What does it mean to make sense of God, and how is it done? What are we trying to do? When attempting to make sense of God we are looking for answers. The desire is to come to a set of final or ultimate conclusions to burning questions concerning how to know and understand God. You are seeking to eliminate uncertainty about God and solve certain mysteries of the Divine. You desire to relieve your curiosity of Ultimate Truth, confirm your beliefs and validate you understanding. Bottom line, you’re looking for answers that will give your Ultimate concerns about God clarity and certainty.
In my own search to make sense of God I found answers that offered me clarity but eventually those answers produced more questions. I came to conclusions, formulated ideas and concepts that granted me a foundation to stand on, but it shattered, and I fell through it landing again in a place of wonder. Through religion and spirituality can offer you an acceptable God identity and answers to deep questions they cannot tame your curiosity of the Divine. Soon you will have questions that they cannot answer and become intrigued to venture outside the fenced yard of religion.
We find the success we have in making sense of God is temporary, difficult to hold on to or even impossible to accomplish. But making sense of God is possible but not through seeking to find answers to questions in order to satisfy your curiosity and fulfill your spiritual appetite. This method is flawed because it approaches God simply as an object to be observed a mystery to be conquered; a science project that can be poked around with until a theory is developed, and an understanding achieved.
The Tao Te Ching says, “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao, the name that can be named is not the eternal name.” But we have a tendency of viewing God according to a contradiction. In one aspect God is transcendent, mysterious, almighty, and all knowing yet in another aspect God is fully attainable through human knowledge and ability as determined by religion. We have given God a name, gender, moral standards, special interest, enemies and friends.
We have made God a super-human; something not yet understood but soon to be, like a rare species in the rain forest or a mysterious disease; something with a determined set of characteristics that can be deciphered, given a name and a purpose. Something that exist mainly amongst humanity where common sense, human wisdom and science can give it a name and a reason – make sense of it. God is not a science project that can be used to produce a theory, God cannot be reduced to a set of characteristics, God cannot even be reduced to the name God and what we have come to know and understand about what that name means.
But if you continue to have more answers than questions and your perception of God inflexible and you are opposed to having them challenged; you will find the answers you gained in your endeavor to make sense of God one day will fail you and demand that you go searching again.
Making sense of God is not about coming to final conclusions about how to know and understand God. Making sense of God is not about discovering answers to our deepest questions. Making sense of God is not about discovering which religion possesses Ultimate Truth. Making sense of God is not about validating your beliefs and confirming your ideas about Ultimate Reality. Making sense of God is not done through the observation of theology, the experience of spirituality, or the classification of religion. So how do we make sense of God? Making sense of God happens by, finding the wisdom in uncertainty, the beauty in mystery and the power in ignorance.
Making sense of God is done by pursuing mysteries instead of answers, uncertainty instead of clarity and having more questions about God than answers. When you have more answers about God than questions, you’re not discussing God you’re discussing something imaginary. It’s not God it’s a watered down, simple, easy to understand being that you have created in your own mind. The god you have made serves you well by catering to your needs, he keeps you in line, and fits in well with your specific cultural dynamic and geographical location. It’s your god for your culture, for the benefit of your life and your wellbeing, completely relatable and easy to understand; your god makes sense.
But if you continue to have more answers than questions and your perception of God inflexible and you are opposed to having them challenged; you will find the answers you gained in your endeavor to make sense of God one day will fail you and demand that you go searching again. Or maybe you’re comfortable with the sense that you have made of God. I would suggest that is because you ignore the stirring of unanswered questions that swim in your head and you keep you mind and eyes straight ahead not giving attention to the natural inclinations to go deeper with God beyond your own answers, the knowledge of spiritual teachers, religious leaders and the influence and control of Holy scriptures.
If you believe making sense of God is done through a collection of answered questions, would that not suggest God is simple enough to be analyzed by the human mind? The same human mind that has not found a cure for the common cold. The same human mind that searches for answers to the mysteries of the mind itself, as well as the body, earth, and matters of the universe. If we have no concrete answers for these earthly things how can we claim to have made sense of a Divine God through our religions, spirituality, or personal beliefs and experiences? In essence you’re saying that God is unsophisticated, basic, elementary, something that can be conquered by the powers of common sense, science, knowledge, wisdom, experience, intuition. Is, God dominated by the human mind, broken down, categorized by theories and reduced to something that makes sense?
Making sense of God is welcoming the mystery of God, the inability to answer questions, the weakness of the human mind, and finding comfort in uncertainty. To make sense of God we have to reject our natural desire to categorize things. There is no making sense of God in the manner that we make sense of the mundane. We limit what we have made sense of by assigning it specifics, and boundaries based on those specifics; what it can and can’t do and what it should and should not do, what it is and what it is not, what is expected from it and what it expects from us.
I’m not saying God can’t be known; I’m saying let’s not be naïve enough to accept that what we do know is all that there is to be known. That our spiritual ideas and religious concepts are beyond reproach, beyond questioning, beyond refinement, beyond expansion. To make sense of God we have to be comfortable with being wrong about a few things. At some point we have filtered out the mystery of God, because its uncomfortable for us not to know, and it’s challenging for us to find peace in the darkness of uncertainty. But we have to remember that God is the very epitome of mystery.
You can’t make sense of God by collecting answers to deep questions. You make sense of God by remaining in a place of mystery. Hold on to your beliefs while remaining open knowing that what you believe is not the totality of what there is to know but simply a starting point, a very small piece of information that will lead you to the door where there is an eternal abundance of questions.
How do we make sense of God? By coming to terms with the fact that there are more questions about God than answers. We make sense of God not by gaining certainty of the unknown but by possessing comfort in uncertainty. It is not about having faith in the abilities of the mind, the sacredness of religion, the power of scripture, the openness of spirituality, well thought out theories, or centuries of philosophical studies. We’re making sense of God when we have absolute faith in our ignorance, in the weakness of the mind, flaws of religion, imperfection of spirituality, foolishness of our theories and philosophies. Because when we accept our ignorance, we are proclaiming the greatness of God.