Operating Instructions

Dear God,

I don't really get you.  I get the idea of you, but the actual portrayal... or should I say, portrayals of you, not so much.  I don't see this white haired old guy sitting on a throne or the vengeful asshole that we should all fear.  I don't see anything.  Just this idea, this floating concept of someone, something watching out over a master plan we can never fully grok. 

Your "son"?  Yeah, don't get that one either.  I like the idea that you'd send a dude down to whip us into shape, but I can't actually buy the reality of it.  I absolutely believe that Jesus lived and did amazing things in his short lifetime, but the insisted truth that he was actually God walking around on two sanded feet?  Not so much.  Not that people haven't tried to convince me.  They have.  But their "proof" of his Godly status never holds water against the tide of skepticism I feel.

The bible.  Yeah, that's a good one.  Really good stuff in there.  But can't believe that your hand wrote it, wither it be some guy bringing the word down from the mountain or the subtle nudge that guided man's hands into words.  I just have seen that book used in too many hateful way over the years to believe that it is your literal word.  Again, I think we've all found some really good things in there that have shaped our actions at times and given many of us a framework off which to live.  But I can't confuse a good lesson and advice for Your literal word.

All that said, I still sometimes find myself turning to you for help.  I still find myself waiting for inspiration.  I still find myself reaching out in times of great stress or joy.  I still sometimes find myself talking aloud. To you.  And that's sometimes odd for me, but there it is.

For book club, we're reading Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions.  It's odd because she's so liberal and crazy and yet is one of the more religious people I've ever read about.  We're meeting to talk about the book on Friday and I'm not even close to done.  But I just got to the part where she's almost out of money and needs to find a way to make another thousand dollars a month or she's screwed.  She writes a little note to You, asking for her next set of Operating Instructions and sticks it into a box by the bed.  Then she sits by the phone and waits.  The next day she gets a monthly column offered to her for more than she needs. 

That's the kind of God I really want to know.

Have faith and all will be taken care of, eh?  Really?  I want to believe that.  Desperately. 

So here's my request for my next set of operating instructions.  I promise to open my heart up to the possibility that you will provide, even if it's in a way that I would never expect.  What's next, God?  What will fix our finances and help me feel more human?  I'll be waiting.  With my phone in my pocket.  And the utter and complete belief that all will come out for the best.