Two weeks ago I had surgery on my left foot extensive enough to require my going under anesthesia. That experience left me with a before moment when I transferred from the gurney and onto the operating table. Then there is an after moment when I awoke in the recovery room and was staring down at my heavily bandaged left foot which looked like some kind of lumpy western foot-binding! The thing that stands out to me is that there was no during, no present for me in the surgery which I only know about by its absence from my awareness! I wonder how many moments in our life are like that absent moment during my surgery, moments to which we are not consciously there?
Strangely this experience has provoked me to thinking more about my relationship with the Divine, specifically whether or not I am present in that relationship? My experience with spiritual counseling shows me that the character of our relationships with others tends to also be the character of our relationship with the Divine. The question then is…Are we present in those relationships? What drives the way in which we relate to others? One element in many relationships is that of desirability. Most of us want to be found to be desirable and we sometimes go out of our way to stack the odds of desirability in our favor… a certain haircut, certain clothes, arranging for “accidentally” running into the object of our desire!
So I’ve wondered recently what role my being found desirable plays in my relationship with the Divine and with others? Is it the desire for connectedness to others or simply the desire to be found wanted by others? Do I really want a relationship with the Divine or do I fear the Divine? Does fear motivate my relationships? The philosopher Voltaire once remarked that “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” In our relationship with the Divine are we too afraid to laugh? Instead of being found by the Divine to be desirable is our secret intent about not being found guilty? Our approach will certainly affect how we relate to the Divine… and to others… in our during moments!