The only direct statement of Jesus which is simple enough for me to comprehend when my heart is breaking or when I’m discouraged or scared is: “Follow me.”
I cannot understand life because life is not understandable. But I can grasp: “Follow me.”
Eugenia Price, No Pat Answers
Even when my mistakes are my own, even when I screw up royally, even when what I have done is so stupid and I feel stupid and am pissed off at myself for what I did – even then, those words, “follow Me” are a comfort and a safe haven. To me, “follow me” means everything will work out, everything will be fine. Even as I go through the consequences of my actions or even, inaction, I know, I believe, I trust in a Benevolent God who will bring me through whatever crises I have caused.
“‘Follow Me’ into the darkest alley, to the brightest mountain top, to the lowest low, the highest high and everywhere in between and all will be well, all will be as it needs to be,” says my God to my weary heart. I am not a stupid person. I am not a failure. I am not a bad seed. I am not unlovable. God sees me as I truly am and what I have the potential to be. And yet, He loves me still.
“‘Follow Me’ into the safe haven of My Arms and we will work through this together,” says my God to my hurting head. My head does ache, my heart is weary, my body is tired from all the stupid things I have done. I am not ignorant. I am not lazy. My inner dragons tell me these things constantly and because I stop and listen to them those words seem to take on a life of their own and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But I am none of those things. Just because I have done something stupid doesn’t mean I am stupid.
“‘Follow Me’ and I will never allow you into places that you have not the strength to handle,” says my God to my sobbing soul. When I weep before His Throne and cry for mercy I am reminded Mercy has already been given and Grace is never-ending. I so have the strength to go on in spite of what snarl I am currently tangled up in.
“Follow Me,” the most beautiful and complicated and simple and pure words ever spoken by my Lord, Savior, and God. I will follow you, always.
The Lord is the Lord of all universes. This means that within every realm—material, spiritual, psychological, emotional—the same principles of creativity and materialization apply.
The ways of the Lord are the processes of energy by which life moves forward.
That energy is not without but within, activated as much by feeling as by thought.
We move into this power through silence and communion.
In the presence of God, we learn from Him His ways.
Marianne Williamson, Illuminata
Too often my prayers are quick speeches before the Throne in the morning or anywhere else at any other time. Too often I don’t take the time to listen. Maybe it is because there is so much I need to do in the morning between getting up and leaving for work. Well, that’s not quite right – I do have time to listen in the morning, I just don’t take the time.
If I get up on time I have 1-1/2 hours before I leave for work. After getting up, taking the dog outside, feeding everybody (4 cats, 1 dog), cleaning litter boxes and making coffee (if I have it in the house), I still usually have an hour before I have to leave. Factor in at least ½ an hour to get ready and that leaves me with a scant ½ hour to pray and listen. And that is if everything runs according to schedule. Throw in a pile of cat vomit or dog accident on the carpet or the clean clothes I forgot to dry and the lunch I didn’t make the night before and my prayer time is shot to … well, you know where.
Maybe I don’t have time. Maybe praying and listening shouldn’t be done on a time-table. Maybe I should stop beating myself up for not doing more in the morning. Maybe I should stop feeling guilty about it.
Yes, I could get up earlier. But I already get up at 3:15 a.m. and have to leave my house by 4.45 a.m. (I thank God every day I work so close to home). If I got up any earlier I would have to be in bed by 7.30 the night before; I already push the envelope by going to bed between 8.30 and 9, and some nights even 10.
Maybe I could give myself the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I should see me as God sees me, a loving child who wants to do better but doesn’t and feels like a failure when she doesn’t achieve perfection.
Must be Perfect. All of the time. In every way possible. Especially in prayer. Must be Perfect in prayers. Because if I’m not, God will not answer my prayers, He will not hear me, and hold back His Love from me. Must be Perfect.
Am I kidding? Do I really say that to myself? Yes, I do, at least in my subconscious self. That tape of God not loving me or blessing me or being with me because I don’t pray right runs over and over and over inside my soul. Maybe it is time to not only cut the tape off but to destroy it.
Maybe instead of pressuring myself to do it all before I leave for work, I could cut myself some slack. I could still do the whole routine, including the praying part, but accept the fact that putting a timer on the whole listening-to-God thing doesn’t work – at least for me.
When I get home in the afternoon – that is the time to stop, pray and listen. After greeting my furchildren, taking the dog out (and the cat if it is warm) instead of coming in, sitting down and turning on the TV to veg and/or the computer on for games, that is the time to pray and listen. My afternoon time is largely an open canvas. And I mostly waste it.
What a revelation! Yes, I still need to pray in the morning – it is essential to go into my day with God on my mind. But the afternoon…. I really need to rethink my afternoons. The quiet time after work is the time for me to listen and not do so much of the talking.