I wonder if the ‘appearance of God’ is always a welcome sight.
Here’s the scene: Abraham just circumcised himself (ouch) and it’s really hot outside. I imagine he’s in a great deal of pain and discomfort. There’s no morphine drip or pain medication with codeine. And yet, he’s not lounging in bed or recovering inside his tent; he’s sitting at the entrance of his tent, outside and in the heat.
To make matters worse, suddenly three strangers show up. What does he do? He runs out to greet them! I don’t know about you, but when I’m recovering or am in great pain, I can be grouchy, withdrawn, and perhaps a little self-pitying. But not Abraham! Not only did he run out to greet these strangers, he fetches water to wash their feet and he and Sarah prepare a feast. Abraham welcomed the moment!
Whatever the moment brings, it’s all just different forms of the One Reality.
The last couple of weeks, I’ve been writing about living in the moment and staying in the present. And here’s this week’s Torah portion which is telling us the same thing. Imagine that! But what if the present moment seems terrible? What if the present moment is painful and awful? Why would we want to saddle ourselves in the present moment when thinking about a wonderful and exciting future seems so much better and happier?
Yes, sometimes the present moment is uncomfortable. It might look like ugliness, disagreement, pain, frustration, resentment, anger, and even despair. Our first thought is to run away from (or bury or avoid) these moments and these feelings. That seems so logical. After all, we don’t want to attract anything into our lives based on the negative feelings or energy we are experiencing in these challenging moments. Am I right or am I right?
But here’s a critical point: yes, the present moment can appear as discomfort, pain, or a multitude of any other negative experiences, however, everything that arises in your experience is a gateway to the Divine. That is, if you are open to it.
Everything that we experience, in our physical space or in our mental space, is actually part of one experience. And this one experience is consciousness taking on various forms. This doesn’t mean we judge ourselves or our consciousness if we are experiencing turmoil, challenges, or difficulty. The Divine Presence is in the midst of the experience.
Sometimes we go through life asleep, but when we are experiencing pain or difficulty, we sure wake up and pay attention! In a hurry. Our challenge is to pay attention to the One Life, the One Presence, the One Activity – maybe we can welcome the ‘unwelcome’ as strangers to entertain with a feast and feet bathing. Even in the midst of our discomfort.
What if the discomfort is a gateway to the sacred? What if welcoming the ugliness reveals a ‘secret’ blessing? What if we don’t need to wait for the planets to align or to have all of our ‘ducks in a row’ before we invite the Presence into our lives?
When we welcome our thoughts and our feelings (even the ones we judge as not-so-nice), we are inviting the One Presence in, and we find it’s beautiful, and that everything has a sacred purpose.
Creating a practice to stay in the present takes effort and you might need help, guidance, or encouragement. If you’re ready to shift to something new, I can help. Who knows, it might just be what you need.
You can connect with me by scheduling your free 45-minute Say Yes to Yourself Strategy call by clicking here.
Say yes to yourself by being open to the Divine!
Janet Kingsley is an effective 'Belief Change Expert' who helps clients transform frustration to focus, confusion to clarity, and self-doubt to self-confidence.