What do you feel when you hear the word “God”? I know what we are supposed to think, but forget about that for a moment. What does “God” make you feel? Does the thought of God feel like sunshine on your face and freedom in your lungs? Or does the thought of Him cause you to cringe a little? Does your heart go cold and your anxiety level increase a bit? Do you feel the need to do a quick catalog of all your junk and worry about what flaws He might find?
Or, perhaps, you respond a different way. Maybe “God” makes you mad. We have all had times when we feel that He has disappointed us, let us down or just felt that He’s just impossible to please. Some of us get so mad that we’d prefer to believe that He doesn’t even exist. We convince ourselves that “God” is just a creation of man to control the masses. Religion is nothing more than using guilt and fear to beat people into submission, so what if God isn’t even real?
Even mentioning the word “God” causes so much tension, in so many people. Most of us aren’t bold enough to say much about it, because that would just make God even more displeased. But we feel it. And unless we work through why we feel this way it is going to be impossible to ever have, or ever want, a relationship with God.
There are those, I am not quite there yet, that blossom and bloom at the very thought of God. He makes them happy. Not an idiotic, blissful ignorance of someone who doesn’t know any better, but a deep, relaxed and confident kind of happy. When these people think about God, it is like the sun shining on a flower and beauty let loose.
This book is really just the fruit of my life long obsession on how to get there. What does it take for us to enjoy God? What keeps us from that place of peace that we all crave? I’ve been asking God for years about it, and He’s been talking me through it. I’d like to share what He’s been saying.
I have an idea to sell you. Be good, and you will find life. It’s an ancient idea, drawn from the oldest of traditions. It certainly drew humanity up from depravity in the past, so why not stay with it? Let’s push on toward the goal of living right. Isn’t that what Jesus taught and Paul wrote confusing things about? Sure, let’s sell that idea.
For only $19.99, a couple of trips to church, or even the discount price of a few good deeds it can all be ours. God, heaven and internal peace could come our way if we just follow these 1,787 rules, guidelines and little bits of wisdom. The only problem is our hearts know there is something more than that.
There is something more. There is a different way of connecting to Him than simply being “good” and He is something much deeper and much more satisfying than we even have the ability to grasp at this point. There is more. There is the reality of Who God Is.
God is Life. He is Love, Peace, and Truth. He is Wisdom, Glory, Honor and Strength. He is what we want. And after we stop buying the religious sales pitch, we begin to hunger for the real thing. We begin to ask questions.
Who is God? How can we connect with Him? What is He really like? Is He found in theological study? Sure. Is He encountered in experience? Absolutely. Is He found in everyday life? Nothing could be closer to the truth. But wait, there’s more. That’s not all. And we were made to enjoy it.
Explore something with me for a moment. For a few brief chapters, try to let go of the “ought’s”. Forget about “need to” or “supposed to” and even the feelings evoked by the word “should”. Let’s explore something a little higher for a while. Let’s find something to enjoy.
In business, the idea is simple. If you can make something that is affordable and enjoyable, people will race to buy into the idea. It is much the same with God, but the issue has become clouded by religion. What should be free has become costly because of the religious requirements. What should be immensely enjoyable has become dull and boring because Life has been reduced to a dead formula.
When religious folk first taste freedom, they often run as far away from “God” as they can. They want something they can enjoy. The problem is that they don’t usually really enjoy what they find. Getting rid of religion won’t bring life, unless it is replaced with a relationship with Life Himself.
The well behaved among us try to conform to the rules, whatever they are, and find enjoyment in measuring up and fitting in. But God is not found there, either. We find God when we begin to see Him for Who He is, not just a side to be on or a team to join.
He is not a list of rules or an obligation that we have to fulfill. He just is who He is. He is excellence and peace, Life and Light. And He doesn’t just display these character traits, He embodies them. He defines them. He is the very substance and definition of Love. Peace is who He is. He is the definition of creativity and He is inviting us to take part in the party.
God might seem like a dull and boring guy. Heaven might seem like a strange place with shiny streets and nothing to do. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Allow me to paint a picture for you.
Imagine being part of an endless and multifaceted creative expression, with nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Just getting to be yourself and finding a million ways to let your creativity flow with the Creator. To explore the nature of reality with Truth Himself. Or just do whatever it is that you were made to do. Not boring. I’d even call it enjoyable. And in the end, He is also the fullness of Joy. He is the eternal Enjoyable One.
The art of enjoying God is the pursuit of elegance, beauty and balance. He is perfection, but not the cold heartless idea we often have of perfection. He is the swift sunrise, the peace and beauty of every sunset and the cure for the darkness that troubles us in between.
We often think of finding God in terms of attaining perfection. Why do we not think of Him as a pursuit of Beauty? That is the real art of enjoying God. Let’s look for Him together, shall we?