Have you had a “rabbit hole” experience lately? That is when you discover a whole new world by accident. Like Alice in Lewis Carroll’s “Wonderland,” you tumble into something you thought you knew but discover that you never fully appreciated its true nature. That happened to me last week.
I was coming home from Yale New Haven Hospital on Interstate 95. I was hungry. As I approached the exit for Westbrook, I saw the sign advertising a Subway restaurant. I never noticed it before. I got off the highway and before long I found myself in a beautiful village dotted with historic buildings and quaint shops.
It was a whole new world. I thought I knew Westbrook but I didn’t really know it at all. As I got back on the highway several miles down the road, I realized that I didn’t really know much about any of these shoreline towns. They were all just names to me. They had become synonymous with the exit signs on the highway.
It struck me that the same is true for many people when it comes to God. Everybody has heard of God. Not everyone knows Him. To many people, God is an idea. He is characterized as an old guy with a long white beard sitting on a throne in heaven. He is a mythological figure. Their impression of him was formed when they were children.
Yet, God is so much more than that. In the Scriptures he has a hundred names that describe his countless attributes, and the images that they bring to mind. The most endearing is “Abba, father” but the most telling is the name he shared with Moses long ago. When Moses asked him, God said his name was, “I am.”
To put it quite simply, God was telling Moses that he was real and more than we can ever imagine. No single sign or image can do him justice. He is the essence of all that is good and beautiful, filled with grace and forgiveness, overflowing with power and glory, righteous and yet, loving beyond measure.
God is a friend, our protector, the righteous Lord of our lives, our savior, guide and our helper. Yes, God is all that and more. Once you meet him you will never be the same, for he changes you from the inside out and fills you with his joy, peace and a love that will not let you go.
If you haven’t experienced the fullness of God, then find an exit and get off the fast track you are riding on. Get down on your knees and talk to him, take time to attend a worship service and honor him, and begin to discover the untold blessings he has for you. Before long your life will become a spiritual “wonder” land.
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Westerly.