Tuesday … Prayer and Meditation
With the weather holding steady, it is cold, but not bitter. We are sitting on the plus side at this hour, but temps will fall into negative numbers overnight. There is a lot of work going on in the neighborhood things that need to be done now, before it starts to snow in earnest. Closer to home, roofers are busy on several buildings. Not sure why they waited this long to get work done, but I guess apartment leaking is rampant all over the place.
Last night I made plans, and you know what they say happens, when you make plans…
With those plans in mind, I was up early. My entire day was planned around a single phone call, I was ready at the appointed hour, squeaky clean and raring to go. And this is when God laughed at me. I had an entire afternoon to fill at this point. I could have gone back to bed for a nap, but that did not happen. I really did not want to watch tv, because we all know what is monopolizing the airwaves as of late.
I packed up my bag with assorted books, milk, styrofoam cups, and my tunes, and I set out for the church. Holiday shopping has not swung into “frenzy mode” just yet. This year, Alexis Nihon has gone to greater lengths than in years past to celebrate the holidays. There is a stage on the mezzanine level with an animated reindeer that talks, a stage for performers, and a full schedule of things to come and see over the next few weeks.
There is massive construction going on in NDG … where the church is. There is work going on on all the major roads that connect several neighborhoods to bus lines and Metro stations. Which means, roads are closed and a handful of buses are rerouted around the work, which means, taking a bus to an original stop, that bus goes somewhere else now, which is a real pain in the ass.
A major thruway that connects lower NDG with upper NDG is closed. Which means one has to walk either up the hill or down the hill, if you need to access a location on that street. On the main, this is cut and dry, you walk. If work isn’t finished soon, we will be walking in the snow and the cold.
I made that mistake last week, forgetting that the bus route I needed to take was rerouted, I got on said bus and a few minutes into the ride, when the bus went straight instead of turning left, I was like, to the bus driver … “I want to get off here! and he says, you can’t get off here,” and he kept driving and in the end I had to back track to the church where I originally wanted to go ! F.M.L.
So I walked from the Metro to the church tonight.
All of my peeps came. So it was a good night.
We broke Step 11 into two parts. Tonight was part two.
“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
Who is God.
What is God,
What is God’s will ?
And how do I know when it is God’s will ?
Moment of clarity … I know the rule about expectations. I also know the rule about praying for something that is unreasonable or unattainable.
Prayer … raising of the heart and mind to God.
Meditation … waiting/listening for the answer.
When one studies Religion, as I have, one learns about prayer and meditation. Every tradition prays, and also meditates. Some are better at it than others. It is true that when most people pray, they expect an answer, soon, very soon, and sometimes absurdly soon.
Like, right now would be good…
I don’t know about you, but God has never spoken directly to me, even with a degree in Religious Studies. I know how to talk to God. But I don’t know what His voice sounds like.
Which brings this clarity :
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with (Others).
When you think about it, it is more than likely, we may not think about it this way, right off the bat, but, when we pray, if God is going to speak, to any one of us, it is probably going to come from someone else, someone close to us.
Prayer and meditation then becomes an active endeavor. If you don’t listen well, nor take the time to do so, actually make time to listen, amid the business of the day, maybe you should. I’ve learned how to listen. Building prayer and meditation into your life can be learned. And the more you do it, the better it gets.
I have set prayers I say. We have set prayers we say at every meeting. Very often, I see prayer requests come across Facebook, for this intention or that one. In that moment, I bring said person’s image into my mind, and I speak their name to God. And throughout my day, the faces of my friends, or those that I think about in the moment rise and I speak their name to God.
When I have a resentment, it usually goes … “God give them every good thing I want for myself and more.” Then I get to think about that prayer. It becomes a meditation.
Most people cannot sit still for more than five minutes, let alone, allot 5 minutes to meditate. We are usually too busy to stop. But for those who make time to “STOP” the benefits are endless.
If God is going to speak to you, I can confidently say, that the voice will be familiar to you.
God’s will ? Thy will not mine be done.
When you can turn a prayer for a particular end to an open ended prayer, I think that is God’s will. We don’t know what God’s will is, but when we let go and let God, things usually turn out alright.
Bad things happen to good people.
Sometimes, disease and illness are unavoidable.
And for the most part, we are all going to the same place when we die.
When we can turn a selfish prayer into a humble prayer, we find God’s will. It may not be to our liking, but if we can let people and situations go and give them to God to sort out, it turns into “Thy will. not mine be done.”
A friend’s father is very sick with cancer. In the beginning she would pray for God to heal him, there is no healing in the offing. Now she can pray for her father and say, Thy will not mine be done. She has released dad into God’s hands. It is out of our/her hands. There are just things that medicine cannot heal or stop.
Letting Go and Letting God is a huge step in spiritual growth.
If we have the important three things in life, praying for more, is pointless.
If we have a roof over our heads, food in the fridge, and a warm bed to sleep in, we are in a much better state than millions of people on this earth.
Kind of puts it into perspective doesn’t it?