“God will not call you to account for any oaths you uttered unintentionally, but He will take you to task for what is intended in your hearts.”
During my religious study time, I choose which book I will read. I do this without any question. It’s the one that calls to me. It seems that my studies seem to rotate between several theologies.
Today, I read the Quran. I was beginning to think I did not make the right choice. I tend to get turned off when a book tells me that I have to do this or that or I will burn in hell. And honestly, the version of the Quran I have tends to feel a little ADHD-ish. Which is hard, because I tend to lean that way (maybe that’s why God brought my attention to this book?!)
As I read, I felt pulled back and forth. Fight but don’t fight. You have to fast unless you cannot. Fear God (my least favorite attempt to pull people to believe in God.)
But I realize that books that were written in God’s words are meant to be received. Some will need to fear, some need to feel God’s love.
I need God’s love.
The first time I had a glimpse of God, was in a weekend counseling seminar. We had to do an exercise to find out our “I am” statement. It was supposed to come to us. But I am the most impatient person ever! So my brain was thinking like crazy. Looking for the “right” answer. I also love to be right. But it wasn’t working! I sat in my chair on one side of the horseshoe arrangement. I saw the person next to me had to remove their bracelet, so I removed mine (which happened to be a beaded, meditation/prayer bracelet). I was ready! Except I wasn’t. I was terrified because I wanted to be right, but I also really wanted to find my statement. The one that would sustain me when I was in a place of suffering. Those places of suffering do jump into my life and I needed a rope to pull myself out! Yet, nothing came to me, nothing felt right for me.
Then I did something unheard of. I stopped thinking. I was being shifted from chair to chair as each person went through the process of finding their statement. I let go. And then it was my turn. I stood up in front of everyone. The man who would change my life held my hands and asked me to find my word that fit. He placed it in my hands. I couldn’t do it! I felt helpless and I was going to fail. I am a smart person and I have never failed a test, yet here I was, failing in front of everyone. There was no “word” for me. No statement I could turn to.
But something happened. He watched me struggle and he let me cry, but he didn’t let me say, “I don’t know.” He kept going. Then something that I can only equate to magic (or rather the workings of God) happened. I felt as if a twisting vortex opened that was full of spiraling knowingness and my word came to me. It felt as if heaven opened up and sent me a gift. Something I had been missing my whole life and in that moment, I knew. I am loved.