The 13th and 14th questions on Matador’s list of 20 Questions For The Spiritual Seeker are challenging:
13. What is the meaning of life?
14. Describe God.
I must answer them in reverse order, as I believe the nature of God fully explains why are here.
I realize now that I struggled with faith for many years, largely due to challenges I had with what I’d been taught about God. But let’s start at the beginning. A discussion about God makes sense only if you already believe or are open to believe: either we are the miraculous accident of random forces in the universe, or we were deliberately created. If created, the crucial question is ‘why?’. Did a callous or self-centered God create us to satisfy His own boredom? Did a cruel God deliberately create us as flawed beings, just to send us to damnation at our first sign of weakness? It is this image of God that I resisted for much of my life.
Yet we all have our choice to make at some point, to believe or to not believe. While I could not reconcile to the traditional, wrathful image of God, there is an alternative. The same world which contains pain and suffering and fear, also gives us love and beauty and peace. Any divine Creator would be equally responsible for these. This was an image I could believe in. If God is love, then it stands to reason that He created us not as a divine plaything, but as creatures He loves. And if He loves us, then it also stands to reason that He wants us to love Him in return, just as we all want from those whom we love.
But love must always be a choice, or it’s not really love. The hardships, the hurts, and the trials of life all drive us, creating in us a choice of which path to take: one of bitterness and defeat, or one of love and forgiveness, straight to God. I believe the true nature of God precisely tells us the true meaning of life…that we are meant to seek Him, simply because He love us.
“The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.” –Meister Eckhart