God doesn’t want self-improvement but surrender.
That sentence jumped out at me.
When I try to change myself I am usually looking past my immediate experience. If I think about all that I must write, rather than the feeling of touching the keys, my friends face looking at a book I bought (Women, Food and God—incredible!) and the sound of the espresso machine, then I am ripping myself off. There is a lot to say about encountering God in the moment—or for that matter, using prayer and meditation is a great way of getting into the moment.
I meditated my way through Rupp’s Open the Door and now through the thoughts in a Sufi book about seeing through God’s eyes. I became more compassionate with a drug addict who lives too close to me. I finally prayed to see him through God’s eyes and I finally saw his suffering, his pain, his emptiness. So I now pray for him to find recovery. That’s the kind of transformation God can do. Before I just was praying for the addict’s death (I am not a saint and he wakes me up at 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. most nights). But I sure prefer praying for his recovery than I ever did praying for revenge.
I think honesty in prayer is more important than anything else. That also keeps me in the moment, as I tell God exactly how I feel about this moment in my life.
That doesn’t mean I won’t use him in my next novel—I just might. I think everything is grist for the mill, don’t you?
I couldn’t last a day without prayer and meditation, without feeling God’s presence by me.
Sorry—I just went away to plan my summer vacation in early August. I need a break. I still think of summer as yippee—it’s time to break free, run around in the woods, play in the water, float on a raft and cook potatoes over an open fire. Living in Oregon is heaven when the weather is good—and in summer, it sure is.
So, living in the moment seems to be what God wants. Surrendering to the moment, the transcendent—this brilliant moment.
I discovered God when I first started keeping a journal to help my first analysis. I wrote down everything I saw, felt, experienced, dreamt—and my poetry deepened, my anti-war feelings intensified—and I started experienced God everywhere. I just started that kind of journaling and praying again. I took twenty years off after my ex used my journal against me in our divorce. You could say I developed trust issues…