We've been immersed in the process of buying a new house. It's a process that you might not think would offer spiritual insights, but I have found it to be profound. Certainly it's not profound on the level of other experiences, like immersing myself in monastery life, but it's been full of insights nonetheless. I thought it might be interesting to capture some of the ways:
--As we've moved through the process, I've found myself praying for wisdom and guidance and protection at every step of the way. I have atheist friends who would scoff at this idea that God might be interested in my house purchase. I have social justice friends who might point out that God wouldn't dirty God's hands with commercial transactions.
But I believe that God wants to be involved with us on a daily basis. If I'm talking to my friends and family about my home-buying process, I should also be talking to God.
And more importantly, God has a larger perspective than I do. Why would I not want to consult God and ask for help?
--Yes, I do worry a bit about the social justice aspect of buying a house. That purchase will tie up a lot of resources that could be used to improve lives in all sorts of ways. I feel deeply conflicted about this purchase for just that very reason.
I use my conflicted feelings as a prod to pray for those who have no housing. I pray for those who don't have the housing options that I do. I will look for ways to improve those conditions.
--As we've moved through this process, I've felt protected and guided at every level. You might say it's because I've been praying more. You might say it's because I'm delusional.
--It's important to remember that throughout my life, I have often felt most protected and guided as I've taken risks and taken leaps toward the life I really want to be living. I believe in a God of abundance. These times of risk taking and being open to possibilities can test that belief. I don't want to live in a fear-based economy. I want to live in faith, not in fear and doubt.
--That being said, I am also amazed at how much of this house buying process feels out of my control. I feel like when I was younger, this process didn't feel so full of anxiety and angst. I didn't worry about losing my shirt. I wasn't haunted by the possibility of bankruptcy. I assumed that the future would be ever brighter.
Again, my response is to pray. Do I really think that God can guide the appraisal process? On some days, I do. On other days, I simply hope that God can help me cope with my anxiety about it all.
--Again, I hear my agnostic friends sneer at my belief in a God that is so involved with me and my little anxieties, when there are so many larger issues that God should focus upon, like the war in Syria.
But I believe that God is capable of helping me, while at the same time sending help to the people in Syria who pray for it.
--And of course, I make it a point not to pray just for me. As I pray, I widen my scope to include friends and family who are struggling, and I pray for the larger world too. And since I've been feeling more anxious and using prayer to help cope, I've been praying more for friends and family too.
--I have prayed not just out of a place of anxiety, but also out of gratitude. At every step of the way, as things go right, I've said a prayer of thanks.
And gradually, the gratitude outweighs the anxiety.
feeling the feelings…
6 months ago