On Thursday, I went to a focus group in the city. It was supposed to be an hour and 40 minutes in which my brain would be picked and my opinions offered. When I arrived at the destination, I was told the focus group over-recruited and I could leave. However, I was paid for my time all the same. Kaching! It was the best possible outcome I could have asked for. Walking out of the building I laughed to myself and called a friend to proclaim, “God really loves me.”
Now, God loves me all the time, unconditionally, but these extra special instances, these moments of grace, demonstrate that love in a tangible way. Some people might say those moments of grace are proof that I’m living in alignment with God’s will for me, that I’m a powerful manifestor, or whatever, but I disagree. I had nothing to do with getting dismissed from the focus group – it didn’t even enter into my mind as a possibility. I had absolutely zero part in orchestrating that situation.
A few years ago I wrote a post about grace and exclaimed in delight about all the wonderful and magical things that happened to me during a trip to Italy. One example is I showed up to the museum housing Michelangelo’s David and was told admission was free as I’m a woman and it was International Women’s Day. I didn’t plan that, I didn’t even know it was a thing. When I told a friend about it later I worried she would think I was bragging, and her response was something along the lines of, “How could I possibly think you were bragging? As if you had a hand in any of that!”
I bring this up because an issue I have with New Age spirituality, or at least my interpretation of it, is this idea that everything is down to us, for better or for worse. Having a good day? You manifested that! Having a bad day? You manifested that too! Sometimes it’s true, and our attitudes make a huge difference in how we experience life, but also there are many things out of our control and grace is one of those things.
My spiritual teacher says, “You know that divine grace does not depend on any logic; it depends only on the whims of [God]. If [God] is satisfied with your intuitional practice, with your sincere zeal then He may bless you … Let human beings perform virtuous deeds, practice meditation, serve the suffering humanity, and in return they will attain His grace.”
I know that makes God sound very “old man in the sky,” which is not how my teacher defines God, but language has its limits you know? The point he’s making, as I understand it, is we can’t control when we’re graced or not. All we can do is keep moving ahead on the spiritual path, performing good deeds for others, and then every now and again when the universe deems it so, we’ll get to see Michelangelo’s David for free or get dismissed from a focus group. But we don’t decide when or if those things happen.
I dream of a world where we all experience grace. A world where we recognize grace is a gift and not a reward. A world where instead of saying, “Yes! I created this moment!” we say, “Thank you,” because we recognize the moments of grace for the expressions of love that they are.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.