I had a long morning with clients yesterday. I was tired. I’ve been trying to get back in the habit of walking over the noon hour, but often I’ve been too tired or hungry to do that. Sometimes God has wanted to talk to me in a way that requires more intimacy than if we talk as I walk. So I haven’t re-established my ideal routine yet, maybe in November.
I’ve also felt guilty because I haven’t gotten around to getting the smog check on my car, due by the end of the month so I can register it. If I were perfect, I would have done that by now. So should I do that after work yesterday or give in to feeling tired? Something familiar said, “Let’s go,” with my mind picturing the gas station where I had the smog check done two years ago. OK. Then the competency came welling up in me to ask when the master of my car’s fate could fit me in. Hey, not a bad answer, he could do mine after he does the one he’s about to start. $51, eh? Why, I remember when it was $12.
So, where to eat in the meantime? God said if we were going to splurge on the car, why not spend a few extra bucks on the salad bar? I needed the veggies. OK.
I think about how to describe for someone else how this is God doing this, helping me, as has been God’s place in my life for 17 years. There is a presence. There is a voice. It is more than just words, but also a change in my cognition to include God and several aspects of what He’s trying to tell me. Both my body and my mind respond with sudden energy and confidence. What’s the problem with calling this God? Is it that someone thinks I don’t deserve God’s attention if he or she doesn’t get the same attention from God? If I could imagine such a thing, I would do so all the time. I can’t. It’s something beyond me, something with which I cooperate, but can’t control.
My nature is perfectionism. I guess I was taught that at home, in school and in the workplace. It’s a trap many get into naturally because it works. There are bound to be benefits if I’m perfect, so it’s natural to become dependent on that. It’s a hard master. God has always been someone who breaks me out of that. If I had been perfect with this smog check, I could have paid less. I know there was one ad for $29.95. Maybe there was another for less. God helps me not care so much about that, so I can just get it done. Besides over lunch I realized that with the cost of the certificate for the DMV and a couple of other charges hidden from ad prices, but included in the $51, I was only spending $8 more getting it done at this more convenient place. That and $4 more for something healthier than a fast food lunch, wasn’t it worth it? Yes, Lord, it was, You’re right again. I’ve lost track of how many times in a row that is for Him. It’s a lot.
People can say this God is just a better part of me. They may even be right, but God tells me they’re not right. We do many other things to help each other. This is just something unusually concrete and one where I understand my need for God well. I want to be perfect. When I’m sane spending $12 more to just get done what I need to do makes sense, but that’s not where my nature takes me. On my own I drift into traps like perfectionism. God frees me from them. Sometimes in the last 17 years I’ve said, “What took You so long?” and He’s asked why I didn’t ask sooner, but we’ve gotten steadily better at this.
Yet either an atheist or a traditionalist might wave a hand and say it’s ridiculous to call that God. No, it’s not. God says so, too. People don’t like it. They want God to be who they say He is or isn’t. Why should they be right? God is whoever and whatever God is, not who anyone says He is. Everyday something happens that proves that to me. Some things are easier to describe than others.