Faith/Spirituality, grace, Serenity

Jedi-Mind Treatment

The other day, after trying to talk both of us off the ledge of a particularly frustrating situation, my husband asked me, “why do you always see the bright side?” That’s when I had to confess that even though I just rattled off a bunch of “bright side” jargon, I actually woke up on the Dark Side that very morning. After a few decades, I have finally learned that when I am disturbed, short-tempered, or enraged at minor inconveniences, things that don’t go my way or say, heavy objects falling off the table directly on my big toe, it’s a pretty strong sign that there is something boiling inside me (and it’s probably been percolating for an unrecognized-while ).

What is even more disturbing, is how quickly my mood, my outlook on my circumstances can vacillate from one end of the continuum to the other. That morning, I was having a toddler-esque tantrum over some pretty lame stuff, which triggered me to go on a rant to God about how my life was a phat joke and nothing ever goes my way and why does everyone else seem to get what they want but I certainly never do!?!?!

I knew even as I was driving that I was setting myself up to feel stupid for my lack of perspective. You see, I was driving to a hearing for a young man who has been in jail–has not seen the literal light of day–for a year. The lesson I was about to be served hung out there, taunting me, but I still couldn’t manage to pull myself together. I just kept mouthing off, right up to the point where I put my two quarters into the parking meter for the guy parked behind me! Just one more bit of evidence that my life was indeed jinxed by God (thinking about this in hindsight is pretty comical, not to mention embarrassing).

And then God, who I frequently doubt and question about whether or not he gives a lick about my meager little life, showed up in lights. As I sat in that courtroom with 2 others, we silently begged God to do what was best for this young man, but let him know what we really wanted was freedom. We prayed that he fill this judge with mercy. And guess what? In spite of every single bit of evidence that made his lawyer’s request sound like a long shot (he had already told us as much) and completely impractical, absurd, unlikely and possibly even dangerous, she approved it. I can’t go into too much detail, but let’s just say that an hour later, he got his picture taken outside, with the brilliant fall sunshine beaming down on his pale skin.

I have never witnessed a miracle this directly. I felt like God did some sort of Jedi-Mind-Treatment on the courtroom that day. Ya know, like in Star Wars when the guards as Obi-Wan for Luke and his companions identification he says, “You don’t need to see their identification,” and the guards respond, “We don’t need to see their identification, move along!” That’s how the Jedi-Mind-Treatment works, and that’s how crazy it was that this dear boy walked out of that courtroom to a new type of freedom. Made no sense at all; God’s crazy like that.

And in the afterglow of experiencing this miracle, it only took me about 2 hours to swing back to the Dark Side over something of such little significance I won’t even bother to bring it up.

In all this, I guess my point is that, as I have mentioned before, we are all broken and jacked-up and human, and this is most likely going to happen again and again and again. I am not proud of how easily I lose perspective and how demanding and childish and ungrateful I can be. But maybe God understands us better than we think. He knows I love him madly, but occasionally behave badly. And He extends that same mercy to me that I witnessed Him extending through that Judge. And He extends it to you too.

“His mercies are new every morning…every day it’s true, He makes all his mercies new.”

Addiction, Anxiety/Worry, Cancer, Patience/waiting, Trust, Uncategorized

“Don’t Give Up Until the Miracle Happens”


Have you ever heard the motivational slogan “Don’t give up until the miracle happens”? What miracle is that exactly? I am beginning to think I should give up; give up wishing and hoping for God to work things out according to my Will. Give up holding out for the miracle I ordered. In more simplistic, every-day terms, “things aren’t necessarily going badly, just because they aren’t going my ‘way’”. I pray for specifics on occasion, but I am realizing more and more that I need to hold the outcome loosely. Not because I doubt God’s willingness or ability to give me that exact answer, but because I trust that His answer is based on His ability to see the past, present and future all at once and he knows what’s best for all involved. I only see my tiny sliver of time and the immediate effects of the outcome. He sees ripples that go on for years. And He was involved in all the baby steps and seemingly insignificant choices and events that lead a person to the exact manifestation of their miracle.

And yet, I desperately want Him to just give me my miracle; my way and right this very minute. Sometimes I feel very weary from the waiting. But, when I am spiritually fit, I am fully aware and accepting of the fact that the specific “miracle” I am waiting for may never actually come. Maybe it’s time for me to start noticing the miracles God is providing now rather awaiting in anticipation for the one to come. “Waiting in anticipation” actually makes me sound a bit more mature about it than I really am. My waiting looks more like a spastic, obnoxious, wild-child in the back seat of a car on a long road trip: “Are we there yet? How about now? Or now? How much longer?  She’s looking at me again! His feet are on my half of the car!”. The Psalmist sounds pretty similar when he cries out, “How long, Oh Lord?”. What we are really asking when we pose that question to God, is “How long before you give me what I want?”.

Yesterday, as I was considering writing on “not giving up until the miracle happens”, a friend sent me a reading that I took as a sign that God was giving me the thumbs up. It’s from a daily Meditation book appropriately named “24 Hours a Day” and was dated the exact day God had already got me thinking about miracles…”You cannot see the future. It’s a blessing that you cannot. You could not bear to know all the future. That is why God only reveals it to you day by day. The first step each deal is to lay your will before God as an offering, ready for God to do what is best for you. Be sure that, if you trust God, what He does for you will be for the best. The second step is to be confident that God is powerful enough to do anything He wills, and that no miracle in human lives is impossible with Him. Then leave the future to God.”

So, I guess it’s not a bad idea to “not give up until the miracle happens”, but we have a much better chance of experiencing it if we let God choose the miracle that is best for us. And for others. I barely know what’s best for me on most days, and I certainly don’t know what’s best for other people. If I trust Him, He will do “immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine.” His miracles supersede what my mind can even begin to fathom.

Instead of holding out for God to comply with my Will (my desires, my hopes, my miracle requests) for myself and others, maybe, at least for the next 24 hours, I can determine to comply with His.