Who’s in Charge?

Read the sentences below, and, one at a time, after each sentence, check in with your intuition, and see how high the sentence scores on your inner “truth-o-meter.”

I asked for strength, and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for wisdom, and God gave me problems to solve.

I asked for prosperity, and God gave me brain and brawn so I could work.

I asked for courage, and God gave me danger to overcome.

I asked for love, and God gave me people to take care of.

I asked for favors, and God gave me opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted.

I received everything I needed.

Ask yourself:

Do I feel, as suggested above, mystically manipulated by unseen forces that guide my life by constantly presenting to me “difficulties, problems, work, danger, people, and opportunities?” How does that sit with my intuition? Does that sound like something God would do to everyone, or are there exceptions? Are there people who are just whizzing through life, unscathed by the ¬†“trials” cited above, ¬†encountering no challenges at all, and having a wonderful life?

Is all of life actually some super therapy session?

If I went to a movie that gave me the exact emotions (intensity, duration, subtlety, circumstances, etc.) that I have felt throughout my life, would I recommend the movie to a friend? Is the drama of life all that much more worth it, because of its travail?

Could life be a whiz for me? Could I sail through everything? Could all of life’s challenges be games to play? Could losing a game merely give an edge to life that otherwise would be flat and too easy?

What’s the difference between an artist who is faced with a blank canvas and me when I am faced with a problem that I am drawing a blank on? Do I look at the blank and say, “Wow, from here I can do anything!” Do I LOVE the wide open expanse that life presents to me, moment by moment?

Just who would I be if I had not had all the problems of life? Could I possibly be who I am now, ¬†without having had to wade through all those “mean people,” “tough teachers,” “screw balls,” “nut cases,” “bullies,” “complete idiots,” “bureaucrats,” and “manipulative ego maniacs?”

When I was five years old and was unable to draw well, did I want anyone to draw my pictures for me? Did I know something back then better than I know it now?

Do I want to know how a movie ends before I see it? Is a problem better if I don’t know how it is going to end?

If I substitute the word “I” for the word “God” in the sentences, would the sentences be any truer? Am I blind to myself? Am I secretly attracting the circumstances of my unfolding life? Am I “a bird” that flocks with tribulations that have “feathers like mine?” Where would I feel more uncomfortable–in a group of people who had a (equally) much lower or a much higher morality than me?

Is it impossible for me to be guided by life, while at the same time I am smirking and winking, because I know it is just another tweaking of my personality by the unseen forces which are ALWAYS good for me? Can I really get the most out of ‘cosmic therapy’ if I don’t really reach the end of my rope, being forced to expand my definitions of myself beyond the ends I believe in at that moment? Should I be even MORE ignorant of the wills and ways of higher powers, just so that my challenge is all the greater for having no feeling that there is an ultimate safety net somewhere underneath me? Is there a catch-22 here?

Have I ever, in my whole life, ever, even once, not decided anything? Even when I am faced with death as a threat if I do not do something, don’t I still have a choice, because I could still choose to die?

Who’s in control here?