I haven’t much use for organized religion. I never have despite being raised by Christian parents and attending church weekly while growing up. There are as many ways to find a path toward inner peace as there are people on this planet. To limit oneself to one religion is like only allowing yourself to eat food from one culture when there are countless others to sample.
The God most people speak of is not my God. I just cannot accept a deity that has created a world where so many hate one another simply because of what they believe.
Still, I believe in God but not in the typical way most others do. So who, better yet, what is my God?
My God is not found in any holy book that tells me how or what to think. It allows me to think with an open mind and keep an open heart to anyone and everyone.
My God does not judge me or anyone else. It allows me to learn from experience and from others without fear of being rejected. It allows me to help anyone in need no matter their beliefs, and to accept that there are many paths that lead to peace.
My God is love, not hate. It makes the choice simple because it allows me to see with clarity during difficult times, to know compassion and forgiveness accomplishes more than hate and revenge.
My God is now. It reminds me of its presence each and every day in as many ways as there are moments. It allows me to see and appreciate all I have and am while knowing all is as it should be.
My God is not “The Creator,” but rather empowers me to create a new and better world every day. It allows me to actively participate in changing our world for the better rather than simply accepting a life that is out of my control.
My God is my own, but it allows me to help others to find theirs. It helps me to encourage people to consider all the possibilities rather than denouncing them for thinking and believing differently than me.
My God is not a religion, government, or organization. It is simply me in the moment, ever changing like the ocean. It allows me to ebb and flow in a constantly changing world filled with unpredictability, knowing that as I do, I reflect all that is best about it.
It is my hope that during these times of uncertainty, we are all able to bring the best out of each other by allowing ourselves to show the best we have to offer.
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.