- "You get what you pray for."
- "What goes around, comes around."
- "As you sow, so shall you reap."
- "If you ask for what you ought not, you'll regret it."
- "You will have the desires of your heart."
- "If you want something bad enough, you'll get it."
- "If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed . . . ."
Really? How do we know, since we cannot go back in time and do it over with different thoughts.
I was "sick and tired" of the internet one year. My younger daughter would stay up until 3 a.m. or later on it (she was around 13, I think). The schedule we had agreed on as a family wasn't working too well. I kept thinking -and even saying- that I didn't want the internet. I didn't want the computer.
Our internet came via a small satellite dish on the roof of our house.
One day, lightning struck the dish and fried our computer. When a man came to look at it and took it apart, I could see where a part of it had melted. (One of those parts you can take out of a computer and replace.) He replaced it.
Nearly a year later, I was tired of the internet again. I griped again, focusing on not wanting it. Remembering my last experience, I would say, "But I want to keep the computer. The computer can keep working."
Lightning struck the dish again. Fried the internet connection that was in the wall between the dish and the computer. The computer was fine.
I was freaked out. (As far as I know, lightning has not struck that dish again in the 7 or 8 years since that time.)
I have other examples (many of them, if I wanted to remember them all) of negative things that happened that I dwelt on.
Some examples of things in general:
Things like, I start thinking, "I'd like a new water heater (or refrigerator or whatever)," and after a while the thing starts to break down and needs to be fixed. I say, "That's NOT what I meant! I didn't say to break down!" (I wanted the means to get a better one, but let's keep the old one working until we have the money to just go out and buy a new one, okay?)
And not just things, but experiences. Experiences I have no logical control over.
When I lived in Washington, Utah in 1990, the lady I worked for had a home health aid come and give her showers. I daydreamed about going to people's homes in Washington and taking care of them like that (I was doing live-in work at the time. I could not have done that other type of work because I had no drivers' license, let alone a vehicle). Guess what I'm doing in 2015? Living in that city (about 7 or 8 blocks north of where I lived before, exactly. Same street, same side of the street) and going into people's homes to help them.
It's fitting that I am attending the same college I originally graduated from. Apparently, I was waiting for them to become a university. (They were a junior college - 2 year - when I graduated in 1978.)
Is there a connection? Do things happen because I am affirming stuff? Because I have decided I want a certain thing? (I don't alway dwell on something. Sometimes, I simply think or decide I would like to do or have xxx.)
When did it begin? There were negative experiences I had when I was too little to have decided in advance that life was . . . you know, not so great. I guess they built on each other? I don't think I had that "power" when I was a child.
So, do we descend into this world, pick up the negative, devilish vibes or positive ones (depending on our environment) - and then we are ready to learn? If we want to. If we will. If we even figure out what's going on.
I was not convinced that I had any sort of "power" but apparently some of my children are. I looked at the tires on my daughter's car. "Don't look at my tires!" What? Why not? Well, it turns out she's afraid that I'm looking at them, worrying that they'll go flat and she doesn't want them to go flat.
She calls it my weird voodoo.
I made a "dream board" when I lived in Mesa with a friend. I wanted a small house for a study and a huge house to live in. And a certain amount of acreage (I forget how much).
After we lived here for a while, my daughter pointed out that I got what I wanted: A small place in a big place on so many acres. (A rented condo in a building on property that has at least ten such buildings.) Wasn't exactly what I was shooting for, though. But I guess that's as close as God could get at the moment.
The original Star Trek series from the 1960s had a show wherein the crew landed on a planet, and everything they talked about happened. Didn't matter whether it was good or bad, happy or scary.
God is trying to teach us faith. Faith in him. Faith to become self-existent, so that we can stop going the rounds in hell (telestial circles) and get to wherever Jesus is headed, since he has finally surpassed this world. But, what inherent abilities do we have? Are we like a tiny infant, flailing our arms and legs because we haven't yet figured out how to use them to hold things, to feed ourselves, to dress ourselves, stand, to walk, to run?
It took us "forever" to get to this point. It will take even longer to get to Jesus' point.
Maybe part of the problem is that we don't get it. We aren't getting it. We don't realize that what we focus on (or decide on) is what really comes to us. So, when we fill our minds with violence (movies, sports, games, daydreams of vengeance, whatever), that is what we reap because that is what we sow. When we fill our minds with negativity (same sources, though my experience seems to show that it comes more from my concerted efforts over the years), we reap negative experiences.
Someone once said, "I know of no more cheerful a Being in the universe [than our Lord]." Maybe the reason he was able to overcome was because of his cheer. His attitude.
Sure, he told the Church leaders exactly what he thought of them and what they were doing, but maybe there was an undercurrent of expectation that he would succeed at whatever he put his hand to.
Maybe there's a fine line between being realistic and creating success.
And, if it really is possible to effect change in one's life (or in others' lives), how do we do that? I mean, New Age thinking would tell us we have to be exact in our words. We have to be careful and, even then, we may end up with what we do not want simply because of an incorrect word.
I don't think they've quite got it, though. I mean, I was thinking, "But not the computer. I don't want the computer to stop working." By New Age thinking, that should have guaranteed the frying of the computer the second time. I think the feeling or desire (or fears) behind the words and thoughts have a lot of power. I may be saying, "But not the computer," but what I'm thinking and feeling is that the computer is good, is untouched. (No, I wasn't thinking of lightning striking twice. I wasn't thinking of any way in which I'd get what I was griping about.)
And I think we need to factor God into it somewhere. New Age stuff doesn't do that (except for the garbage of "we are God" as if we are as smart, all knowing, and all powerful as he is. What arrogance!). I think bending our will to his is a vital part of this puzzle I'm trying to put together.
I really wanted a place to live for myself and my children. I was willing to live anywhere but in Utah (and my first preference was Arizona). We did lots of living in other people's spaces (homes, back yards) and living in a place that should have been condemned and torn down. Finally, I was broken enough to say to God, "Move me wherever you want me, even if it means Utah."
Guess where I ended up?
And, speaking of that. I moved to Utah to have my second child. I didn't want to go back to Arizona to my spouse. I visualized living in St. George with my two girls (my son was not born until a couple of years later). I chose to return to my spouse because I had promised my son (back when I had decided to marry that spouse) that he could come to earth through me. So, I sacrificed what could have been so I could keep my word to my son. (Wow! That makes me seem honorable, always keeping my word, no matter what. I'm really not that honorable. But this was something important to my son.)
Since I'm looking at going to school here for the next 2-4 years, I've been toying with the idea of putting energy into owning this condo. My big thing with that is that I have a tendency to "visualize" how such things are going to happen. That seems to screw things up.
So, bottom line, maybe?
- Be truly willing for God to make the final choice.
- Pray real hard (agony gets more results than just praying to the ceiling, though I hope that prayers don't have to be spurred by pain or agony. Maybe when we've learned to let go of whatever it is that's holding us back, it will be different).
- Watch out for what you're really wanting/desiring and for what you are fearing.
- God is trying to teach us something. He wants us to be self-existent. He wants us to figure it out.
- Don't try to figure out the "how" of the particular thing you seek.
- Learn to trust God with everything - all experiences, all that you own, all your loved ones (and hated ones). Everything.
- Lots of missing pieces. Lots of things I don't understand or don't have a clue exist.
I think life is just a mystery, waiting for us to figure it out. But we can't figure it out on our own and we can't figure it out unless we are stripped of pride and stripped of "having a dog in the fight." It all belongs to God. Even us, I suppose, though the Gods have given us freedom to do a great many things.