Paths to God

Posted in christian thought by Nathan Creitz on April 22, 2009
image courtesy of DavidK-Oregon

image courtesy of DavidK-Oregon

It seems like everybody is searching for a path in life: a career path, a path to success, or if you are like me then maybe you’re looking for the path of least resistance. Maybe we should call this quest ‘pathology’ because a lot of people go crazy trying to figure out the right path to take.

Most of the time we can’t even decide on what to eat for dinner, much less who we are going to be, what we are going to do, or who we want to be with. But there’s a path that’s more important than any of those other paths, and that is the path to God. But, for some reason, when it comes to choosing a path to God, it’s usually easier to simply say, “All religions lead to the same God! So whatever path I choose will be just fine.” It certainly sounds enlightened, doesn’t it?

Usually people talk about all religions leading to the same God with the image of different paths up the same mountain. But how do we know that is true? Who was the first person to come up with this idea? Was it God? If it was anyone else other than God Himself wouldn’t it have to be inadmissible? Isn’t God the only One with the perspective necessary to approve or reject that idea?

Mohandas Gandhi, the poster-child of tolerance and inclusivism, towards the end of his life said, “I have not yet found God.”

Gandhi thought he was on a path to God, yet he never found Him. So even if it’s true that all paths lead to the same God, how can you know you will ever reach the top?

So, let’s get rid of this idea that God is twiddling His thumbs waiting for us to figure it out for ourselves. The good news is that God does have something to say about the matter. He sent His Son Jesus to tell us, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to God but through me.” What is He saying? He’s saying that He is the Path, and that He is the only Path to a relationship with God. Does that sound exclusive? Intolerant? Discriminatory?

But what Jesus is saying is that God isn’t a passive God waiting at the top of some existential mountain in the recesses of our psyche. Instead, He is a God who actively paved the way for you and me to know Him. This is unique from all the world religions because it doesn’t talk about the things you have to do to maybe find favor with God, rather that He’s already done everything that needed to be done. The Path is paved.

So, to have a relationship with God you simply have to join Him on His Path. It’s that simple, but it’s also challenging because you have to realize that no other path in life that you may find yourself on is more important than the path to God. Where you work, who you marry, and whether you will have Chinese or Italian tonight pale in significance to the question of which path you will choose to know God. On the other hand, knowing and walking with God on His Path gives clarity and meaning to all those other questions of life. Trusting Jesus to be who He said He is is the most important decision you will ever make because He is the Path.

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