Recently, I lost my car key. I was alone enjoying the sun at the Illinois Beach State Park forty minutes from my home. My husband was out of town. My youngest daughter was at day camp. I had five glorious hours to myself. The beach was beautiful, endless green water stretched out before me, and the sound of the water hitting the shore had relaxed me. I was refreshed body and soul until I discovered I lost my key.
Alone, child needing to be picked up from camp; I immediately knew this was an occasion I would typically allow myself to become anxiety riddled and beat myself up mentally. So I intentionally began a form of meditation. To every thought I replied thank you God. I was not counting my blessings. For every single thought (anxious, helpful, or crazy) I simply unemotionally thought thank you God.
The inner dialogue went something like this:
You locked your keys in the car. Thank you God. How could you do that? Thank you God. They are not in the ignition. Thank you God. They must be on the beach. Thank you God. It’s hot. Thank you God. Mabel needs me to pick her up. Thank you God. What are you going to do now? Thank you God. You are an idiot. Thank you God.
As I continued my course of combing the beach, hiking a half mile to the park office, ordering a cab, and waiting an hour for the driver to show up; I kept up the meditation. I never felt panicked though there were lots of decisions to make in a short time. I did not get angry though the cab driver gauged me and took me a long way home. I actually felt calm peace. When I got to my daughter at camp I was able to receive her frustration with me with gentleness and before I knew it we were home having a nice evening.
This prayer method practices the reality that everything is grace. As I recited thank you God over and again the gracious gift of life as it is in the moment was real to me.
Meditation connects me with God who is loving presence active in every moment. As an American suburbanite I am able to purchase things that make me feel secure. But that is the real illusion. And the truth is God’s eternal sustaining presence in every moment a source of peace, hope and joy.
Happy or sad, challenging or easy all hope is only discovered when we receive the gift of the moment just as it is. Thank you God. When we allow the moment to be simply what it is without clinging, grasping or trying to change it we are able to laugh during stressful situations, creatively problem solve, be gentle, kind, patient and loving in all times. Thank you God.
I am often an idiot. Thank you God. I need to rely on the gifted presence of God that is fully with me and this world in every blessed moment. Thank you God.