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Losing My Religion

About 10 years ago, while going personally through a rough time in my life, I woke up in the morning and noticed that I was alone. Not really alone, my wife and kids were still sleeping. No, what I mean, is that 'God' was gone. He had just left.

The 'God' I had entrusted my entire life to had suddenly disappeared, as if he never existed. At first it was a strange and unusual feeling, but then came the surprising realisation that I felt at utter peace, as I came to acknowledge how much I had used that 'God' as a crutch and how much that 'God' had failed me.

As I was lying there, sinking deeper into the uncertainty of it all, I also noticed how many of my previously harboured fears had just disappeared. No longer did I need ‘God’ as a safety mechanism and assurance of the afterlife, or as the final authority that would make sure that everyone pays their dues.

Now, I had given up on such silly ideas long time ago, as I had started deconstructing my faith, leaving behind my brief brush with fundamentalism several years earlier. Yet, I had not realised the underlying mechanics that had been buried deep into my psyche.

Puzzled and confused I relaxed into the peace and sank deeper into the depths of my soul, simultaneously listening into the seemingly all-consuming silence, when I suddenly heard a voice that shook me to the core of my being, chuckling on the inside of me: “Now you are ready to REALLY get to know Me.”

With this voice came an unexplainable comfort and compassion that filled me from head to tow. Now, I had been part of charismatic streams of the faith, where I learned to listen to ‘God’ and pass on to others what I heard. But this was different.

This wasn’t the fickle ‘God’ of my imagination, that had taunted my life for so many years and failed me in the hours of my greatest needs, even when I tried to paint another picture in my attempt to make sense of it all.

I instantly knew that this was the One JESUS referred to as ABBA, the One he clung to when the ‘deus ex machina’ ‘Warrior-God,’ which was part of his own faith tradition, was unable to help Him, and to whom he entrusted his spirit, the One in whom we live and move and have our being, the One Who meets us in our deepest darkness, even when we feel abandoned (Psalm 22, John 16:32, Hebrews 13:5). The only God that is real.

It was here that I learned that any other ‘God’ is just a figment of our imagination and a projection of our fears, that we sooner or later will have to let go. In the words of the German mystic Meister Eckart: “I pray God to rid me of God.”

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