What is The God Project?

As Jews we chant the Avot v'Imahot, and we pray:

....God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob,
God of Sarah, God of Rebecca, God of Rachel, and God of Leah...

It would seem that we could cover it by praying to "the God of our ancestors," but Midrash teaches that we pray this way to acknowledge that each patriarch, each matriarch, and each person has a unique and special relationship with God.

One God and as many relationships as there are stars or grains of sand.

The more I meet with people, those who believe in God and those who do not; those who talk with God and those who fear God, the more I wonder about those relationships. And I wonder how many of us have taken the time to think about the personal relationship we have with our God.

So I am collecting stories. My project is called: The God Project. I will share it with you. I am amazed already by the stories I have received.

Tell me please:
Who is the God that you believe in or don't believe in? Is this God male or female? Where does this God live? Does this God hear your prayers? Know about the intimate details of your life? Care about them? Does this God answer you? Direct you? And if so, how?

What were you taught about God as a child? And how has this belief changed, if it has? As you grow older, does your relationship deepen or fade? When did you feel closest to God? When did you feel abandoned, if ever?

How do you pray? Or talk with God? Do you ever question God? Or are you ever angry with God?

I am asking these questions of people of all faiths. Sometimes we allow religion to separate us and alienate us from each other. But the belief in a Divine Being, God for us monotheists, or the non-belief in this Divine Being, but a belief in a Power Greater Than Ourselves, seems to unite us as a whole, as beings of a greater Oneness.

During these times of tension in and on the planet, isn't it comforting to find those things that can unite us in loving kindness and respect for our fellow planet dwellers than looking at those things that divide us and bring us to war.

My hope with The God Project is to seek peace and understanding. Will you contribute your ideas and thoughts to this project? And if you do, please tell me if I can use your name, or if you are contributing anonymously.


Note: Speak up. Send me your thoughts on the glue that holds the world together. You belief in God or non-belief?
Email me at NatureRabbi@gmail.com.
When you do so, let me know if I can attribute your post to you or if you wish to be anonymous. Join me in this project, please.

Monday, March 15, 2010

perhaps a non-believer? you be the judge

Is there some form of a Supreme Being, Spirit, or Energy that influences our lives?
Or are we in charge of our own well being?

In the days of my innocence, I prayed for help to achieve goals that were so important to a young boy; "Help me pass my algebra test, God," "Make Loretta fall in love with me," "Don't let me get sick."

Sadly, He rarely came through. As I went through my teenage years, attending synagogue often, saying the prayers for peace and good will to all men over and over again, I realized that we Jews, and Christians, too, have been saying the same prayers for peace and good will for thousands of years.

Is there anybody listening to these prayers?

Over years, I've come to realize that if we want something to happen, we must do it ourselves. There is no Supreme entity that is going to help us achieve that which we want for ourselves and others. If it is good grades, we must study and learn the material. If we want to win the lottery, we must buy tickets. If we want to make the world a better place, then we must be prepared to do our part, no matter how insignificant it is in the whole scheme of things. If we want that promotion, we have to have the knowledge and ability to get it. We are the supreme power in achieving that which happens to us.

If we don't have the power to accomplish that which we want, then Fate will intervene. We, as individuals, don't always have the power of ability to get that which we want. We can't keep an elderly loved one with us forever. We're not equipped to prevent death. We can't always get that promotion because there may be someone better equipped than we. I am reluctant to assign a supreme being to being the determining factor.

Do we have to factor in a reason for something unexplainable happening? Why did he/she die so young and unexpected? Why are there random fatal acts of nature? Why did I turn out the way I did? It happened! Does "why?" always have to have an answer? Life isn't always neat and explainable. It's random. To some, an explanation for the unexplainable is needed for peace of mind. For them, an unexplainable Supreme Being is the answer. Others will go on with their lives, wondering about the randomness of life. Wondering if there is something other than them involved in life's existence. Then there are those individuals who will continue to operate relying only on themselves and their own resources.

Where do I fit? Not sure. I question the "Why?" of Life often. wonder if there could be a Supreme Being. Yet I still believe in the philosophy of, "If you want something, don't count on anybody else to do it for your. Do it yourself." Please don't classify me an an Atheist or Agnostic. Those are beliefs and I am not sure I have any beliefs. I take life as it comes along, determined to make the best of what I have been given, all by myself.

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