useful – a meditation

the river


At the beginning of this tumor odyssey, a voice protested to me one sad evening
This isn't the way the story was supposed to end.

Almost immediately, another voice said But how do I know how the story was supposed to end? Maybe this is exactly the way it was supposed to end.

Because, you know, every single thing that happens can be made useful, is useful.

— Nancy Shaffer

I struggle with the often stated idea that everything happens for a reason, and that my higher power has a plan for me. I can't accept that there is a way that the story is supposed to end. I thnk that most things just happen. It seems too much like putting myself at the center of the universe to believe that everything is arranged so that I will learn something, so that I will have a particular experience, so that I might learn or grow from it.

At the same time, I have evidence of my higher power working in my life. I have had shortcomings removed, and fears lessened, after my appeal to my higher power in Step 7. I have encountered a series of events that seem designed to bring me to a particular place at a particular time with a particular experience, to reach a particular outcome. Is it coincidence, or is it God?

How can I bring these disparate views together? Nancy suggests that it doesn't matter, that I, or my Higher Power, can take any thing and make it useful. I can find God in coincidence. Or, that the thing is made to be useful, and the coincidence is God. The difference is not in what happens, but in how I perceive it. If I am open to the workings of a Higher Power, I will find growth, learning, change, and meaning in the things that happen. And maybe it is God that is putting these things in my path. I just need to be there and be open.

A meditation for July 27, 2013.

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