When I was a child, I was slower at doing common things that most kids seemed to pick up more quickly. For example, I learned how to tie my shoes years later than most kids. Telling time was another one. But once I learned these things, they came as second nature. It was effortless.
So when I learned about neuropathways I realized that what had happened was that because I had been willing to keep focusing on a task such as learning how to tie my shoes even though it seemed impossible—each effort made the neuropathway more obstacle free and easier to walk down like a well worn path in the forest.
So now I have faith that if I can just keep working on developing a new habit of thinking about God which I learned in the 30 day spiritual experiment which you can find here then at some point I will have a tangible, touchable, intimate relationship with God where I realize that I am completely dependent on him and utterly surrendered to him.
But I also realize that I am not going to create this just by habits of thought. That is a wonderful thing to know. This is not just some magical thought process. This is the most sincere and wonderful prayer I can pray. That I can have this love relationship with God which is the most important thing in my life.
So it is a combination of asking God for four things every day, and whenever I feel drawn to do so. I ask him to help me to know without a doubt that I am dependent on him, to help me to make him the first one to fill my emotional needs, to help me to totally surrender to him, and help me have faith that I can do all of the above.
The really strange thing about this experiment is that even though I read through a summary of the experiment each day—it always seems different. I read something new each day. I don’t quite get it. Yet something new always pops out.
I don’t exactly remember when I started the 30 day experiment. I think it was 3 ½ weeks ago. I just know that every time I have gotten emotionally upset, I turn to God to help me not resolve the cause of the problem, but to help me have a closer relationship with him.
The scripture “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” is the one that really jumps out at me. I always thought that to seek the kingdom of God was to serve him by serving humanity and helping to bring the kingdom of God on earth. But now I am thinking since Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within” that he is referring to that God-shaped hole in my heart that only God can fill. If I seek to fill that God shaped hole with God, then everything will be added unto me.
When I was a child, I loved fairy tales. I liked to hear that somebody would get 3 wishes. I thought it was very obvious what to wish for—to wish that all my wishes would come true. I wondered why no one ever wished for that.
Well, I am thinking that when I keep wishing and praying that I will have an intimate, tangible, touchable relationship with God, making that my highest priority, then all my wishes will come true. My dreams of community, of spending more time with my family, of serving the planet by having a retreat and training center on our land and so many other things can come true once I get that part straightened out.
Jesus also said that the greatest commandment was to love God with all my heart, mind and soul and to love my neighbor as myself. I used to think that God seemed so nebulous and far away, and so if I just loved everyone then I could be fulfilling the commandment. I love the words tangible and touchable. But no Christian had ever said those words before—until Rod Pruitt came along and shared those words. People were touchable and tangible. But my love for them just kept resulting in me being disappointed. I love to love and give—but I was loving and giving on my own strength.
I never thought about praying to God to help me have that relationship with him. I just felt kind of helpless. I like the way that Rod explains that I can’t make this relationship happen—only God can. But I have to have the desire.
Paul says something about striving to rest in God. That seems so silly—to strive to rest. But I know that there are ways to rest—like breathing deeply. Or first tensing a body part then relaxing it. It takes a lot of effort to rest sometimes. This has been a great experiment for me—to strive to rest in God. To pray to him to help me be dependent on him when I worry. To pray that he would help me to surrender when I am trying to force things. To pray to him to help me have faith when I doubt that I will ever have the relationship that I long for with him. Wow! I am so used to praying for emotional and material things. But I find myself praying for this relationship. It seems so natural.
I am trusting that God wants the best for me. Once I have this relationship with him, I have faith that he will help me to realize life long goals that I believe he placed within me. But we will do it together. I am so great at relying on my organizational talents and creativity to make things happen. In some ways, this is a pitfall because I can really put a lot of effort into making things happen since I have so many ideas and am able to carry them out. During this 30 day experiment, I have refrained from diving too deeply into anything. Okay, there was one thing I was putting some energy into because I thought it was going to support me spiritually. Now I am not so sure, and I am withdrawing my energy at least for now. But even that was minimal compared to what I would usually do. I would normally spend hours and hours on a project, neglecting my duties and getting out of balance.
My life is still not in order as I want it to be, yet I have hope that if I continue to rest in God and focus on cultivating our relationship, my life is going to be more balanced. Instead of wanting to do great things to serve the world, I feel a deep desire to have a clear, uncluttered house with everything in its place. I yearn to nurture my children and Robert (former husband and present best friend) and tend my garden. I want to live a quiet life in my country home where I can have less distractions, and work harmoniously with my family to prepare meals and create a beautiful community for us all. When those things are in place, I can be in a space to serve the world.
I find that my most fulfillment comes from taking care of myself so that I can serve my family as I draw closer to God. This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened. I have always been so externally directed. To yearn to know God and feel that yearning deepening and growing—just through prayer, not by forcing—is such a blessing.
I hope that my children can learn to do this a lot sooner than I did. I had to experience so many disappointments. They have seen me on a roller coaster ride of throwing myself into projects or relationships. I always say, “This is the thing that I am going to stay excited about.” I was really disappointed when they started not to believe me after the hundredth time. I was really confused as why they couldn’t share my excitement even if it was just to encourage me. To finally say, “I am making God first in my life” and that being my prayer—is a huge accomplishment for me. I know my children have experienced disappointments both in their personal lives and vicariously through mine. So perhaps they can have more wisdom than I. I hope and pray that they will share with me this spiritual journey starting with 30 days of praying that God will be touchable and tangible in their lives. I hope that Robert will also join us.
- Would it not be wonderful if just like tying shoes and telling the time that I now can do effortlessly, having an intimate loving relationship with my Father would be the same. What a blessing that would be. I hope you will check out the 30 day experiment here.