Archive for the ‘Guidance’ Category

Who Do We Believe In?

Friday, May 25th, 2012

It takes courage to follow our bliss. We must first convince ourselves that it is permissible. We must have the faith that our will and God’s will can coincide, that doing what we wish and pursuing what we love is all right with God, not counter to his intentions for us. We may discover that we unconsciously believe in a God concept that is lethal to our happiness. We may believe in a stingy God or a capricious God. We may believe in an Indian giver God who dangles the prize before us only to snatch it away. We must sometimes do a little sleuthing to see exactly what kind of God we believe in and whether that God also believes in us. The results of our sleuthing may surprise us.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 153

The Gift Horse

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Very often when God delivers a miracle, we look the gift horse in the mouth and pat it on the rump to get it out of our lives. “It was too good to be true,” we tell ourselves — but was it? All too often we are the ones who determine what is too good to be true, and we may set the limit far lower than God would. “I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears,” we are told in Psalm 34:4, but often, when something good is happening to us and we are seized by the fear that it is too good, we do not seek the Lord. Rather than go to God asking for the acceptance of the good things that are coming to pass, we withdraw into ourselves, rehearsing our fears and taking them for reality.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 152

Daring to Dream

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Nothing is impossible to God, and God may indeed look to us to dare to dream so that God’s plans can move forward. God may dream through us, counting on us to be conduits for a larger and higher plan than we may imagine.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 148

Cooperating

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Many times when we pray for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry it out, a notion will come to us that seems too large to be carried out. We will strive to know the next right thing, and we will be shown something that seems beyond our grasp until we try it. The “until we try it” part is the measure of our willingness. Very often we pray for knowledge of God’s will, get a glimmering of something we could try, and then shrink back. “Not that! That’s too much!” we think. But is it too much?

God has unlimited resources. When we are in alliance with God, working in conscious partnership with God, those resources become our own. Many things that seemed beyond our grasp are actually well within our means when we begin to operate in accord with God’s will for us. All we have to do is be openminded enough to cooperate.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 144

Hearing from God

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Nevertheless, those of us who value a transcendent dimension to life hesitate to believe that God is silent. Many of us, on some level, in ways we can’t fully articulate or prove, have experienced God’s presence (or what we believe to be God’s presence) and in that experience have found direction, joy, and meaning for our lives. It also seems apparent that even those people who believe God has revealed the divine will in a manner different from that to which we are accustomed have also experienced that same direction, joy, and meaning, despite our claims of enjoying a unique revelation of God.

This lack of consensus suggests that the one thing we are most dogmatic about (divine revelation) should be the one thing about which we are least dogmatic.

Because we are most inflexible about that which cannot be empirically proven, we become defensive and unyielding, believing God is best served by dogged insistence rather than thoughtful seeking. There is a curious tendency I have seen repeated time and again: the more adamant we are about God, the less likely we are to embody the traits we believe God values — love, compassion, peace, wisdom, and patience. All of these virtues are forsaken in our efforts to refute the spiritual perspectives of another.

— Philip Gulley, The Evolution of Faith, p. 17-18

Come Alive

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

— Howard Thurman, quoted by Brene Brown in The Gifts of Imperfection, p. 115

God’s Colorful Will

Friday, August 19th, 2011

“Thy will be done” is not the mantra of a joyless life. We are not signing up for a life that boils down to one long tour of duty. “Thy will be done” has more color in it than that. God’s will has a great deal of color in it. Looking at the natural world, this diversity and color should not surprise us — and yet it does. Our idea of God is shockingly drab and colorless. We act as if The Creator has only a few colors on his emotional palette and that they fall into the sensible range — dull grays, browns, maybe olive drabs.

What if God is more colorful than that? What if we look at the natural world and begin to consider the actual power and diversity of what we are dealing with. What if we begin to see that “Thy will be done” is an expansive and not a constrictive concept, what if we start to realize that God’s will for us is that we get larger, not smaller?

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 136

Secrets

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

But how many of us are ready to abandon ourselves “utterly.” It takes courage to make such a surrender, and without the courage born of desperation, many of us balk. What will become of us we wonder if we give our lives utterly to God. We often have images of what a godly life means, and very often it means giving up things that we hold dear. We may have many ideas about God that say “God does not do business,” and so there goes our career. Or we may believe “God does not do sex,” and therefore there goes our love life. Very often our idea of God is otherworldly. We think of God as a monkish sort, disapproving of our involvement in the world. In short, we forget that God made the world and that nothing in it is really foreign to God. We forget that God is worldly.

God does do finances. In fact, turning our finances over to God’s care has often been a route not to poverty but to prosperity. God is an expert at husbanding resources. God is an expert at increasing the worth of what we hold. To involve God with our finances is to ask the source of all abundance to have a hand in our affairs. This is not folly. This is wisdom. But how seldom do we see it that way. For many of us money is somehow “dirty” and not something we think God can attend to. We think that ambition is something to be ashamed of, a secret that we can keep from God. We forget that there is no secret that we can successfully keep from God. God knows our worldly dreams and desires. Is it possible that God can help us to have them? That seems too good to be true. Instead, we act as if any success that we may have achieved has somehow been achieved behind God’s back and that the last thing we want to do is draw God’s attention to our finances. Our finances are nearly as secret as our sexuality. Most people have a hard time talking about God and money or God and sex. There is God, and then there is the rest of it. But where did the rest of it come from, if not also from God?

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 123-124

Baby Steps

Friday, March 25th, 2011

“Now you are here where before you were there” — that is a good description of how God works with us. We are not often shoved into the limelight. More often we are edged forward; we are nudged and coaxed and encouraged until we take the step out of the shadows we have been balking at. Often we see a huge step and we say, “I cannot take that” and we are right. But what we can take are the many little steps that make up the one giant step. We can take each baby step because it is “only” a baby step and we do not let ourselves think too much about where such baby steps are leading us. Taken cumulatively, baby steps work just as well as giant steps at taking us where we want to go. In fact, they may work better, since they allow us to keep our equilibrium while taking them.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 106

God’s View

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

When things feel certain, it is easy to believe — and sometimes things feel certain. Sometimes we are given the knowledge of more than a day at a time. We get a quick glimpse of the overview, of where we are being led and why. We see what God is doing with us. We get a glimpse of how it is we are being made larger and better. We even agree with God’s methods. Sometimes this happens, not often, and when it does, it is a blessing. When we get a glimpse of God’s will for us, we are often filled with gratitude. We are being made something with beauty and dignity. We are being made more than we dreamed of. We see ourselves as a part of the greater whole, and it is magnificent. God’s will has both ingenuity and grandeur to it.

If we could just see where God is leading us, we would all cooperate more of the time. All of us like to be made something larger and better, and we are willing, when we see what is larger and better, to go along with the temporary discomfort we may feel as our growing pains. The problem is that we so often cannot see where God is taking us. We hold such a small part of the larger picture. We do not see how our temporary discomfort is leading us to anything worthwhile. Feeling uncomfortable, we blame God. We feel abandoned and trifled with. We do not trust that God has us in his care and that in that phrase care is the operative word.