Today I was speaking to my father on the telephone and we were having a conversation about God.
Over the past few weeks, I have had a strong spiritual calling that I can’t explain. Every time I try to turn to writing or my blog to explain the phenomena that have surrounded me, and the feelings that I have felt, it is like my heart is too full and the words just don’t form.
I’m starting- finally beginning– to realize my purpose in life. I’m not talking about my career. I’m talking about my purpose. Everyone believes and is entitled to believe whatever they want when it comes to God.
But I believe.
And in my daily life I have been starting to question, “where does God fit into the equation?”
I was speaking to my father about how I feel and how I believe life is not just about chasing money. I said, “no matter what I do in my career I must find time to find my purpose.”
He disagreed with me, saying money- and having a roof over my head- was more important than anything else. You can have your hobbies, but you have to make sure you are fed.
This is true. And I count my blessings for the roof over my head and the food in my belly.
But sometimes I start thinking about what it is God has been trying to tell me? How can I keep pushing these messages to the side? And there are times- like today- that I cannot ignore the call.
As we were talking, my Dad brought up the Bible. Through the years I have been a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Muslim. I have wavered from my spiritual path and experimented, I have questioned, and I have feared, but I have always come back to that path.
He said, “And what about Moses parting the red sea? What kind of story was that? What was Moses smoking?”
I couldn’t really explain it.
My explanation was: “everything is a story. Your life and my life are stories. Over the years stories shift and change and are embellished, but that doesn’t mean that the meaning of the story wasn’t important in the first place.”
I continued: “If people need these stories to help them believe, then what’s the harm in that?”
He responded, “So you are saying they are all made up stories?”
I said “no.” I said the story probably meant something at some point but over time with different writers and different editors the stories have changed and shifted.
We got off the phone and I was still thinking about what our conversation all meant. I felt like my answers weren’t really right.
I always knew my father as a man of faith, but over the years and with all the bad things that have happened in recent months, I have seen his faith tested.
Before we hung up he said, “God hasn’t done much for us lately except for making it rain or making it shine. But what good is that?”
As we hung up I turned the TV on and Joel Osteen was on the screen speaking to a crowd of thousands about Jesus Christ. I usually don’t watch Sunday sermons but I left it on as I went about cleaning the house.
I was coming from the laundry room when suddenly I heard:
“And why did Moses part the red sea anyway?”
I froze in my tracks. It was like he was speaking directly to me.
“Years after he parted the red sea people began to forget and question God’s miracles,” Osteen said.
I sat down, laundry brimming from my arms.
“But the story of Moses parting the red sea reminds us of the victories we have already accomplished in our lives. So often we forget the good things we have received.” Osteen said these good things were not coincidences, but gifts from God.
I started thinking about what my father said about the rain or the shine. It was pouring outside. Then suddenly the rain stopped and the sun came out.
My heart was full and I began to weep.
It all became so clear.
The blessings I have received and my family have received through the years have always been from God. Why do we need those stories from the Bible? Or any religious text?
To remind us of things like this.
Are you focusing on the hurts and the loss and the terrible things you have experienced in your life?
Or are you focusing on the miracles.
As I contemplate my purpose, I know one thing for sure.
No matter what I do in this life- whether for money or for my own happiness- God will always be part of the equation.
Photo credit: http://www.thewayofthe21stcentury.com/bible/session06.htm