I grew up with a very specific image of God. He was a physically muscular man wearing a white toga and sandals. He sat in a big chair and had long grey hair and beard. Most importantly, he always had a scowl on his face and a lightening rod in one hand ready to dispel judgment and harsh punishment when I do anything wrong.
Even as I got older and realized that the description of God bears uncanny resemblance to the depiction of the greek god Zeus, it was still hard to see God differently. The fiery sermons in church and the subtle reminders of “God is watching you” or “may God strike you down if you are lying” did not help. In the most recent years of my church going experience, pastors have began to soften the image of God. He is now a loving and forgiving being. His character is truly depicted in Jesus Christ who kissed babies, ate with sinners and made friends with prostitutes.
Despite the revamped image, the fear of God that was instilled in me as a child, I still have been fighting to stay out of hell for most of my life. Frankly, I believe that if I take my last breath at this moment, then at the judgment my assigned forever home will be making googly eyes with the devil. It seem to be damn hard to be sure I am on the right path to the pearly gates. When God created man and his awesome partner Eve, he really did a fantastic job of making us complicated.
My personal struggle with spirituality (not religion) is an ongoing love-hate, I get it-I don’t get it relationship. The human nature is a literal bitch to keep in control 24-7 which is a biblical requirement. There are times I do have the urge to be bad, reckless, out of control and not wanting to give a *uck (I don’t usually use foul language) what anyone has to say ie. major road rage when a driver is stupid, jump across a table and slap someone silly, become a vigilante towards rapist, abusers and other scum of the earth or have a one night stand with a hot guy just because.
However, I do find myself holding back and sometimes daring to go to the edge but not over. The one thing I am very certain of is that the God/spirituality business can be a psychological teaser and a life long struggle to stay out of hell.