No Burning Bushes

Many of us speak about our “relationships” with our Higher Power, whatever that may be, but how many of us spend our time asking for things instead of for the power to do things, as in the Third Step Prayer. (Look it up: page 63 in the AA Big Book.)

How many of us spend our time telling H.P. what we want, asking for advice, but then never shut up long enough to hear any answers? What kind of relationship is that? That doesn’t even work with humans!

There is no handwriting on the wall. We have to be receptive to the answers we seek, and they come through meetings, through others sharing their experience, strength and hope, in our readings, our daily interactions with others, and myriad other ways in which “the universe” impinges on our self-centeredness every day. There are no burning bushes.

Our higher power doesn’t have to be metaphysical. If it is, that’s great. Regardless, we need to be willing to hear the messages that come from around us — all the time, every day.

No matter how we conceive of the universe at large, there is one component of it that is inescapable: billions of other beings who have hopes, dreams, purposes, intentions, beliefs, interests, and desires that differ from ours. That is an inescapable fact. If we think of those folks as “the universe” two things become clear — that no matter how we try to manipulate it, the universe will have its way, and that we can either fight it or go with the flow.

If I win the lottery, someone else loses. If I get the girl we may both be losers unless we know how to have a relationship of equals  — and too few of us do. The same goes for life in general: we need to look for the ephemeral “win/win” situations, because they are the only ones that will give us what we really need.

Am I praying for me, or am I praying for answers?

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