THE WARMTH OF THE FURNACE

“….as you understand God.”   The powers that be in the 12 Step programs have left “understanding God” up to us poor wretches.  That is good.  At least they’re not wearing weird clothes and telling us what God is.  On the other hand, my problem is:  I don’t understand God.  I’ve been trying for years, and still am not any closer.

It’s pretty much a given that God is not Michael Angelo’s white-haired guy pointing down just out of reach of Adam (a cruel image).

But what IS God?

The other day while meditating on the “Third Step” to “turn my will and my life over to care of God as I understand God,” it came to me that I don’t have to understand God in order to do that.  While it may seem illogical to turn my will over to something I don’t understand, I found it great relief.

In fact, I’m pretty sure God doesn’t want me to understand Her/Him/It/Them.  According to Judaism, God prefers to be called by a name that is unpronounceable: YHVH. (Tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor.)

The fact is, I don’t understand electricity, but I can turn on a light switch.  My automobile is a mystery, but I can turn on the ignition and it works.  There is so much in life that I don’t understand:  computers, the Internet, relationships—you name it, but I can still use them.  I can feel the warmth from the furnace even if I don’t see it

Life is a big mystery—and God, or Yahway, or the Tao, or whatever you call it—the Big Whatever—is the Biggest Mystery of all.

So, I’m beginning to see that it is not “understanding” but “willingness” that operates the only remote control we need.  Touch the willingness “on” button and see what happens.  If you don’t think Mystery is a functioning energy, you may be in for a big surprise.

I’m constantly surprised.

FEED THE HEART FIRST

I was driving home from an early meeting thinking about how to schedule everything in my day and get to a rehearsal at 4 PM for a reading of A Delicate Balance..

A thought or whisper wafted through my distracted mind:  “Feed the heart first,”  I heard. It seemed like a direct message from the Big Whatever, Higher Power, God—you supply the name.

As I drove on, I thought about the word “feed.”  Why “feed?”  And then it made sense.  Energy for action comes from passion, and the home of passion is the heart.  The more one loves something, the more energy is available to take care of it, promote it, or do whatever is needed.

So “feed” is the perfect word.

I thought of the many things that feed my heart:

1. Writing.  Top of the list.  When I have a good writing session, I feel as if I have been given a vitamin I didn’t even know I needed.  I feel energized to do the other stuff.  When I don’t write, my energy drains and I get depressed.
2. The Getting Present Process.  (If you don’t know what that is, buy my book.  Hit the Paypal button over there.  It will be worth it.)
3. Support.  Any kind of support feeds me whether giving or receiving.  My weekly writing group, my action partner with whom I talk every morning, and the Twelve Step meetings I attend all supply my heart with energy.
4. Friends.
5. Meditation.  It’s 5 on the list here but not necessarily fifth.  Sometimes meditation very powerfully restores my heart and my soul.
6. Great art.
7. Nature and animals.

My HP said to feed my heart first—which I take to mean do something that feeds my heart when I wake up in the morning.  I also take it to mean that I should make feeding my heart my first priority.

May I pass on this message reminder from my Higher Power to you?

What feeds your heart and will put that first?