We mistrust ourselves so much, we have to hand much of our decision-making over to another power. We create elaborate ways to make decisions. Drop a divining line down and see which way it swings to decide (dowsing pendulum). Pick your arm up and drop it to see if you should eat it (applied kinesiology). Because it’s awfully hard admitting that you have no faith in your own decisions and easier to give it over to something else. The exception being God. But most of us are faithless and frenetic.

The Drowning man story is the best story ever which humorlessly depicts how our lack of sight and faith keeps us from seeing the divine signs sent to us.

A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”

We are given so much and yet our brains don’t see what we’ve got but rather focus on what we don’t have.

Oh Universe, What Would You Have Me Do?

Meditation and yoga are ways to reach our larger calmer parental minds, the voices we could trust to make decisions for us. But these processes are not a “one time and done” kinda thing. They require discipline and time and pain. Modern Americans have no time for any of these. And in essence, were not really worth it.

The beautiful thing about being young is that you are told what to do. You resent every little syllable you had to obey but when you find yourself without the direction, you may end up asking the Universe what it may want of you? And it may be super hard to find that first answer. But that is where I am right now.

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  1. Yep — all the decisions, the wondering which way to move next, can be tiring. I’m learning to slow down and live in the moment more often, choosing to dwell on the glory before me when it offers itself in something like a cup of chai with steamed milk and pumpkin spice at an outdoor cafe table with the cheerful sun accompanying me…

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