Waiting for God

Out of work and needing money, my friend recently told me she’s not looking for a job. She’s waiting for God. You might think I’d feel she ought to be more practical—or probably you think she ought to be more practical—but no. I think that’s just as good a way as any to find employment. Maybe even a better way. Who else knows where all the jobs are, much less that one specific job she ought to have?

Then, you might ask, why didn’t you get the job you think you really ought to have? But maybe that’s the job you did get. You hate the job? Perhaps you need to learn to love it. Am I kidding? Only slightly.

But waiting with deliberate intention is a little different than simply falling into a spot that you’ve found yourself. A little different—then again, maybe it really is the right spot for you.

But back to the idea of waiting for God, by which I mean, waiting with intention, waiting with God in mind and God’s ability, even God’s desire perhaps, to guide you, and to “reward” you for turning to the Source of all.

The best position we can be in, in life, is surrendered. Yet can we do it? I have heard that God surrenders you, that we can’t do it. But we can consider the possibility and try to understand why this alignment with the will of God is the best approach to being here on earth.

We might be making every mistake in the book in the meantime, but all those failures and disappointments can lead to more humility and more sense that very little can be done by our design. We find that fortuitously the more we let go, the better the outcomes. The timing of occurrences improves.

Do we have to be 100 percent surrendered to get what we need in an harmonious and timely fashion? Well, no. I haven’t seen that to be true. Less than perfectly surrendered people will have good moments in which their thoughts and feelings soar above what they’re generally capable of, and voila, something in their outer circumstances changes. They might now be a little transformed, having had the experience, but are they perfectly in tune with Divine Will? I’m sure they would like that, but recreating that momentary state might take a while. And for part of the explanation, I have to refer back to my blog piece entitled “Why Not Me?”

Indeed, we all have a grand potential, but probably we don’t recognize that fact and fall back to earth under the force of our own gravitational pull.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.—Samuel Beckett

Is it hard? If you think so. Is it easy? Could be for you.

Should we turn to God and surrender? Great idea, Worth a try once in a while.

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Feeling Misunderstood?

Once in a while we receive a shock. Someone we’re close to makes a statement that reveals the person hasn’t understood us at all.

 And in fact, the person hasn’t. Plus, we probably haven’t understood that individual, either—a long-time friend, a spouse, a sibling.

 We’ve been seen as less than what we consider ourselves to be, and we feel hurt, devastated even. We’re also angry.

 But wait. This could be kind of a good thing. Or at least according to some Sufi sects, who call this type of struggle “the way of bame.” http://realitysandwich.com/101841/sufism_and_way_blame/

 We don’t ask to be seen in a negative light, and yet it happens. Some people, the Sufis say, attract this type of reaction more than others. Maybe (this is me thinking here) we catalyze others to react against something positive in us. Or not. We really can’t know why this happens. And yet we’re left to deal with the feelings aroused in us.

 The emotional results are egotism, pure and simple. Our pride is hurt. We’re better than others have judged us to be. Perhaps. But what difference does that make? We can never be seen by other humans exactly as we are—and why is that important, anyway? What’s significant remains what is really within us, our real intentions. What’s vital remains our development into better human beings and worshippers of that which created us.

 So instead of adopting a hurt and defensive posture, maybe what we need to do is look into how we ourselves see the other, or others. Don’t we judge them and sometimes rather harshly, too? Would they want to be seen in as unkind a light as we throw on them? Perhaps that aspect of what’s going on needs to be examined first, before we spring to our own defense.

 For those of us who aren’t drunks, drug addicts, or outright scoundrels, this is what’s meant by the term “reformation of character.” Such patterns are small and delicate, hard to grasp or detect in ourselves. But these are the traits we need to track down, take hold of, and transform. Jesus said, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Maybe he meant exactly this sort of thing, nothing grand.

Many of us come from hypercritical backgrounds. We were judged strictly as children and have taken on the role of judges ourselves.

 Criticism will fall on us, whether wrongly or rightly. Whether from lower forces trying to tear us down or from higher sources seeking to perfect us.

 We react, going straight into survival mode, because one or two of those we care about has “rejected” us. Without that person, we’re cast out into the wilderness, alone.

 But are we?

 In a world of billions of other human beings, even if this person were to set us adrift, wouldn’t someone else possibly happen along and befriend us? Is love so limited? And, is the person really dumping us, after all, or just trying to find a means of expression of that individual’s inner problem needing resolution.

 Without the friendship or caring of a single other member of our own species, don’t we still have the care and love of our Creator?

 Being criticized, viewed in a way we don’t see ourselves, isn’t death. Nor is praise life.

 We have to know ourselves and stand on our own without attaching too much importance to what others have to say of us. These others can’t be more central to our knowledge of our self than we ourselves are.

 And, in fact, our attention is due elsewhere, not on how we look to others, but on what is truly worthy of praise as well as what we have to accomplish in life.

 We need to be as salmon swimming against the tide, to discover a transformed approach to the problems of existence.

 But to stop a moment with a word about anger (more to come at a later date)—anger may be fully the right reaction at the right time—or it might not be. But we don’t always have to tamp our anger down, though we do need to control any actions harmful to others or even to property.

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