Enigma: A Self-Portrait of the Quest of God

Theology always had struck him as a labor laden with paradox. At first glance, making no sense, yet, at its heart, embracing, embodying deepest truth, and then, immediately, again, making no sense, verily, becoming, being nonsense.

For it made no sense to him to conjecture (for that, he believed, was all humans, thus, including himself, each and every one limited in imagination and comprehension, at best, could do) about the nature of God, which (Who, for he favored thinking of God in personal terms) ever was, is, and would be beyond fullest knowing (though, he also considered it profoundest irony that the existence of God did not surpass his greatest believing), and

It made less sense to him for humans, having conjectured about the nature of God, to couch their speculations, to cloak their guesses in the definitive language of clearest, surest proof, and

It made least sense to him for humans, especially those with titles who spoke in the name of institutions (among whom, honesty compelled the confession, he was numbered), to fashion their conjectures, speculations, and guesses into more or less purportedly indisputable (depending on who was speaking, why, when, and for what or for whom) doctrines to be promulgated for others to believe:

“God is like this…”

“God does this (or that)…”

“God’s will is…”

Yet (and this, for him, was the deepest truth) humans had to conjecture, to speculate, to guess about the nature of God. For to avoid the labor of theology (truly, to seek to avoid, for the evasion of theological matters, he thought, was not possible, even for an atheist; for to say, “God does not exist” or “There is no such thing as God” is to conjecture, to speculate, to guess, by negation, in relation to an undeniably extant, at the least, idea) would be not to exist.

Smiling at his own inevitable and intentional hypocrisy, he spent a goodly portion of his days conjecturing, speculating, guessing about the nature of God…

statue - thinking

and, on occasion (actually, frequently), sharing his conjectures, speculations, and guesses with others; although usually hastening to preface his definitive wording with the demurral: “I think…”

Then, amidst another round of conjecturing, speculating, and guessing, a sudden revelation (believing it not possible that he might…that he could have conjectured, speculated, guessed it into existence, but rather that it came from…above!) dawned.

Closing his eyes, for an instant, blind to the world around him, the Absence of light, like a Shadow, enveloped his being.

(Later, reflecting on the psalmist’s song:

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to You;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to You.

he came to this realization: God is as all, for God is all!)

And then, he listened, no longer hearing (or desiring to hear) his own voice, but only the sound of Silence, which, Who was an ongoing Word without end.

In time, after a time, he opened his eyes, he looked all ‘round him. All seemed the same, save his inner awareness that human conjecturing, speculating, guessing about God, especially when formed (when twisted into supposedly inerrant) doctrines were meant to put protective distance between God’s Presence (the Divine Enigma, alway too vividly dark, alway too deafeningly quiet) and humanity’s preference.

5 thoughts on “Enigma: A Self-Portrait of the Quest of God

  1. Paul,

    I read this yesterday and wanted to think on it. Over these last 3 three years I sure have thought a lot about God Abe my relationship with God…. especially when my house is silent or I’m in nature. As you know, whenever someone dies, many people respond with “well it was God’s will”… I’ve never been a fan of that phrase because how are we really to know. People usually mean it as a comfort, but it certainly is not.

    I try not to predict God’s will or second guess it or anything…. especially in silence or in nature I just try to feel and sense God in my quest to get to know HIM better. During my current home renovation I’ve decided to leave it all to God. Where’s the rest of the money to finish the project going to come from? I just sat in n that and the answer came. Where I was stuck on this piece is I wonder what my self-portrait really looks like on my quest. I hope it’s now a look of patience and love and contentment as opposed to fear and worry and sorrow. Maybe I’ll build a LEGO project on this topic. I’ll give that some thought.

    Much love!


  2. Loretta, I, too, have not been one to employ that olden word, presumably of consolation, particularly at the time of death: “It is God’s will.” Though I think that I can place the proverbial tracing finger on its origin. I’ve long thought that if I believe that God is sovereign, that is, in command of all that God has created, then, there are two reasons or causes for anything that happens – either God willed it to happen or God allowed it (presuming forces of nature, say, as we currently are transfixed by the coming of another hurricane, that, having been established in creation have their own way of functioning) to happen…

    Nevertheless, again, I say, as you, presuming to know God’s will is beyond, always beyond my capacity.

    Now, as for your self-portrait of your quest for God, I will be – and am! – interested to behold your representation of it.

    When I began writing this post, I hadn’t thought of it as my self-portrait of my search for God (thus, I kept the original wording in the 3rd person; though, clearly, on second thought, referring to me!). Yet the more I thought and the more I wrote, I realized that, yes, I was writing about myself. And, in so doing, I arrived – as I usually do! – at a place I could not have predicted; in this case, the notion that religious doctrine is a human device to protect us from God’s awesome (and terrifying) Presence; in this case of this writing, which I characterize as Darkness and Silence.



  3. Very interesting thoughts and well written. ❤ Hugs, Isabella


    1. Thank you, Isabella. I appreciate your kindness in reading this post and commenting. Again, my thanks

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure and let me thank YOU for your kindness. It is very nice to meet you:-)


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