My fascination with God began the day I accomplished a childhood dream and became a lawyer. What had once seemed absurd and fantastical (for good reason), suddenly became real and I knew I owed it all to God. Even then, brimming with the hubris of youth, I recognised human effort alone could never have achieved the planetary alignment needed, to get me across the line. It was the defining moment of my life. A seed was planted and I decided that I wanted to know God better.
I embarked on an extraordinary life journey and soon realised I had a head start. I had faith. This meant I avoided the pitfalls of pondering whether an event was coincidence or chance, because I recognised God’s hand at work. However, my faith also hindered me because I had to unlearn childhood teachings, which had never resonated. I had always suspected there was more to God than what was depicted in holy books and religious practices, but it took time to stand tall in this truth. However, once I shed the old skin, progress was rapid. I immersed myself in a period of self-study where I learnt about world religions and unorthodox belief systems, encountering legions of teachers and guides along the way. All of them helped me move forward – but none of them brought me closer to God.
Eventually, it was personal experience (hard-fought on the battlefield of life) that satisfied my hunger. I was reminded of this recently when I was struggling with an important issue. A well-meaning friend offered a dose of guidance, which left me deeply uncomfortable. In fact, I was so uncomfortable, that I realised it was creating a chasm in my relationship with God. The guidance simply didn’t resonate with my experience of God. It was my friend’s experience of God. So, I mulled it over and decided I wouldn’t let anyone trump my own experience.
A few days later, I was reading Paul Ferrini’s Silence Of The Heart, when I stumbled on the following words…“Don’t accept any intermediary between you and God. Reject all gurus and teachers. Don’t accept any concepts of God that come from others.” I knew instantly this was God speaking to me. Not only did the words corroborate the conclusion I’d reached, but they also explained the discomfort I’d experienced at my friend’s advice. I realised how easy it is to think other people know God better than we do. We forget that each of us is different and therefore our experience of God will be different. This means our stories are interesting anecdotes to share, but they are not a substitute for personal experience. If we blindly accept the experiences of others, we relinquish our power.
Naturally, this principle applies to my blogs. I hope you find something in each of them to encourage you to explore a relationship with God, or perhaps deepen an existing one. But make no mistake – they are still nothing more than my experiences. You must find your own. Enjoy the journey.