Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm Curious to See What Happens Next

Dear Carina,

I’ve really appreciated, understood, and enjoyed your messages. Because of this, I thought that maybe you could offer me a different, more clear, or even rational meaning of what is lately a perplex issue within myself. My question Carina is, “How does one know the difference between what they’re responsible for (i.e. purpose, life, career) from what God’s in control of?” I consider myself a Christian; while not following a specific religion, I believe that there are things that “God” makes happen i.e. blessings, miracles, opened doors, ect. And then there are things that we as individuals make happen i.e. direction taken, choices, decisions, progress; thus creating perpetual cycles of us all fulfilling a natural purpose.

Having said that, we see in life “I believe” people who neither seek “God’s” direction nor make progress; thereby living in misery, sadness, maybe poverty, and hopelessness because they make all the wrong choices, give up, or become self defeating.

Granted, I’m not defeated, I seek to understand and persevere ahead all the time; but, I’m STUCK and have been for months. I have drive, passion, training, eagerness, and desire; I just don’t quite get the (For What) part. For years I have molded a career in autism services. But, since my independent contract ended with The Rich Center in June, I have struggled and been burdened about where I’m supposed to be.

Is my work in the field of autism directed by God or me? I feel really disappointed in the fact that I have not chosen or decided on what to do and because of that I haven’t worked for two months. But, I have a really big concern that because I like to be in control, I’m going to choose the wrong thing, “if God’s in control and I don’t let him guide me or look toward an answer.” And, is it responsible to look for direction to move in the right direction?

Please HELP!!!!

Signed, Jen


Dear Jen,

Great question!

It sounds like you are divided between two worlds: that of asking for God’s help and that of your own will and intentional drive.

What if they are the same thing?

I wonder how there can be some things (“blessings, miracles, opened doors, etc.”) that God controls or makes happen and the rest of it is left to our human will (“direction taken, choices, decisions, progress”)?

I suggest you ask yourself these questions. The answers are as specifically yours as your specific scenario and questions are.

Westerners seem to have this idea that good and mysterious things come from God whereas rational and mind-driven occurrences come from something else. But I ask you, what is not mysterious? Even when thoughts arise and decision-making occurs, where do those thoughts come from? Who makes the decisions?

Here I sit on the couch at the coffee shop typing these words to you. Who is typing the words? Whose words are these and whose ideas? And whatever happens next, who guides that decision? Will I go to the grocery store? Will I go home? Will I stay here the rest of the day? Is this all already decided and set in motion and all my thinking, plotting and planning has nothing to do with it?

So I ask you again, is it possible to live both a guided life and a rational life?

I don’t think so. Then again, I think that it’s all been decided already, including us thinking that we have any choice in the matter, including us having this conversation now.

This seems almost too simplistic, and yet, there it is. Can you practice taking your hands off the wheel and allowing the flow of life to guide you rather than your rational, driven mind (that hasn't been getting you anywhere, I might add)?

The spiritual path is one that doesn’t make any rational sense. And I’m thankful for that, challenging as it can be sometimes. Very few things that I’m up to lately make sense according to the traditional, linear, Western-focused mind. I don’t necessarily recommend this to anyone, but since you were moved to ask me your questions, I might suggest that there is something outside of the linear and rational that’s calling to you too.

You ask if it’s responsible to look for directions to move in the right direction. Well, I don’t know from responsible, but I am a fan of praying for help and then letting it go. Prayer works for me because I believe it does. If you can surrender to the greater system beyond our limited human perspective and let it do its work, then your next move will be clear to you.

Remember, too, that the next move may be to do nothing.

Are you ready to throw rational out the window and truly be guided?

I’m curious to see what happens next.

With love and appreciation,

If other questions arise from this writing, please email