Monday, September 21, 2009


A friend of mine recently posted a status on facebook saying this, "Do you really think an all knowing God would punish a people for not recognizing him in temporal matters? How about we leave God to religious matters and not be so juvenile as to say that our particular form of diety is childlike and will throw a tantrum if we don't recognize him/her/it in all matters." His comment was in response to the argument of removing "In God We Trust" from our currency and his view is that God has better things to do than to worry about His name on our currency. This was posted over a week ago and I have been thinking about it ever since.

I don't want to talk about the whole currency issue. I hope the words "IN GOD WE TRUST" stay on our currency, and hopefully by the end of this post you'll understand why. But that's not what I want to talk about. I've been thinking a lot about God lately. I think it's important for you who read this to know that I believe in an all powerful God who created the Universe and everything in it, including us. That being said, I also believe that it is that same power, God, who causes the sun to shine, the grass to grow and our hearts to beat and lungs to breathe every day. I don't know how it works, but it does. Planets revolve around the sun and embryos become babies. There is a system to this universe, to which you and I are integral parts of. I want to share a quote by a woman named Marianne Williamson:

"To trust in the force that moves the universe is faith. Faith isn't blind, it's visionary. Faith is believing that the universe is on our side, and that the universe knows what it's doing. Faith is the psychological awareness of an unfolding force for good, constantly at work in all dimensions. Our attempts to direct this force only interferes with it. Our willingness to relax into it allows it to work on our behalf. Without faith, we are frantically trying to control what it is not our business to control, and fix what it is not our power to fix. What we're trying to control is much better off without us, and what we're trying to fix can't be fixed by us anyway. Without faith, we're wasting time."
Those of you who know me well know that I used to do a lot of river running. I remember an experience I had when I first started to guide boats down the river. In my mind there was a specific course I had to keep my boat on. In my mind, I couldn't stray for my course or something would go wrong. It was like in my mind there were lines painted on the river and I had to stay in those lines or there would be trouble. After a long day and several runs down the river I was exhausted. It wasn't fun. I didn't want to do it again and I kept thinking "Why is this so hard?" I would see other guides with commercial rafting companies floating down the river with ease, knowing that they would probably go on four runs that day and I could barely make it through two! I talked with my Dad about it and he reminded me that there is a current to the river. If you stay in the current the river will take you where you need to go. My job was to keep my boat in the current. That lesson made guiding my boat so much easier.

I've thought about that lesson a lot throughout my life. How often to we try to control our lives? To control people and processes. It's like trying to paint lines on a river. The truth about rivers is that we can only see the surface. Sometimes the water is rough and sometimes it's smooth and glassy, but there is always a current even if it's running deep under the surface. We can learn to trust in the force or we can fight against it. Fighting against it is always harder. Like Marianne Williamson said, "our willingness to relax into it allows it to work on our behalf."

I hope we choose to trust in God. I realize this is a hard thing. It involves surrendering everything we think we want and having faith that God, the One who makes the sun shine every day and the grass grow, will make our lives what they're supposed to be. Not just in spiritual matters, as my friend suggest, but in every aspect of our lives. This is faith, and something our country needs more of. If you ask me, IN GOD WE TRUST should be printed on every building, on every billboard and most importantly, on every heart.


Katie said...

This is something I struggle with internally. I am pretty sure that I do still believe in the things you mentioned. But I now have friends who don't. They contribute just as much to our community and country as I do (probably a lot more). They feel so disenfranchised when those things are supported by the government. I have NEVER been one to be politically correct. I have always figured that I can say what I want and who cares what others think. But now that I personally know these people who are affected by those things, I struggle.

I think that the most important of all you mentioned is that those things are printed on our hearts - that way each of us can choose our own way. I really have no idea what I think our country should do about these issues.

Melissa said...

Katie, I appreciate your honesty. I think what this really comes down to is your belief in God. Who do you believe He is? How powerful do you believe He is? If you believe he created the earth and everything in it then why would you not trust him with every aspect of your life? It's such a personal thing. No person or government can dictate a belief. We all have our agency and thus have the right to choose. This is my personal belief, I wish you luck in discovering yours. Lots of love to you and thanks for reading!

Ramon said...

I found your approach very interesting. Though I have my own opinions on most matters, I'll agree it would be nice if the words "In God We Trust" were printed on the hearts of all believers. Now if only we could find the mechanism to print our convictions on each our hearts.

Kelly said...

A lovely post Melissa. I especially liked the river analogy. You have a beautiful soul. I think we should all try to be more sensitive and understanding of people's beliefs. Let it be. Live and let live. And Live a life full of faith.

Natalie said...

Melissa, I know we've talked about this subject before. When (and if) I go running it's along a river. I always take time to sit by the bank and watch the current. I contemplate the course I'm taking and try to figure how I can better let the current guide me verses me working extra hard to get when I want to go. It's a facinating analogy and I appreciate you reminding me of it. Love you!

Katie said...

After my comment, I HAD to come over and see what music you put on here :-D It wasn't working the other day, but I can hear it now!