I used to be an atheist. I was very religious about it, quite adamant about there being no God. I made a god out of the no-God, in fact.
But then I had to believe in something, to get my body and my life back from rampaging overeating and obesity.
I went to a peer support group and was told that to get help I had to believe in something other than my own ego or my own will. If I would invoke this power, the others promised, I would have recovery.
Fast forward a couple of decades or so. My dreams have come true. One hundred pounds gone forever. Good-as-possible health is mine. And along the way I discovered within me a capacity to connect with an energy, a force, a being that is so powerful, so loving and kind, well, it’s more than I dare see or think about our feel some of the time.
It’s the human condition, or at least my human condition, to resist the power of joy.
Anyway. When I first decided to try out this newfound higher power years ago, I figured I’d test it with my outfits in the morning. Okay, HP, I’d think-pray, guide me. How bad could it be, right? Worse case scenario, I wouldn’t have a best-dressed day.
From there I learned to turn more and more over until, on a good day, I truly do surrender my entire life—efforts, outcomes, others—to the universe and just keep trudging forward, doing the next right thing. On a good day, I trust that while I may be confused, someone/something bigger, better grander than tiny moi isn’t.
But I still struggle to believe that Higher Power could care that much about me and my little life.
Yesterday I was shopping for a new shower curtain. You should know, btw, that I hate to shop. I mean, detest it. There were a lot of designs. I stood there a good five minutes. I kept thinking about my bathroom’s plain white walls. I tried to think what the other folks who live me appreciate or at least not hate. Décor-wise I really felt any color would do, what with the white walls. I mean, I was really dithering, trying, you know, to get it perfect. Finally, I checked with my gut, grabbed the bright and shiny one I’d first been attracted to and went home.
Last night I put it up. Bam! It matched perfectly the salmon pink fixtures and gray tiles I’d forgotten all about in my focus on the forgiving white. It’s lovely! It matches! Honest to God, I felt the presence of a power greater than myself. (Don’t laugh. I’ll explain.)
Now I don’t believe God gave me that shower curtain. I don’t have a Santa Claus God who finds me parking spaces and puts checks in the mail just when I need them. I don’t think life or God is that simple. (Besides, if God gives parking spaces, then who gave me the whiplash? See why this doesn’t work for me?)
However, I’m now wondering: Does the real God have better things to do than help me choose a shower curtain? Apparently not. This God, the God of my understanding, is so powerful, so enormous, so beyond my human understanding, that yes, it can participate in this huge executive decision regarding my downstairs bathroom.
So how much does this all matter? In terms of showers, and the big picture, not much. In terms of knowing I’m not alone, that there’s a source in me to resolve all issues great and small, my experience is a reminder that his eye is on the sparrow. And, it seems, on even silly little joys like my shiny new shower curtain.