God has been getting a lot of bad press recently. God is apparently responsible for all manner of atrocities. I don't know much about much but this much I know, that stuff ain't God, that's on humans, whether or not they use God as a get out clause.
My son's father was raised within the church but is now a card carrying humanist. I like to tease him that he is the most Christian person I know because the principles are so ingrained in his values and actions. He thinks of others before himself and gives generously to charities, I'm sure congregations would be lining up to have him.
Given his parentage it's highly unlikely that my son will be taught any formal religion at home but I want him to have a chance to explore his spiritually, which is why I want to be clear on my own. I have decided that ultimately, I believe in God. When people ask me why I say this, when crap happens I immediately start asking for help and I'm not talking to myself. My understanding of God is the potential for all things to create good in the world and this is how I try and find it...
I look for the good. In Hastings, where I work, there is a woman that walks around decorating abandoned dog feces in glitter. I don't know why but it must bring her joy in some way. For me this is a prime example of God in action. God allows literally shit to become something wonderful and whimsical.
I accept challenges as lessons. If everything has the potential to be good then even the hardest times can become an opportunity to grow and evolve. On my darkest days I look out for the cracks of light - a kind bus driver, a great song or a smile from my wayward toddler.
I take chances to love. If there's anything good in the world it's love, so I look for all the opportunities I can to show it and there are many. Whether it's telling my child he's wonderful or asking a shopkeeper to enjoy their day (and meaning it) or spending a few minutes stroking my cat, even though we kinda hate each other.
I talk to God. As I said, I must believe I have a hotline to God. When I'm waiting for an opportunity I have no qualms begging, please, please let this happen. When and if it does I try to remember to say thanks. If God is the potential for good in everything then God is in everyone, so if you don't feel comfortable talking to God directly, talk to people - tell them your hopes and fears, ask them for forgiveness. Find your peace, God doesn't care how you get there.
So what I'm trying to say is God is sort of an inert gas, only activated by oxygen. And the oxygen, my friend, is you.