"How can I be sure,
in a world that's constantly changing?
How can I be sure,
where I stand with You..."
Okay, I know that this song "connection" is a big stretch...okay - a really big stretch, but to be honest, when I thought about the question of surety, this really is the lyric that came to me without hesitation.
Perhaps it is because, as a preteen, I really liked the broodingly cute lead singer (and talented songwriter), Felix Caviliere, of the Young Rascals. Maybe it was because I spent a lot of time looking for answers to questions that had no answers. But either way, the question, "How can I be sure...?" is one that I have lived in...a lot...over the ensuing years.
How can I be sure that this is the right school for me?
How can I be sure that the boy I like, will like me?
How can I be sure that this math answer is right?
How can I be sure that there is a God?
How can I be sure this is the right decision?
How can I be sure I am making the right choice?
Questions, questions, questions. And it didn't matter if they were big or small, I wanted certainty, assurances, guarantees.
Recently, an inspired post on my friend Heather's blog, reminded me of a letter written by Mary Baker Eddy, to her student Adam Dickey* that begins:
"The place you seek is seeking you, the place you need is needing you. Divine Principle brings need and supply together for mutual good. God wisely, intelligently, and lovingly controls, guides, protects, prospers, and blesses this union of His idea (man) and this joyous activity, work.
"All that you need to do is to see that your consciousness is fully prepared, enlarged, uplifted, joyous, expectant of infinite good, so that no sense of limitation may hinder the full manifestation of God's will for His idea. You know that God's will for His idea is perfection, nothing less. All we need ever to change is our sense of discord to the consciousness of harmony, divine government.
"Who says, "I have finished my work and must find another place"? God alone directs and outlines. You do not know whether it is right to stay here or to go there except as the steps are put before you day by day. Even if your desires are in line with progress, you must surrender all human will.
Later it goes on to say:
"You do not have to plan or think how, when, or where. That is God's business. Your business is to carefully reflect, listen and obey when the call comes. The Divine will is always clearly calling to US and telling us of the will of the Father. But we are so bent on having our own way and "doing things" instead of knowing they are already done, that half the time we do not know what God is saying. God's will will be intelligently expressed and will intelligently meet your need by destroying your sense of fear. You really have no needs for you are complete in God...
"It does not take time for you to build up your place of your work, for it is impossible for an idea to be without its place, and that place is fully developed as is the idea that fills it. The place must meet all the needs of the idea if it is to be provided by Divine Principle...
"Make a place for God in your thinking and acting, and your place in human experience will be manifested."
I have loved praying with this last paragraph from her letter:
'Today, Divine Mind adjusts me to my work and adjusts my work to me. Under this law of adjustment - God's law - my work must be successful. Through steadfast declaration, work and worker, buyer and seller, are brought together. Thus, supply meets demand and God's perfect law is brought into manifestation."
I am learning that the only thing I can be sure of is God's gracious omnipotent hand in my life.
On Sunday, if I'd thought about where I would have been on Thursday afternoon, I would have told you that I'd be driving home from office visits at the college, along the River Road watching eagles soar over a lone barge as it inched past buckling ice-flow, cutting through the frigid waters of the Mississippi River. But God had another landscape in Mind for me.
But when Thursday afternoon actually arrived, I was sitting at a table outside a marvelous bagel shop in Southern California...with succulent oranges dripping from the branches of small citrus trees nearby, and me soaking up the high desert sun in a town I'd never even heard of three days before...letting this poem write itself on a few rough brown recycled paper napkins:
I am here
in this desert place
between the seas
have sent me here.
I can be no other place.
I can occupy no other niche,
find myself in no other moment,
than the one You have appointed
You have prepared that space
to fit me.
to fit that space...
A synchronicity of design
so intricately carved,
so precisely timed,
a door opens
divinity in humanity...
hand in glove.
not of lavender kid,
for Love-calloused hands
willing to be made
Hmmm...maybe these lyrics aren't such a big stretch after all...especially when the you, is Him. The question then remains:
"How do I know
maybe you're trying to use me..."
I think the only answer that makes sense to me today is from Isaiah:
"Here am I, send me."
Kate Robertson, CS
*Adam Dickey is the author of "God's Law of Adjustment" and it has been purported that he worked with this letter from Mary Baker Eddy for seven years before writing that remarkable piece.