When you are a member of a program that suggests praying for knowledge of God’s will … and part of that program is sharing how you work the Steps in meetings … you get to hear, on a regular basis, how God’s will finds its way to others. That cautious wording probably tells you something about the difficulty I have with this particular subject. People who say they know God’s will have always made me nervous, particularly if they claim to know God’s will for me. And people who say, God told me to (insert divine dictate) have always scared the hell out of me. Some awful things have been done by people doing what they think God told them. This ambivalence about knowing God’s will sometimes makes me uncomfortable in meetings. Granted, people in meetings aren’t saying, God told me to conquer the Western hemisphere and teach them the 12 Steps. They are more likely saying, I know God’s will is that I show some compassion for (insert difficult person). Still, there’s a part of me that squirms.
I almost never say I know God’s will … I’m more inclined to say, I think I do. There’s often some trial and error involved. I do what I think God would have me do, trusting I’ll receive corrective corrective guidance if I’ve chosen poorly. And yet there are situations in which I know with certainly what to do in a spiritual sense. This morning, as I was writing my Morning Pages, I asked myself, Haven’t you ever had a situation where you were struggling with a decision and suddenly knew what to do? With absolute certainty? The answer is yes. I can think of several times. Where do you think that came from? Hmmm. God? Bingo. So, OK, I’m comfortable with suddenly Knowing an answer. I can even say that answer came from God. Maybe the guy in the meeting who says, God told me to detach from the situation, is describing exactly the same phenomenon. I can live with that. As long as he doesn’t say, God told me that I should conquer the Western hemisphere, or even, God told me that Older Eyes should start saying he knows God’s will.
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