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Posts Tagged ‘God’

The Red Leaf

The trees are all green up on my hill.  None that I can see have turned except for a few brown oak leaves.  We have three maybe four maples in our yard the rest are all oaks and birch.  Oak leaves turn brown, birch turn a bright yellow and usually maples turn orange.  As I sat on my deck drinking my morning coffee attempting to pray, I watched as a red leaf fluttered to the ground.  I looked up and scanned the trees there were no other red leaves, no other trees with even a hint of red.

I muddled through my prayer forcing my thoughts to stay on the task at hand and forcing my body to stay put until at least most of my coffee was gone and I wished for another.  Not sure why but I asked God for another red leaf.  For proof.  But proof of what?  He loves me?  I’m on the right track?  He exists?  What was I asking for? 

Maybe I was looking for a red leaf not to fall.  Maybe I was hoping for a reason to give this all up.  To crawl into a closet, curl up into a ball and quit this gig, stop writing, get a job… go on medication.  If God’s not real then there’s no one to answer to and I can give up. 

Now it would be just like Him to refrain from sending me what I asked for on principle alone.  You don’t ask God for proof.  You can ask for signs about things, which I never get, meaning I never really see them, but asking for proof of existence, that’s, well, not allowed. You have to find faith on your own.  It’s a rule, or something.

Another red leaf fell, roughly following the path of the first.  I sat there denying it was truly red.  It was more brown than red.  That it actually fell. I might have just imagined it.  I stood and with coffee in hand went to look for my red leaf.  I saw a number of brown but no red.  Then I caught sight of a bright red leaf, then another, then another.  The ground was covered with Canadian Cinquefoil all just beginning to turn, one leaf at a time.  That’s a message right?  No, that doesn’t count.

No red leaf, see I knew it. 

A few more steps and there it was.  I picked it up and proceeded to come up with all the reasons why it wasn’t a sign, why it wasn’t proof of anything.  It seems I only asked the question to prove to myself how alone I truly am.  That God isn’t really out there.  Why would I set myself up like that?

We can tell ourselves there are reasons not to believe. There is no reason to have faith.  That God is just a made up concept to keep society in line.  Or we can open our hearts and view coincidences as signs, and dreams as messages and we can see truth.  We can know that regardless of the name we call the Energy it has been here long before us.  It has guided humanity through lessons and failures and it is waiting for us to find it and accept its love.  We can let our hearts fill, find our own way to God and believe.

God is here and he knows I’m going through a rough time and he answered me, but sign or no sign it seems it is up to me whether I choose to believe or whether I choose to walk this life alone.

There are still no red leaves to be seen in the trees, but they’re there.  I can feel them and I know that no matter how many times I doubt, turn away or deny Him He will still love me while I find my way.

 

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See you in 35

We are now in the season of Lent, well actually we’ve been in the season of Lent for about a week now I just haven’t stopped long enough to notice or choose if I will give something up or add something in.  I know, I embrace many different religious ideals and I also know I don’t have to participate in the practice, but I kind of like Lent.  I can hear it now.  You’re not supposed to like Lent.  It’s supposed to be a time where you suffer before the joy of Easter…  It’s not supposed to be fun!

Ok, so maybe fun is a little over the top but Lent brings me back.  I have a Catholic foundation and despite some of the non-Catholics and former Catholics around me I don’t necessarily look to my childhood religious experience as bad.  I remember going to church with my mother and grandmother, leaning against my mom, her rubbing my hand to quiet me.  I remember donuts or malasadas on Sunday mornings and big Sunday dinners and I remember Lent, giving up something like soda or chocolate for forty days and then joyously getting it all back plus some on Easter morning.  Who wouldn’t equate that with good feelings?

Now don’t get me wrong I have always been just a little different when it came to church, even as a kid.  I always looked for more in every story, saw Jesus as a man more than a god and as I got older, was always looking for a deeper connection even if my eyes wandered to another church or school of thought, but my foundation is Catholic and I don’t think I could have found a stronger structure to build my “new age” ideas upon because when all else fails and I’m too tired or sorrowful to see the power of the Universe I always fall right back into God’s arms.  It’s kind of like that line in The Hunt for Red October, you know the Sean Connery submarine movie, where the sonar can’t figure out what the silent sub is and says it’s something geologic.  The tech says the software used to be for geologic study so when it doesn’t understand something is just, “runs back home to mama.”  That’s me, when things get really bad I run back home to God and He is always there waiting to catch me.

Some might think that my practice is wrong, taking and leaving God.  I am surely going to Hell.  Well, maybe, but considering my aforementioned differences I have always seen Him as a father, and as a mother I want my children to go out into the world and make informed choices, to think for themselves and embrace differences and I believe that is what God wants for me.  I believe He is in every part and every feeling of every good religious/spiritual belief and like a father playing hide and seek or peek a boo with his child, He wants me to find him in every place I can.  I was born with this seeker’s heart; my dance has always been just a step out of the norm and I know He wants me to embrace the gift he has given, even if on some days I don’t see it as a gift.

Lent is like one of those little organized lessons of man.  It takes a really big concept and puts it into understandable steps and actions.  You take a time and give something up and become a little better and possibly a little closer to God because of your sacrifice.  Over the years it has gotten more specific, or I have gotten older and a smidge smarter, so now during your time of sacrifice you are to pray or meditate or read a book, and instead of giving something up you make a positive change.  A few Lents back made a promise to attend church more.  I so have that covered now.  I teach Sunday School to preschoolers and I rarely miss a day, not exactly what I was going for but I’m there.  This year they asked us instead of giving up something to give more, give more of yourself, more of your time, and/or more of your love to others.  Honestly I’m not sure I have anymore to give.  I feel like I’m running on empty now.

I sub, I write, I take care of my family, I teach Sunday School, I do Girl Scouts, I run an enrichment program when school is not in session, I tutor and each of these things get 100 % of me.  I throw myself into Girl Scouts as much as I throw myself into my writing.  A few years back I had my first anxiety attack because I was doing so much it simply didn’t fit into my life.  I wrote everything I was doing onto little scraps of paper so I could “see”  my activities.  I was doing 12 different things, not including the house (which let’s be honest I really don’t do) and realized I needed to make a change and with some work and a little help from above I was able to cut some of the things either back or completely out in an effort to stay sane.

So what should I do for Lent?  I am presently working on being my best wherever I am, I am trying to get back to a consistent running schedule (presently in the failure part of the process once again), and I am trying to (ok maybe just thinking about) organize the office, my crafts and the upstairs closets.  Each and every day is a time for me to make myself better, do I really need Lent?  Well since it is still buzzing around inside my crazy head, I guess I do.
What I need is to fortify my soul.  I need to be quiet more.  If God lies within then I need to spend a little more time with myself and stop letting the activity of the outside world (and my brain) distract me from sitting in silence and hearing what God wants me to know.   If Lent is a time to get closer to God then I need to think along those lines.

Yes, I know the answer. (sigh) I’ve known all along; I was just effectively ignoring it.  I need to meditate more.  I’ve written about it before, but because it’s a spiritual thing I’ve always just let my feelings indicate when I should sit still, the indicating feelings usually being absolute desperation and insanity.  I need to take my spiritual beliefs and add a religious(repetitive) component so it becomes stronger.  Ohhhhh…so this is why these little exercises were devised so we can take a look at what we have and make it better.  I know that I give to those around me, I now need to give to God.  It’s like what I tell my ten year old in church every week, “You can give ten minutes to God.”  I can give him ten minutes a day?  Let’s not get crazy!  Baby steps.  Right now I’m lucky if I’m giving ten minutes a month.  Ooo! that is so bad. Just writing it shows me how bad it is.  Ok, so lets start small and see where I can go with this.  Lets start with ten minutes of meditation a week for Lent and then see if I can work up to ten minutes a day over the course of the year.  Sounds like a plan right?  Right.  Now I have to go meditate, feed the kids, do laundry, run, write…where in the Lenten Law did adding new things become concurrent?  I think I’m hyperventilating.  Maybe I can get rid of one of the kids.  Just Kidding!  Deep Breath.  This will help!  I can do this and I will be better for it.  See you in forty days…nope, wait, 35.

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