Sustenance: What to do with God?

I have a long and winding journey with “God.” I know and accept that what anyone calls “god” is known by many names and no names.  People I love, dearly and fiercely, do not believe in “God” at all.  I know that they love beauty and strength, determination and joy, and that love sustains them.  I see “god” in what sustains them, but I know that to use the “G” word offends, so I don’t.  Likewise, they refrain from declaring that there is no “God” around me.  The respect between us is genuine, and for me, there is something of “god” in that all by itself.

But, you see, I could get rid of the word “God” today and never need it again.  I’ve done it before!  When I wake up in the wee hours and find worries about life plaguing me, I reach to Something that sustains me.  That Something is not “other” than me.  It’s the feeling of separation that has waked me and plagued me at night in the first place!  When I reach to Something that Sustains me, I am actually brought back to myself, to my loves, to my joy, to experiences of satisfaction–which help me navigate what has fractured me. There come these moments of connection, of meaning, of joy, of satisfaction and of expansiveness which simply sustain me.

When some people (and it’s not everyone) write or talk of “God” I know what they mean because they are speaking of connection, of meaning, of joy, of satisfaction, of expansiveness and of gratitude.  That which they know within their own experience, I know, too, in my experience.  Even though the experiences and words themselves can be radically different, what sustains them feels familiar to me.

So, “God” keeps showing up for me. Some days, it’s a surprising connection.  Some days, new meaning.  Some days simple and unutterable joy.  Some days, it is a simple satisfaction with work, life, events, outcomes.  Some days it’s an expansion within and without that takes my breath away. So many days, it is a quiet, deep gratitude.  What are you going to do with that?  I’m going continue to welcome these visitations as long as they last.  They sustain me.

What sustains you, and how do you name it in your life?

Bob Patrick

Want to explore this issue of “God” more?  Check out this article.


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1 Response to Sustenance: What to do with God?

  1. Roy Reynolds says:


    Thanks for this nice piece. I share with you those feelings and the sense of Something More. I want to have a name for that Something so that I can feel and I-Thou relationship. Lately I have chosen to call that Something “The Community of Life.” It’s a bit cumbersome when compared with the simple word “God.” But that word seems less community-like, and so I currently settle for a little awkwardness. When I choose a shorter phrase, I just say, “Beloved Life.”

    In gratitude,

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