I wonder, now that I am feeling better, if faith is easier when I am sick. When I was so ill, I was constantly reminded of my need and there were few other distractions from lying quiet with God.
I’m not dumb like when I was younger to pray that God make
me sick or bring hard times if it will make my faith stronger. We used to toss
around so cavalierly prayers like ‘break me, God!’ Instead I pray that somehow God teach me faith through wellness. I pray he teach me faith through
gentle and good and happy days. Sure the Israelites were always at their most
earnest when they were being oppressed, but please God, can there be a faith
that blossoms too in prosperity and joy? I would like for that season to stay
Then really, I wonder again if prayers matter at all, if they change anything. Good
and bad times will come on me either way, no matter what I pray. And even if
tomorrow manages to be a happy one where I remember God all through the hours, it
doesn’t mean hard times will disappear. They’ll come back, the unfortunate side
effect of being human. Old age at least will make sure of it, and probably a
thousand other beat-downs from life before then.
Instead, I should remember my Buddhism. Tomorrow might be
good or it might be bad. It does not matter if I want it one way or the other.
In fact, the wanting might just make me miserable in the here and now.
But still, my initial worry is this: I don’t want to be
faithless in the good times. I forget so easily. I’m like the Israelites Moses
led out of Egypt, seeing all those signs and wonders, and then a few weeks
later complaining that all I have to eat is the same old boring bread and for
God’s sake could we just get some quail up in here?! I can still do so little,
but I fill my time and energy and mind with all the things I’ve been wanting to
do to the exclusion of all else. I forget God for half a day at a time, a day,
two days, and do not think once of prayer. I worry it will stretch to weeks and
I wonder, what does God want from me? What does being
faithful mean? Is ‘pray without ceasing’ literal? Is it humanly possible?
Because I want to count the day as pass or fail.
Oh Heather, silly girl, listen again to the wise men. That
is all to do with ‘me’. My twisty squirrel mind obsessing about this ‘self.’
The Buddhists say to live now in this moment, and God too says do not worry
about tomorrow. My worry over my future faithlessness seems valid to me, but
maybe all it does is separate me from God now.
God here right now fulfilling his promise that he is with me. Here on these
couch cushions that are bent around my shape, the low vibration of trucks on the
highway below, the ache of my bruised tired eyes, the empty sensation in my
stomach, the biting of the underwire in my bra, this moment in the dark, typing
with my eyes closed, the gentle tension of fingers pressing memorized laptop
keys, the moment of pausing with each of my senses and wondering what else
there is to discover here while simultaneously mediating the moment through
words. And smiling at myself, because right now the two are so close, which is
rare, that my mediating the moment is still actually
And here I stop and pause, because for a moment I’ve managed
to catch the hummingbird answer and hold it still. Now. Here. Being still. With
God. It’s everything. It’s all that matters.