“When we pray for courage, God isn’t going to send us a gift wrapped box filled with courage. She will give us an opportunity to be courageous.”
A line from the movie ‘Evan Almighty’.
As I was watching this rather hilarious film based on the story of Noah’s Ark during the 1990’s, this line was spoken. It rocked my world. It unsettled my prayer life. It challenged my Spirituality. It was a reality kick in my backside. I had to admit that my prayer life was based on my relationship to Santa Claus rather than on a Spiritual intimacy with a Higher Power, God, Great Spirit. I had to admit that I was in a relationship in which I expected God to do all the work and all I had to do was give Her/Him my list of demands. When my demands were not met, I simply pointed the finger at God with resentment.
For those of us who experience Spirituality through the 12 Steps of AA, through the Yamas or the Niyamas, through the Christian beatitudes, from the seven Spiritual gifts of the Ojibway culture, or from any other Spiritual direction, we “know” that relationships require our personal responsibility. We come to recognize the miracle of Spirit through intentional commitment of our lives to our personal Higher Power.
One of the greatest mysteries I continue to experience is the relationship between my intent to take full responsibility for my life and my growing awareness of miracles. I experience miracles as events that result in sobriety, peace and contentment for which I can take NO responsibility. I can’t find any other explanation. When I look to others for an explanation, I simply get a look which simply supports my puzzled reality. It’s a look that says, “Ok, what’s your point? I believe you.”
As I ponder these events further, I realize that I am working the 3rd step of the 12 steps of AA: We became willing to turn our will and our lives over to the care God as we understood God. Evidently I am recognizing that the care of God is not a co-addictive relationship. The Santa Claus relationship is co-addictive. I behave like a good boy and I will get what I want. I the Spiritual life is even more simplistic. I become willing to let God care for me, continue to do the work of life, and listen for the miracles. I won’t get a gift wrapped package with serenity or peace or contentment. I will have opportunities to be still and experience all these and more. At these times, I am truly beside restful waters. Please, take a step in this direction. Take the 3rd step AA.