Names of God Through Your Life

"There are many metaphors and images for the Sacred Mystery that we call God. Scripture offers metaphors and titles such as rock, fountain, mother hen, eagle, womb, judge, king, warrior, father, Word, deliverer, redeemer, cloud, fire, ruler of the universe, Prince of Peace. Our religious tradition has offered other metaphorical names, envisioning God as mother, lover, Holy Trinity, the one who wounds, holy mystery, light, dazzling darkness, and friend. Other religions have other names for God. None of the names are completely adequate; indeed, no combination of names will be comprehensive enough to express fully the inexpressible. In this meditation we will have the opportunity to apply names to God that have arisen from our known or intuited experience of our relationship with God in the past and our present lives, and to suggest names that express our possible future relationship.

"1. Try to move into a reverent, quiet place within yourself. For the duration of this meditation, let the concerns that might crowd in on your consciousness be held in God's care. Let the noises that occasionally break the silence simply be, without fighting them or focusing on them. If it feels right to you, close your eyes.

"2. Take some full breaths in and out. With each breath, feel yourself relaxing a little more and sinking into God's protective care and love.

"3. Imagine going back in time to before you were born. Back to that time when you were developing in your mother's womb. What names for God come to mind from that period of your life? Speak those names aloud, if you are comfortable doing so.

"4. Imagine the moment when you are born into this world and experiencing life as an infant. What names for God come to you from this period of your life?

"5. Now you are in your early childhood. How do you experience God? What is the relationship like to you? What names do you give to God?

"6. You are off to school and more grown now, approaching your teen years. How does God seem to encounter you now? What names would you give to God?

"7. You have moved into your adolescent years. Who or what is God like for you at this time in your life? What names do you use?

"8. As a young adult many new tasks and discoveries are occurring. Where is God for you now? What metaphors might describe your experience of God at this time in your life?

"9. You now journey into your thirties and forties. Take a moment to be in touch with what names you use or want to use to express your relationship to God at this time in your life.

"10. Now you are in your fifties and sixties, fully matured as an adult. What names come to mind pointing to your relationship with God at this age?

"11. In your seventies and older. . . . What names do you give to God?

"12. At the time of your death. . . . What names do you give to God?

"13. On the other side of life. . . . What names do you imagine saying for God?"