Close your eyes. Now I want you to imagine God.
Does that sound silly? Or strange? Or scary?? Just try it. You might be surprised like I was!
In my new favorite journal, The Next Right Thing Guided Journal (everyone needs one!), Emily P. Freeman includes what she calls a monthly practice. This month she suggests what I did above:
Close your eyes … and imagine God.
Why? Because as she says,
“What we believe about God informs every aspect of our lives, including our decisions.”
Before I share my experience with you, stop now, close your eyes and imagine God. Take a few minutes to write everything you see and feel. I don’t want you to be influenced by what I share.
So I closed my eyes and followed her directions. I was surprised to find that when I imagined God, I could not do it as one God but only God in the three persons of the Trinity. When I imagined God, I saw:
My Heavenly Father – seated on His throne with thousands of worshipers bowing down before Him in response to His holiness. Full of power and yet peace. While there are many, it is just He and I. I am full of awe and wonder, respect, and a healthy fear. I also feel so loved and am so grateful. I know I am on holy ground.
Jesus – sitting where I picture Him each morning during my time of prayer and study, on the bench at the end of my bed. Casual, comfortable, legs crossed with a warm smile and love in His eyes. Compared to my image of my Heavenly Father, I see all His physical details – every line in His face and the crinkle around His eye to His traditional clothing and worn sandals. I feel companionship, friendship. And then suddenly, I feel sorrow and gratefulness at the same time as I see Him on the cross, giving up His life for me. For me!
The Holy Spirit – no sitting for Him. He is floating around me … very ethereal and indistinct. More of a presence and a feeling than a physical being. But the feeling was love and comfort and peace.
This experience brought me to tears and again later as I tried to share it with my husband and son. It truly caught me off-guard as my thoughts turn to God on a regular basis but I don’t think I had ever stopped to take a few minutes to visualize God and then put my thoughts on paper. I’m so thankful Emily had me stop and really imagine God.
Going back to Emily’s statement that what we believe about God informs all aspects of our lives including our every decision … I believe she has something there. Based on your past experiences, your view of God may be very different depending on your family of origin and your religious background.
Take a look at what you wrote about God and stop and ask yourself, do my thoughts, my decisions, my path correlate with how I imagine God? How you see Him could have a real effect on the dialogue that takes place in your mind 24/7 and consequently how you live your life. If this experiment leaves you wondering if you are imagining God accurately, do not go by my personal imaginings. Instead, go to His Word and His words. Only there will you find the truth you need to shape your view of God correctly.
This month’s practice is something I won’t soon forget. If you did this exercise, please share your experience with me. I would love to hear it!