The last time I publish an Installment was August 28, 2016. The last time I wrote an Installment was August 25. It is now September 6. My birthday has passed.
I am not sure if I mentioned this or not, I may have, but I am not sure, sometime prior to my birthday in 2016 -I am thinking four weeks prior to my birthday- I prayed asking God to help this martial change to come to pass by my birthday.
My birthday arrived, without fanfare, as per my request. I helped my son with his car, and the day exhausted its twenty-four hours. As quietly as it arrived, it departed.
For me, it was another prayer unanswered.
What am I to make of it? I really don’t have a clue.
Did I pray amiss? Did I pray incorrectly? Was my timing wrong? Does it matter?
I guess all I am really getting at is that prayer and outcome are not exactly what I recall the church teaching me. I was taught that God answers prayer. God answers some prayers with yes. God answers some prayers with no. God answers some prayers with wait.
Now what the church teaching meant is the following. When God answers yes, God doesn’t actually answer with a ‘yes’ but that the prayer comes to pass. Thus when God answers no, the prayer request doesn’t come to pass, assuming that God did not answer with wait.
The issue is: what does it mean when God answers wait? If God answered with wait, then God did not answer with a no. Then that means, if the prayer is “unanswered” it doesn’t mean that the prayer won’t be answered, it just means that the prayer will be answered at a future time. I am not sure there is an answer that will remove all my questions.
However, some will interpret the lack of response as evidence itself, and thereby claim that I am, at best, misunderstanding God. I simply can’t resolve this issue so easily, because that is the same type of counsel that Job’s friends gave him.
I’ve done my homework. I’ve done my studies. I’ve done my meditation. I’ve done my prayers. To be succinct: God, faith, and human understanding of the Divine are NOT what I was led to understand, because experience reveals a much deeper, much richer, much varied construct to anything that I was taught.
So, where do I go from here?
Currently, it is my plans to publish more Installments of “My Story” until I have discussed items that I feel and/or believe are important through end-of-year 2015. This means that I will cover items for the remainder of 2014 and then discuss things in 2015. I am thinking once that is done, I will consider “My Story” complete – up to a point, because, obviously, “My Story” continued past the end of 2015.
For now though, I am helping my son complete things with intents to help him get ready for his own life. With that Mary and I are looking into 2017 and considering our options of relocating, with me helping her pursue collegiate courses.
For now, I will discuss an interactive prayer from September 6, 2014. Just so happens that the date of that prayer and the day of this Installment are the same.
I began my prayer: Hello Father. The Divine responded:
Hello son, my son, yes, you are my son.
Comforting, is it not? The Divine then asked me:
What have you learned?
I answered: Much. The Divine responded:
I answered: I must believe to receive, and I very much would like to receive the blessings of a second wife. The Divine responded:
I answered: Please bring her to Mary and me.
I specifically answered the Divine query. So far, it has yet to happen, as I was discussing in the beginning of this Installment, and I don’t know what to make of it.
But in my prayer, I continued: And please continue a blessing on Mary’s occupation, open a door for her to a new position, with the same pay, if not greater pay. The Divine responded:
Okay. It will be done.
I took that as an assent to both of my statements. As for Mary, she has remained in the same department, but she has received an increase in pay, and received new responsibilities. While she did not receive a “new” title for a “new” position, how things have developed for her in her occupation I take as an answer to my prayer.
After that the Divine continued:
Now listen, yes listen.
So we’re back to the repetitive concept: listen, which I have discussed and mentioned several times. The Divine continued:
Your wives, your family are about to come together in a massive way. It will be monumental, yes monumental. So take note.
Well, as I have discussed previously, how the Divine identifies time and occurrence obviously is not how I identify and interpret time and occurrence. For me, “about to come together” was two years ago, and in my limited assessment of “about” – “about” has come and gone. But in the scope of eternity, I am not even certain “about” has even come to pass.
Either way, I suppose when it does occur, it’s one for the record books, for lots of different reasons. The Divine then continued:
Now, I want you to know this.
So there is something I need to not just know, but understand, to have a firm grasp on its meaning. The Divine continued:
You have to accomplish one thing.
One thing, doesn’t sound too difficult, after all it’s only one thing. The Divine continued:
This one thing: Be. At. Peace.
Is the Divine kidding? I mean my life is not yours, yours is not mine, ours is not the lives of other individuals. Life is chaos, discord, one-upmanship, competition, annihilation, dog eat dog kind of stuff.
Even Christians are against each other, you’re a sinner, you’re a false teacher, condemned, lost to an eternity of banishment and retribution, judgments here, judgments there, with hardly anyone in sight to have patience to hear out a brother or sister. If the church is that bad, the world is simply worse.
Bleak, it is. Be at peace, the Divine says. Similar was expressed by Jesus. But the reality is that ONE THING is so much more difficult than any sermon can ever articulate. Speak on preacher. Tell me how it’s supposed to be. Preachers and ministers speak as things should be, but then there is reality.
We believers in the United States are so bloated with wealth and opulence that we can’t even begin to understand peace in the midst of prosperity; so how on earth do we, or in this sense of the prayer- I, begin to understand peace in the midst of chaos?
But the first part of being at peace HAS to be how the Divine continued:
You must breathe. Life is about short breaths, not shortness of breath.
So I have not let that sink in. I have not truly grasped that. You see, the primary thing I have yet to shed is the urgency that the church AND my culture have instilled in my being. For instance, if another driver does something totally stupid, it still, sadly, irritates the living hell out of me. But I have learned, just from observation, that people live their lives as well as they drive – poorly.
I have trouble being at peace with other drivers, because poor driving skills constantly cause trouble for the other drivers around them. To be clear, it is not one driver causing constant irritation, it’s the conglomerate mess of the highway. There are rules, but rules go ignored, and then there’s the reality that rules are selectively enforced. Life is chaos, and it is no better demonstrated than out on the roadways.
So breathe. It’s almost like the Divine is conveying something similar as when a person helps someone who is beginning to manifest hysteria to focus, bringing things into a moment of calmness.
I have -even though I don’t like to express it- had, and we do have, moments where life’s chaos does cause shortness of breath. But that is NOT what the Divine wants from me, or anyone else.
Yet, the Divine does contrast that with the concept of short breaths, not to make one hyperventilate, but to realize that life is achieved one breath at a time, and generally speaking we all take short breaths.
Breathe. It’s okay. Why? The Divine continued:
Life is robust
Robust. Cities can be very robust, like any of the large cities in the world, as can sports teams, and local communities. But sometimes robust has negatives.
For life, negatives are chaos. However, for life, robust means: healthy, vigorous, hearty, strong – able-bodied. So life, even amidst chaos, is healthy – robust. The Divine continued:
and robust you will be, are in fact.
Interesting, the Divine gave that comment directly to me, about me, a future tense and a present tense.
Am I robust? In some ways, yes. In others, no. However, it is how the Divine continued that intrigues me:
But your robust life is not yet here.
The juxtaposition of my life. So the Divine continued:
Now, in the mean time, finish your task at hand.
In the prayer, I asked: What does that mean specifically? The Divine responded:
You know, you know your task. Do it.
I made no notes in my journal about the work I was doing, so I am assuming that it is referring to the things that I was working on at that point. But it could very well be “My Story”. It could be helping my son. It could be helping my wife. Continuing all the work I am doing, and need to complete. So I am uncertain to the specifics.
Later in the prayer, the Divine conveyed:
You want this life. So want it to have it. Or it’s a no go, shlomo.
So in order to have the robust life in front of me, which includes two wives, it is something I have to truly desire, like way down deep. I think of it kind of like a life’s pursuit of being in a band, many people want to be a “rock star” but only the few have it way down deep in their being to endure all the nonsense to become that “rock star” because there is a tremendous amount of difficulty that goes with it, but there is a tremendous reward too.
Yeah, yeah, I can hear the whiners of righteousness now. It’s an analogy, either you have the heart and desire to give blood, sweat, and tears for something, or you don’t. Let’s face it, most don’t have that kind of desire, because too many give up too quickly. Yet, some have many false starts before they ever find success.
The inclusion of shlomo is fascinating to me. Because it is the Hebrew spelling of Solomon, check it, verify it. The Strong’s Number for Solomon (Shlomo) is H8010. Solomon does not mean “wise” even though he was a wise man. Because Shlomo means “peace” derived from H7965 shalom, the very thing that the Divine told me I needed. So I need to be wise, find peace, and want this life, and everything that life entails.
Later in the prayer, the Divine conveyed:
Now, listen my son.
Again, the Divine gave an appeal to me, for me to listen to understand in order to do, and then gave an appeal to sonship. The Divine continued:
You can do this, you have it within you to love these two women,
Look, I have written elsewhere that a husband having two wives is not unbiblical and it certainly is not ungodly. So here, at this moment, I won’t rehash that discussion.
But it is needful to know that I can do this. There are lots of obstacles to loving two women, the first of which are the two ladies themselves, NOT because they are against each other, but because they are unique individuals with unique needs.
Can I love two women? Yes. Can I do so perfectly? No, I am not so foolish as to make that claim. But can I do so in a manner that allows each lady to be super freaking happy with her life and the marital choices she has made? Yes, with a resounding heartfelt, confident YES!
So consider how the Divine continued:
powerfully, equally, yet differently, uniquely, to each woman, to love her, to cherish her, ‘til death does not part, [because] love is forever.
Can I do that? Absolutely. Is it worth all the struggles? Absolutely.
I find it of utmost interest that the Divine said that death does not separate love. Want something worth dying for? Live a life in order to have love that lasts forever.
Then the Divine continued:
Serve her. Serve them. Serve their children. This is who you are.
So each woman is to receive her individual needs, and if she doesn’t she is not receiving healthy husbandly love from me. But I am also to serve them as wives corporately, because together they have chosen to be in my life, to be part of my family, and serving family means serving our children.
Notice though, the Divine did NOT say “serve your children”. The Divine said “serve their children”. That is a tremendously importantly attribute that does not escape my attention, even though I am the father.
Then the Divine conveyed: “This is who you are.”
Who am I? A man who loves two ladies, and wants to have a big family with them, and will do everything I understand to help each lady, helping them and helping our family.
At the end of my day, at the end of my life, it’s all I really want to be – a man in love with two women, and sharing my love for God and the blessings God has given.
Blessings and Shalom