Friday, November 20, 2009

Receiving the Unseen Gifts


I’ve taken to saying this prayer almost daily now, “Thank you Spirit for the blessings I have received this day—both seen and unseen.” I started offering this prayer of gratitude when I got a peek at some gifts I had received that I didn’t know about until later.

I would be struggling with something, only to hear later that someone had said a prayer for me so that I would have an easier time. It took me a while to notice that when other people were praying for me in alignment with my own truest desires, life seemed easier.

Now, this sounds obvious, doesn’t it? However, it really isn’t too obvious when you are not noticing that it is happening, is it?

This concept really came home to me through a significant vision. I was struggling with a spirit entity that just kept interfering with my life and wouldn’t leave me alone. I did everything I knew at that time to do and couldn’t seem to maintain my privacy and serenity. I prayed earnestly for help. Days later, I had a vision of a footprint on the ground and knew that the footprint was from someone that had traveled to be closer to where I was, and had come to help me.

I was so deeply touched, I cried. If I hadn’t had the vision and tapped in intuitively, I wouldn’t have known that someone had quietly come to help me. I know me. If I hadn’t had the vision, I might have been cursing at God for abandoning me. But I asked and help came. It was happening whether or not I noticed.

I remember this when I start to raise my fist at God or the Universe. I tell myself to wait, watch and listen. Most of all I remind myself to trust that my prayers are answered. I just might not be recognizing the answer because I’m still feeling the pain or the struggle.

Someone recently sent me a cartoon via e-mail that illustrated this point. A man says a prayer asking God for protection. In the next frame, he gets hit on the head by a rock. He curses at God. Then we see God standing between the man and a huge boulder that He is shattering. God expresses his concern to the man that he might have missed a tiny piece, and wanted to know if the man was all right.

I love this story. It was such a powerful reminder that sometimes the gift is being given, but as we face the remaining challenges, we just aren’t recognizing it.

So during this upcoming holiday of gratitude, you can be sure, I’ll be saying one of my favorite prayers, giving thanks for every gift and blessing I receive. “Thank you Spirit, for the blessings I have received this day—both seen and unseen.”

Prayer for your Thanksgiving meal by Tich Nhat Hanh