no words can ever fully express
one day at a time
is a joyous and
containing rewards undreamt of
at the start;
a little bit of
hidden among the days.)
for all my
mad, scrabbling ego,
my bizarre, relentless vanity
(and oh! how some days
I romance those dreary false glamours and
I know with
this stupid beautiful corny sweet clumsy cliche-ridden nearly perfect AA deal
is the best damn thing that
how this damaged and foolish child
one day at a time
remains balanced on the ever cresting wave of spiritual transformation
and somehow keeps riding the miracle
is only for some Divine Agency to fully understand.
when I remember to break free from the
of my little schemes and
my little dreams
(like a dog shaking water from its coat)
and in my limited way try to comprehend the gift I've been given
my heart swells and I am grateful in a way no words can
Gratitude Day: And my arm's still too short to box with God
Mr. SponsorPants: Well God, it's Gratitude Day.
Mr. SP: And, although I know I can essentially bring anything to You, I have a question that feels kind of... well, kind of stupid.
silence for a few moments
Mr. SP: Ummm, God?
Mr. SP: Aren't you going to say something encouraging like, 'There are no stupid questions' or 'yes, you can bring everything to Me' or something like that?
GOD: No. I don't think so. You know I really don't go in for responding to you when you're fishing and being passive/aggressive like that.
Mr. SP: God! Err, I mean the exclamation, not You, but... God! That is so... you know, sometimes maybe I need a little encouragement. Sometimes maybe I'm frightened and I need a little reassurance. Needing encouragement is not being passive/aggressive you know.
GOD: Yes, I know. You're right.
Mr. SP: Ha! So there!
GOD: Needing encouragement or reassurance is not being passive/aggressive. Being manipulative in your statement so that you can get that encouragement... that's passive/aggressive.
Mr. SP: <sigh> How come when I start to talk with you about something else we keep taking these left turns?
GOD: Because you're driving? Just ask your question, Mr. SponsorPants.
Mr. SP: Okay. I wonder if sometimes I'm doing gratitude... wrong.
GOD: You certainly come up with a constant stream of new and inventive ways to make yourself feel bad about yourself, Mr. SponsorPants. How on earth could you do gratitude 'wrong'?
Mr. SP: Well, sometimes I find my way into gratitude by <mumble mumble mumble>.
GOD: What? Speak clearly.
Mr. SP: Sometimes I find my way into gratitude by looking at the misfortunes and challenges other people have, and I'm grateful that's not my lot -- that I do not have their problems. That I do not suffer as they do or have to face down the things they must. And that seems... I dunno, just... like the wrong way to go about feeling grateful for what I have.
silence for a few moments
Mr. SP: That's it? 'Ah.' All that and all you give me is 'Ah'?
GOD: Mr. SponsorPants, I have a question for you, too. Do you feel pleasure at the misfortunes of these others that you're comparing yourself to?
Mr. SP: What? Of course not! I mean, sometimes if it's a person that has really challenged me in the past...
GOD: One of your Great Spiritual Teachers, you mean.
Mr. SP: Yes. If someone's been an arrogant schmuck, and they get a little egg on their face, maybe I feel a sense of cosmic justice, but I don't actually enjoy anyone's hardships, no. And when it comes to real tragedy I'm just... well, I land somewhere between horrified and terrified, actually.
GOD: So you just use other people's challenges, their paths, as a frame of reference for yourself.
Mr. SP: Yes.
GOD: Or a way to see what you've been, if you'll forgive a somewhat Biblical term, 'spared.'
Mr. SP: God, I can't think of anyone whose got more of a right to throw Biblical terms around now and again than you.
GOD: Fair enough. But, to go back to the point, you use what happens to other people as a frame of reference.
Mr. SP: Yes.
GOD: Okay then.
Mr. SP: Okay what?
GOD: You're not asking if that's a wrong way to find gratitude, you already think it is, and you want maybe confirmation, or absolution. And maybe instruction.
Mr. SP: Do other people get a headache when they talk to You? 'cause I'm starting to get a headache. I thought it was a simple question and...
GOD: The question is simple. You're the complicated part.
Mr. SP: Is that... kind of a compliment?
Mr. SP: oh.
GOD: Gratitude is, indeed, seeing what you have, and what you are spared, yes. Whether you do that via comparing yourself to others' misfortunes, or through a more positive view of whatever bounty you have doesn't really matter. The point is more that you are training yourself to perceive your life and your circumstances differently; to see the gifts in your life for what they are. When you don't see what you have, you're focused on what you lack -- and when you do that, you are generally in Fear, and it is then much harder for you to hear Me.
Mr. SP: oh. So gratitude isn't about feeling good really, it's more about being able to see and hear You a little better.
GOD: Pretty much, yes.
Mr. SP: And so... as long as I'm doing that, it's okay however I get there.
GOD: Bravo, Mr. SponsorPants.
Mr. SP: See, God, if you stick with me, I get it eventually.
GOD: Mr. SponsorPants, I have never, not for one single solitary moment, doubted you. You on the other hand...
Mr. SP: I know, I know... work in progress, God. Work in progress.
GOD: I know. I know. Happy Gratitude Day, Mr. SponsorPants.
Mr. SP: You too, God. You know, for a somewhat trite literary construct, these exchanges are very helpful and surprisingly emotional for me sometimes.
GOD: I know that, too.
Mr. SP: Of course you do.