We’re not even two months into 2015, and already I’m compiling clips for my annual “Worst Moments in History” newsreel. Topping the list thus far is the scene in which I tell my Minister Friend that God should just go “eff” Himself. But to make it worse, I used the whole four-letter word instead of saying “eff.”
Fortunately for me, my Minister Friend (I’ll call him MF from here on) didn’t even blink. That’s probably why he’s such a great MF; he’s rather unflappable. And I am extremely grateful we both had the time, and the willingness, to explore my rather blunt declaration.
I most certainly DO have a strong spiritual center; that’s not the problem. The problem is that in the past six months or so, I haven’t seen “God” doing what I personally perceive to be “His job.” What I told my MF was that this alleged Divine Being doesn’t appear to answer my prayers, doesn’t intercede in times of trouble, doesn’t make things smoother for me when I’m struggling, so really, what “good” is He?
So now I’ll get myself into further trouble by trying to accurately repeat what my MF said. It went something like this: “God doesn’t take away your troubles; He gives you the strength to cope with them.” … Well, that’s not exactly what he said, so maybe I should remove the quotation marks—but you get the point.
And then we talked about things that have always given me the greatest sense of joy. I didn’t know that’s where we were headed as our conversation seemed to stray, but it became obvious to both of us that when I talk about teaching, or traveling, or writing, my voice becomes more animated and there’s a certain sparkle to it.
Don’t confuse this with idolatry—I do not worship teaching, writing, or traveling. It just turns out “my God” lives within the things that make me happy. When I’m doing things I love, my emotional well is being refilled with the (holy?) water I need to cope with the toughest times.
In the past six months, I haven’t been teaching, or traveling, or writing much more than these blog posts. And therein lies the problem. My emotional well is bone dry. My reserves are all used up, and I’ve plunged into a depression in which blaming God’s apparent absence seems like the only logical answer.
My MF insists that my Higher Power, Divine Spirit, Universal Mind, Collective Consciousness, Energy Source, or “God,” hasn’t actually forsaken me. He/She is just waiting for me to remember who I am, and to find solace while embracing the gifts I’ve been given. I need to hang tight to the “good” to sustain me when the “bad” comes calling.
It certainly sounds like a plan…