Do you really believe you can plan for your safety and joy better than He can?
(A Course in Miracles)
God is outside of us as long as we run after our pleasures and avoid life’s less pleasant occurrences. The moment we do though, a magical world is opening up. Everyone searches for God in the loving encounters, in the satori moments or the mind-blowing serendipities, yet God is everywhere, even in the not so pleasant eye-openers that we occasionally have to face. God permeates life, every moment of it. There is even something magnificent about the troubles that we have created for ourselves. These challenges are subconsciously designed to help us with our self discovery. Fortune and failure, pleasure and pain, everything that we encounter is designed to help us find our mission and God.
Patrick McCormick gives a nice illustration of this point in his book ‘Sin as Addiction’. There was a salesman who was told by his physician that unless he drastically changes his eating habits and lifestyle, he wouldn’t live to enjoy his retirement. His blood pressure was too high and he was overweight. But when he tried to eat less and healthier he realized that he couldn’t resist snacking in front of the TV. So his only solution was to cut the TV out of his evening routine altogether and ask his wife to come with him on long walks. When he did, he observed some negative changes in their neighborhood, so he started to take more interest in his local affairs. He and his wife also opened up to each other on their daily walks in a way they hadn’t done since their children were born. So the ugly wake-up call not only extended his life span by many years but also made his life much more meaningful and his marriage stronger. ‘Good’ or ‘bad’, accept whatever comes your way and know that the life knows best what you need.
So why don’t we switch our mindset instead? Instead of running after happiness, success and stability, let’s just take life as is. Let’s face and accept the fact that life is never a centrally controlled air conditioner. Life is wild and mostly out of our control no matter how hard we try. This is actually the fun part. Let’s welcome life as it is and drop the idea of changing or manipulating it. Let’s go downhill skiing when it snows, and let’s go surfing in the summer. Let’s enjoy the blooming flowers in the spring, and the dance with the leaves in the autumn wind. Let’s tune into the rhythm of life and be at peace with it. Let’s drop expectations and just see what happens in the eventful here and now, even if we cringe before jumping into the moment at hand.
God is always there for us and communicates with us all the time. Yet, there is one requirement to receive life’s messages. We have to let go of our expectations and all the scheming to get something. Life will patiently show us what our authentic needs really are. Let’s embrace life and get lost in it. Without always rooting for something, we can in fact discover love—as well as the cry for it—in pretty much every situation. The salesman rediscovered his love for his community and his wife with the help of a medical emergency. It doesn’t have to come that far. He probably overlooked many of life’s earlier clues. We are so much more than what our narrow mindset envisions. Life is ready to make us what we are born to be but we have to engage in order to receive it.
Make sure you open your presents today!