As I begin this Installment, I want to share something that happened during my sleep from Monday into Tuesday.
During the week, I usually find myself going to sleep somewhere between 10pm and 11pm. Something similar happened Monday night. The difference though is that it was raining.
Some people love sleeping to the sound of rain. Not I. I bury myself under mountains of pillows to drown out the pitter-patter of rain pelting the top of our home, which is a camper. That means when it rains, and I am lying on the bed, the sound of rain is about five feet from me. The sound of rain keeps me awake.
Fortunately for me, Monday night I fell asleep, dead to the world, even to the sound of rain.
The sound of thunder roused me, waking me from my sleep-filled catatonic state.
In fact, that clap of thunder scared me. It wasn’t a gentle roll of thunder, no. It was a loud, intense, seemingly directly outside my room, crack of thunder.
Talk about close. Sheesh.
In my sleep stupefied state, my spiritual ears heard, “I want you awake.”
Well, you got me. You woke me. Here and hear I am.
With that, I heard the rain. It was pouring. Not an easy pour. It was a downpour. Heavy drops of rain. Falling like a deluge.
Rubbing my eyes, clearing my head from just being startled awake, and upon recognizing the rain, my spiritual ears heard, “This is her crying.”
I looked at my phone. It was 1.52am.
Somewhere shortly after being awakened, I was led to pray. So I prayed for her.
Over the course of the next hour, I remained, barely awake, but also heard four major thunder claps, with the last one happening at 2.51am, as the rain began to slow, and quietly fade.
The event, unexpected, startling, strange. But that thunder, oh my, it was powerful.
In the context of my life, I assumed the “her” was referring to Rachel.
Look, since the Book of Acts records the Apostle Paul having a vision during the night and that he interpreted it as having spiritual significance (Acts 16.9-10), then surely disciples who experience things during the night can consider them as having spiritual significance and interpret them as such.
I can’t fully explain events that occur during the night, when one is out-for-the-count according to their usual sleep pattern. But as for the spiritual implications, anymore, when led to pray, I pray, no matter the event that wakes me from my sleep.
With that, I want to return to telling “My Story” by giving a portion from my prayer back on June 6, 2015 (Month 3 Day 19).
During that prayer, the Divine conveyed:
My son, you are vexed.
You want to know something? I was. In some ways, I still am.
I was, because I was trying to understand my life, my experiences, and understand how things would develop, and hope for the best.
I still am, because of what the Divine conveyed next. The Divine continued:
You think too much,
You want to know something? I do. I think I always have. I contemplate lots of things, not just the events of the last few years. The Divine continued:
but you already knew this, and you won’t ever stop thinking,
In a way, I did already know that.
I have ‘thought’ on things most of my life, from history to religion, from society to philosophy, thinking is where I have spent most of my time. Contemplating not only the purpose of life, but also how life’s imaginations and manifestations affect not just individuals but cultures.
Will I ever stop thinking? Highly doubt it.
Does thinking bring vexation? Yes. Because one can become aware of the world, yet have very little power to affect anything significantly important.
Most people simply are not provided with the avenue to be a world changer, yet we seem to be universally told that one individual can change the world. Guess what? It’s not true.
Consider the nearly 7 billion people that currently exist on this plane of existence. Less that one-tenth of one percent affect the movement of the world. Think about it. Do the math, in stages, to get to one-tenth.
7,000,000,000 x 10% = 700,000,000.
700 million people do not influence the movements of the world. In 2014, the population of the United States was less than 319 million. If the population of the United States doubled to 638 million that would still be less than ten percent of 7 billion. The population of the world is not governed by the ten percent, because there aren’t that many world leaders.
Think about this, more. Do the math.
700,000,000 X 10% = 70,000,000
70 million people do not influence the movements of the world. Again, there aren’t that many world leaders. We still haven’t reached 1/10 of 1% of 7 billion people. So think about it, again. Do the math, again.
70,000,000 x 10% = 7,000,000.
That is one-tenth of one-percent of 7 billion. In July 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the population of New York City was 8.5 million. 7 million is less than the population of the city that never sleeps. But this simply means that 7 million people do not influence the movements of the world. Again, there aren’t that many world leaders.
That is why the aphorism “one individual can change the world” exists, because one individual can, truly can, change the world.
99.9% of the population does not change the world. They can’t. They live in the world devised by the few that can. Look at it like this.
Ancient history – Alexander the Great and his push for Hellenistic conquests. Only he could do that. No one else. He was one man. But not. He was destined to do that. The remainder of the world was destined to feel the impact of one man.
This is why the rule of the Creator of the universe means so much to the development of the physical world.
Even the major players of the Scriptures: Noah, Abraham, Jacob, King David, among others, are limited in number.
One person can become a powerful influence on the world. But the probability of becoming that one person is remote.
When we look at it in that light, at the least it becomes discouraging, at the worst it becomes disheartening. The vast majority of us have a tremendously limited amount of influence on the world.
We want a better world. Not just for ourselves, but for our children, and hopefully the remainder of humanity.
Yet, we look at the world, and because we observe the atrocities found in the world, we hold our collective mouth agape. So it is important that in the prayer, the Divine continued:
but I am here to tell you that everything will be all right.
I know that the Divine was conveying things directly to me, but I am sharing with my reader.
This is why we have faith that the One who created this world, that the Divine continues to watch over the creation. We need the Divine, and the involvement of the Divine.
But the Divine also needs us to be involved, to do our part, to be not only a light of goodness, but also to be a savory influence on the portion of the world we inhabit.
We can influence the world, but not 7 billion. The world begins with our family.
Maybe we can’t influence our family. Abraham couldn’t. God called Abraham to live away from his family.
But Jacob did influence his family.
Maybe I am an Abraham. Maybe I am a Jacob. Maybe I am a combination.
Maybe my reader is an Abraham. Maybe you are a Jacob. Maybe you are a combination of both.
I know those are masculine figures, but I’m not talking about the masculine. I am talking about a person’s ability to influence, and there are plenty of women in the Scriptures who have a powerful influence.
I feel bad that she is not named, but how about Job’s wife? Some trounce her character. Bah! She gets a bad rap, but without her, neither Job nor she could have regained what they lost.
How about Rebecca? or Deborah? How about a feminine that my reader looks up to?
All of these women were instrumental in their part for influencing the world. And their influence was not limited because they were feminine.
It takes both the feminine and the masculine working in harmony with the Divine.
Yet, we observe a world that runs amok.
I contemplate on these things, and even the manner of the unfolding of my own life, yet the Divine conveys “I am here to tell you that everything will be all right.”
“Phew!” I exclaim, as I wipe the sweat away from my furrowed brow.
So it is important that back in that prayer, the Divine conveyed:
Son, you’re dealing with life, true life…
True life. What is true life?
That has been my ponderance for many-a-year, because depending upon whom you ask, the answer changes.
I simply claim that life lived apart from the Divine’s willingness to interactively lead creation, is life, but not life to its fullest.
Some are not concerned with that aspect of life. That is theirs to choose.
I have chosen elseways. For me directly, the Divine conveyed:
…since you are wanting reality, then be real…
In the prayer, it was about me relaxing, me becoming less vexated, less anxious about my life and the world in which I live.
In other words, learning to have the confidence that everything, and I mean e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g will be, as the Divine said, all right.
That is not an easy task when one observes the wonderous failures of the world.
But having confidence that everything will be all right is the hallmark of one who trusts that the Divine is going to make vexation become relaxation.
It must be internalized that relaxation does not just occur in the eternal, which is where many put their focus. Relaxation also occurs in the temporal, right here, right now.
So many times we are focused on the hereafter that we ignore the blessings that are for here.
As for my life, in the context of “My Story” the blessings, the relaxation, the changing of my world, is having a family with two ladies.
Different than most. Different than others.
Others will look on. Some in dismay. Others in wonder. Some with curiosity.
But it is the world that I am making. It is the world I want.
While it is yet to fully become, my world, my wife’s world, and the world of my wife-to-be are changing.
Blessings and Shalom