzzies from a spiritual terrorist (not that I’m saying that’s what Jesus was but he WAS radical. And “love” don’t even get me started.)

I know I’m going into more detail about my spiritual journey that you probably asked for but this, as they say, is “where I’m at.” My personal relationship and experience of connection with the Lord is the most important thing in my life. God and I have discussed this a lot – what he/she/it wants to be called and it mostly depends on how I’m feeling that day. I have lots of appellations for my husband – Lucky, Duardo, Duecalion, Duke, Guagy, darling, studmuffin – you get the idea. So why not God? What’s important here is how we’re relating to each other and I suppose as I slow down and stop looking over my shoulder all the time, I’ll relax into just calling God, God.

I have a ways to go before that happens. For now, like e.e.cummings said, God is everything that is “Yes.” So, Yes, I worship you. Yes, I love you. Yes, I marvel in you. Now, THAT’S a mystery worth seeking.

4 comments:

pastystone said...

I enjoy reading your blogs. However, I did find it a little insensitive to compare Jesus with a terrorist- especially in this age of jihad. I never read that Jesus killed anyone for disagreeing with his beliefs. In fact, he told one of his disciples to put away his sword after he had cut off a soldier's ear while defending Jesus. It is a long step from "trashing tables" to suicide bombing!

Kristen Skedgell said...

a point well taken. thanks for taking the time to write.

Matt W said...

Spiritual terrorist? Hee hee. Is he God or the son of God or a prophet or just some guy or a character in a book? If you get it wrong you could go to hell with this "other Jesus" at the helm of the bullet train to HECK! Ok maybe he's not the terrorist, but maybe he's the "love bomb." Be sure to cut the red wire... no wait the blue... or was it the green. Best just to close your eyes and cut. That always works out well in the movies Good luck! ; )

SunHound said...

I get the "spiritual terrorist" thing - you made it clear that you're not calling Jesus a terrorist, but describing someone's perception - the dificulty to trust or accept. He certainly seemed like one to the Pharasees or any of the ruling class. And maybe old Screwtape would have written to Wormwood about the "terrorist infiltration!"

I think every Christian struggles at some point with turning over control to the Lord, fearing that He will overturn tables or even destroy your life as you know it.