What is the fastest way to learn who God is?
Many people come to me and talk to me about reading books and going to Bible study and using all sorts of educational approaches to knowing who God is and learning who God is. But the fastest way to learn who God is, is to experience God. Not to try to read about Him or even read about the lives of the saints or even study Scripture. Not that those things will harm you; they won’t. But they don’t really allow us to know who God is. What allows us to know God is a direct experience of who God is in our lives. It calls for our ability to connect to God in those around us, in His creation itself, in nature, and of course through written word, but most especially in the experiential aspect that comes through people or through nature.
St. Francis of Assisi lived as close to nature as humanly possible. He even cut out book learning and things like that rather to be in the woods, to be among God’s animals, God’s creatures, “all creatures great and small.” That’s how he came to know God. It’s sort of a fool- proof way if you can put yourself in that situation.
Each of us have busy lives, however, so we can’t disappear into the woods all the time the way St. Francis and some of the other saints and hermits did. Rather, we can do it in little snippets within our day or within our week. That’s what we can do. We need to spend time with God alone among His creation whether through people or through nature. Let’s ask God for the grace to give us that insight and opportunity to know Him through experience.
May God bless you.