God was easy as a kid. He was old, bearded, wore a dress and lived in the clouds. I’d believed in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and a bunny that produced eggs and candy in the spring. So, what’s the stretch? Every influential person in my life apparently believed in this idea of God, so I did too. This was a good idea, I learned about many of the attributes that I equate with God now: omnipresence, creator of all things, kindness and benevolence.
However at 15, though I was attending Catholic high school and took religion every day, this idea of God hadn’t changed much and was sounding far fetched. By the time I was studying science in a secular college, this idea of God was caput. It definitely didn’t stand up to the scientific method. And Sunday services became meaningless and pointless to me and I drifted away from the church.
Though my childhood idea of God was not working, the reductionist idea that we are just chunks of matter didn’t work for me either. As a proper scientist, I didn’t have evidence that supported the idea that there wasn’t a God. I felt at my core that there was a meaning to life and it wasn’t all about me and mine. I wanted to know more.
While studying in school, working hard, raising a family and building a house, I studied western philosophy, Zen, the Tao and Tibetan Buddhism. Then I started to look at the church teachings with the same questioning mind that I brought to other spiritual systems.
I saw an interview with Stephen Hawking, the eminent physicist. He was asked, “Do you believe in God?” He answered, “Yes, I do, but the God I believe in might be different than the God that some believe in.” That was the statement that I needed to hear. That started me thinking in a new way and still has me thinking about the nature of God.
I have a sense of God and that this God is working in my every breath. God is not a he, or a she, and he doesn’t wear a dress! I can’t explain God any more than I can explain existence. While I couldn’t explain this sense of God to a child, I couldn’t really explain it to any body! While I can’t explain, I can share my sense of wonder of God with others. Mostly with a glance or a smile or maybe like a person pointing out a bird, definitely not succinctly with words.