This morning, and for the past 3 days, I've had some totally wonderful early morning running. The streets have hard packed snow and it is very cold; but for some reason I've thoroughly enjoyed this time. I've had no pains and I've felt like I could run forever.
My alarm goes off at 3:30 am. I get up and spend the first hour with my spiritual reading of A Course in Miracles (ACIM). I talk to Jesus. I listen intently to the silence. The question always arises in my mind, "Have I heard anything?" This question is the ego's question; and no, the ego hasn't heard a thing. But if I will trust the deeper part of my mind, the something else part of my consciousness, I'll find that I have indeed heard and accepted the inspiration which is always given.
But how do I know? I want to know.
Usually when I get to this point in my reflecting, I stop and go work out. This morning, I bundled up and went running (oh so sweet). I ran for 94 minutes.
After the run, getting ready for my shower, my mind flashed on how I had been a contractor for my current employer more than 10 years ago. Then gone off to the monastery for 4 years. Then got kicked out of the monastery and have lived in the secular world for the past 7 years. How I'm glad I don't live in the monastery because I really didn't like community life and much prefer being an athlete. How, I now work for my current employer and deal with all the daily ups and downs of that.
I grew up in a difficult parental situation; so I couldn't rely on my parents for many of the standard things and had to be self sufficient more than many children. I never got married although I certainly tried when I was younger; my motive was finding someone to take care of me. Then, I picked a stable monastic institution because I wanted 3 hots and a cot for life. But, really, I've been on my own most of my life and that situation promises to continue. But when ever I seem to need a job or another person to help me out, the resources are there.
Then my key thought was this: What if the purpose of my life is to experience God's love for me?
What I mean is that I have never been able to build stability into my life (like by having a husband and family who are always there for you, or living in a huge old brick convent where sisters and care givers are always there for you). I have a good career but the way I have obtained jobs and moved from job to job every 3 to 5 years, is very miraculous. I thought about my situation now. I make a good salary but over half of it never makes it into my checking account. I rent an apartment so I am not gaining worth from a monthly payment. I buy running stuff like crazy and am not really saving any after-tax money. This is anti-middle-class-American-consumer to not buy a house if you are a professional with my salary.
But I realized that God will always love me and care for me and give me what I need. That is the point of my life: trust God. I can't carry out this mission except by living without many of the social structures others rely on.
The point of my life is not to be rich or famous or a brain surgeon or an elite athlete or a holy vowed religious. It is to trust God. ACIM does say what a persons purpose is. It doesn't exactly say "just trust God." So when I say that my purpose is to know God loves me and actually does care for me, I am not parroting something I read or was taught. I am stating a thought which came from the inside. I am stating the bed rock of who I am. The truth of my existence is that I am a well loved creation and as such, I need do nothing. But humans have a very difficult time with the task of letting go and letting God; and believing that it was God's love which provided. One again, my purpose is to EXPERIENCE God's total unequivocal, unending, unchanging eternal Love for me. Period.
My purpose brings me back to my litany. I try to meditate on that twice a day. It takes desire and patience to do this. But it is spiritualizing my brain such that I identify more with God than the dream of this world. My litany is something of an ACIM creed. Some day, I will get around to explaining line-by-line what this means, but for now, here it is again:
Father in Jesus' name remind me of
Your love for me and of my love for You.
If I am afraid, I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this can't hurt me.
Fear is lack of love. Atonement heals.
Expanding love is my reality.
In the holy instant I forgive.
And miracles come forth as love expressed.
Giving and receiving are the same.
Full appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ Vision is our one and only sight.
I am not alone. Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.
God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to His peace.
Truth is my commitment. I am joy.
Love is my intention. So I bless.
Love-based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want.
(I typed this whole thing; not cut and paste)