A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. – Shakespeare
If you want to cause uneasy shifting in the chairs just bring up the subject of God at a dinner party. It seems to be ‘unfashionable’ to talk about God today except in places of worship, whatever the religion.
Ireland has gone from a country that had a blessing to say for everything that could take place in a day to a country that seems to want to forget or deny that God exists. We’ve gone from ‘God save all here’ when entering a home and ‘God bless the work and the worker’ when passing someone labouring, to a feeling of shame about even uttering the word God, ‘thanks be to God’ or ‘God bless’ in our daily life.
The phrase Higher Power has become popular jargon as it can be interpreted as anything by anyone and thereby relieves the speaker of being identified as ‘religious’or Catholic, or in effect ‘old-fashioned.’ In reality, God is God is God whatever name anyone uses in place of ‘God’ (Higher Power, Force, Nature, He, She, It, etc ad infinitum).
When I use the word God, I am not speaking as a Christian, a Muslim or a Jew. I am speaking as someone who has come to know God in a personal way separate from how I was raised or what I was taught. Why? Because I have sought help, support and guidance from God and received that guidance, support and help. I want a relationship with a supreme being because I have come to know and accept my own limitations as well as others limitations. I am not God. No matter how hard I try to make things work out the way I think they should, it hasn’t happened consistently if at all. And facing the challenges of today’s world and life on a daily basis can be quite daunting. It can feel like David facing Goliath. You could say ‘Well, David was a sharpshooter with a sling shot and he killed Goliath on his own steam and we should do the same in our own lives.’ David knew he and his three stones weren’t enough to defeat Goliath and the giant’s army. So, he prayed. And afterwards, he thanked and praised God for delivering Goliath into his hands.
I’ve learned through trial and error and heartache to do the same. I trust God to do what is best for all concerned. And I believe God loves us so much that we are given so many ways to come to know and love God. We each may have different names, concepts or creeds, yet each has the wonderful privilege of finding our way to the God of our own understanding. Let’s respect ourselves and others to find the path, the Name, the way that is most helpful for each of us. May God bless everyone of us.
Bless each of our countries. Bless our lives. And Bless the path we are each travelling onward and homeward to One that is beyond our comprehension – the one I choose to call God.