Unboxing God

by | Jan 18, 2021 | Newsletter Archives | 0 comments

For me, one of the upsides of this past year has been more time to pray, read, journal, and meditate. An over-riding spiritual theme that has been coursing through these practices has been an awakening to how small I and, I dare say, most of us have made The Divine Mystery. So small that instead of seeing ourselves as fashioned in God’s image, we continue to make God into our own image over and over again. We try to capture the essence of God in concepts and words. But how could we help it? We are, after all, just human beings with some limited capacities to fully grasp things that we cannot see and must take on faith. But the problem is that many of us never move beyond this way of thinking. We are stuck with this child-like image of a small god who looks, thinks, and acts like us.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I
reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11

I want to put this way of thinking behind me.


I stuffed God into a box and fenced God in. I assigned “small” and “limiting” human traits to God so that he would look just like me, like us. Instead of seeing myself as fashioned in God’s image, I have fashioned God into my own image and I have done so over and over again my entire life. I realize that I am not alone and that this is a universal thought process for many of us. But in doing so, we have made God tribal and exclusive, small and punitive, just like so many of us…

Perfect Love, Perfect Light, Perfect Truth are traits that can be ascribed to God alone. It is this Divine Image in which we were created and in which we continue to be formed. No wonder the Israelites had so many names for God; one name simply would not do! God Himself says, “I AM WHO I AM”. Indescribable, Unfathomable. Beyond our understanding. Without our human labels and boundaries. Absolutely limitless.

This week our yoga practice will focus on a few of the names of God in the Hebrew Bible. These names describe a God who cannot be stuffed not a box!

El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
El Elyon (The Most High God)
Adonai (Lord, Master)
Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah)
Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
El Olam (The Everlasting God)
Elohim (God)
Qanna (Jealous)
Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)


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