Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the state of the world and have been in one of those “there must be another planet somewhere” moods….. My problem with God has been his/her/its seeming willingness to “allow” the most outrageous suffering and desecration of people, places and things, and seemingly turn a blind eye. For me, it’s been one of those “can’t live with him (her/it), and can’t live without him” situations. Nothing unusual, of course. Somehow, this past winter, I think I finally got it that if I can’t live without her (him/it), I’d better take a stand one way or the other, and that must have been enough for God, because it (her/him) pulled me into an alchemical retreat right in the comfort of my own home, and I sat, sat, sat some more….and God has blessed me endlessly. The Sufis Order’s Universal Worship has a beautiful liturgy that includes a number of truly wonderful, noble, inspired prayers…. And I was driving down the road today and, as I often will, I prayed one of them and realized it wasn’t nearly as meaningful to me as it once was, simply because my relationship with God has shifted. There is an intimacy there, an ongoing dialogue between lovers that makes these form prayers kind of…well, not as necessary as they once were, although I assume I will always love them.
As to my frustration with the seeming cruelty of this creation, I’m now beginning to assume that if one wants to be happy and fulfilled, this probably isn’t the best place to come. It seems we come here to learn, and real wisdom seems to arise from enduring what can’t be cured, which means that which is so completely unacceptible that it ought not to be allowed…and is. I think they call that “free will,” and supposedly God grants that to God’s creatures. I’m not so sure it’s a matter of “granting,” though, but more a necessity to growth, horrifying as its manifestations can be. The worst part of that–for me–is not watching what God seems to do–which I think is an extreme oversimplification of the situation–but accepting what I myself am capable of, have been capable of, and probably will be capable of. I don’t like being wrong, and I don’t like having to accept my own shortcomings. I find it unbearable to know that I have caused pain and suffering, but I can assure you, I have, and there isn’t a thing I can do about it.
Well, there’s one thing: I can wake up. I can learn what I came here to learn, and become what I came here to become. I don’t think that fixes anything, but it does mean that a purpose has been served, and the universe has grown a bit. Good conquers bad, so to speak.
And there is this thing called grace. But I have been the recipient of a great grace just recently, and I am involved in bringing it into fruition, so time is limited. Grace will have to wait, and it usually does.