In the final episode of the show Trueblood, Tara had told that mysterious social worker that she probably lost her job, all of her friends and that her mother disowned her, and that she had failed to see ‘the opportunity’ and the social worker said something that really stuck out in my mind, ‘she said that maybe life has cleared out all the things that weren’t working for her.’
I don’t think it’s life that does that. I think it’s God. I know it’s God. I know it’s just a show on HBO about vampires trying to live amongst people and wanting the same rights humans have, but that statement reminds me of one of my daily meditations. It’s what I call my daily Prayer of Mathematics. It goes like this:
Please subtract from my life, people who either don’t mean me well, or will prevent me in some way, from being who You and I want me to be, and to please add to my life, people who mean me well, and who will help me to be who You and I want me to be.
It’s a prayer I made up a couple of years ago, and I recite that to myself daily. There have been people that have entered my life that have either helped me and have hurt me. Sometimes the helping and the hurting is not always obvious. Sometimes it’s subtle, or maybe it’s just I’m too close to the person to really see who they are. There have been those that have been like anchors, weighing me down, without my realizing so.
Since I started praying that prayer, I have found people either gradually or suddenly failing to return my calls, or text messages or emails. Because I’ve had a bad habit of initiating most communications with so-called friends, I’ve stopped, promising myself to only communicate in response to people. While I’m close to the situation, I tend to wonder why I haven’t heard from this person or that person, but when I step back and think about my prayer, especially the first part (Please subtract from my life, people who either don’t mean me well, or will prevent me in some way, from being who You and I want me to be), I realize that God is just answering my prayer. As the Bible says, I have become still (and still trying…I’m still a work in progress), knowing that He is God.
There have been people that I have known for half my life, that obviously means me well, and who has been helping me to be who God and myself wants me to be, like my best friend, Steve Demuth.
About 16 months ago, a Steve Phillips was added to my life, in the form of a job recruiter. Living in Milwaukee Wisconsin, I was at a miserable, dead-end job, desperately considering a new career choice since I didn’t have the seniority to even be considered for an underwriting position at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance ( though I more than met all the other job requirements and I was overqualified for the call center job I was doing at the time). I had no idea what to since I felt backed into a corner. In August of 2007 I was looking forward to going to Portland to stand up for a friend who was getting married. Out of the blue, Steve Phillips called me. He had seen my resume on Monster.com, and he called me about an underwriting position and asked how I felt about Portland. I told him, “ I’m going to be there in 4 days!” The phone interview went smoothly, the face-to face went smoothly, and they even flew me back a month later to meet the higher-ups in the department, and within a month, I was a resident of Oregon working as an underwriter again! 16 months later I am still happy.
I’m still waiting for God to add someone to my life whom will love me, but like the Bible says, Be still and know that I am God.