I can remember a day in the not so distant past when I wouldn’t use the word ‘God’. I used to say ‘the universe’ instead. The God word evoked feelings of resistance and disdain whereas ‘the universe’ felt expansive and important. I was agnostic. I was arrogant. I used the language of the uncommitted.
My lack of commitment reflected back into my life. The way ‘the universe’ treated me was just about as impersonal and nondescript as using the term ‘universe’ is to refer to God. Favor and misfortune were granted with equal impartiality. The universe, expansive, amazing and wonderful, was also cold and aloof.
I knew ‘the universe’ held power and believed that if I modified my state I would be able to draw from it. I talked a lot about ‘shifting my energy’ and ‘tapping into the positive flow’. ‘The universe’ was infinite potential waiting for me to transform it into whatever I wished if I could get the formula right. I was the one shaping the clay on the wheel.
In short, using the term ‘the universe’ enabled ME to pretend I was God. Anything good that happened was because of my perseverance and hard work. When bad things happened I got to egocentrically ruminate and self indulge. Good or bad, it was all about me. Some days it still is.
Being the center of the universe exacts a price. Shame, fear, and despair are usually the things extracted when I make everything about me. The more I think about how I am effected the lower I slide down the range of emotions. My world and outlook darken.
Eventually I feel disconnected from just about everyone and everything. I’m hopeless, resentful, afraid and (here’s the kicker) inadequate. My attempts at solving the problems in my life and the world are incompetent. I’m unable to crack the code of ‘universal potential’. I’ve got to humble myself and face the truth of my situation. I can’t do this on my own.
The longstanding failure in years of defiance finally rendered me willing to change my language. Today I use the word God. Moreover I am in a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. It still feels a surprise to hear myself speak this way because I was resistant for so long, but I’m undeniably joyful that this shift has happened.
I opened the door to God through Jesus and things have changed. I’ve discovered that ‘the universe’ is not God. God is God and this is a really good thing. Where ‘the universe’ was cold and impartial, God is warm and invested. ‘The universe’ wouldn’t ever respond with any kind of reliability. God is always there for me and I can trust Him.
God is relational. He is present and active in me and in my life. Old wounds I thought would be with me always are being healed. Hope exists where there was none. I’m beginning to understand trust. With God through Christ I am accepted, forgiven, and loved beyond measure and there are plans for my life that bring peace, and turn me into someone valuable and useful.
With just a small change in language God has entered my life. I submitted to Christ and I have come to understand that God’s plans for me are so much better than any plans I could ever imagine. It’s such a relief to know all I need to do is trust Him and hang on for the ride. He’s proven He is faithful over and over and over again since this journey began. It seems like a no brainer now; in the battle of ‘God vs. The Universe’ ….. God wins.