There is a certain happy advantage to technology these days. I like to drive and talk out loud to God. Some people might think of this as praying out loud. I think of it as having a conversation with my Creator. I am grateful for cell phones when I’m stopped at a traffic light and glance over at someone in the car next to me only to catch them staring, perhaps because my mouth has been moving. I immediately think of people I would see talking to themselves in cars before the advent of cell phones. I instantly assumed they had to be a little coo coo. I mean who talks to themselves out loud without being a little coo coo?
I barely pay attention to anyone “talking to themselves” any more at all. Even the people walking down the street or in the grocery line next to me busily blabbing with someone on their headset has become simple to ignore. It’s easier for me to get away with my unusual habit and do it invisibly these days because of things like this. Lest you think I truly am “coo coo,” let me tell you I have a friend who reminds herself to “take God with her” wherever she is going by literally opening the passenger door of her car to let God enter, shutting it, and then going on her way.
We have shared a laugh or two over stories of people’s occasional peculiar reactions to seeing her do this. Doing things literally, like speaking out loud, or opening car doors, is a way to bring contact with God a bit more physically into this 3-D reality. In my mind, not unlike lighting candles or burning incense before we pray.
“Why on Earth would you want to do this?” you might ask.
“I don’t know,” I might answer. “Perhaps because it makes me feel better.”
I live by myself these days, except for my little yellow dog, Chippy, and sometimes his bigger, older sister dog, Mojo. While they are sweethearts of the first order and I love them dearly, they do not fill that space in me that longs for some deep and meaningful connection of a higher order. It’s a space that really isn’t ever even filled by friendships or family or bags of potato chips, though I’ve tried all three. It remains empty when I seek the rituals and dogma that soothed me in earlier times in my life, like going to church and the once comforting religious tenets I found there.
I want to know why I’m here, why I exist at all. I want to know what I’m supposed to be doing every day with my life, my health, my well-being. Surely I can’t be here just to sit in my house and wonder on a warm Saturday in early April. Surely who I am and what I’ve lived through could be helpful to my fellow human beings, somehow. On mornings like this when it’s so quiet the only sounds I hear are the ticking of the old clocks in my house and the hum of the refrigerator in my kitchen, I get a little frantic.
“Okay, God,” I say. “I’ve done my meditation and praying this morning. I’ve read some spiritually comforting pages, this morning. Right now, writing these words, is a kind of talking to you, too. What is it I should be doing today?”
The only thought that comes to mind is that it’s time to get out of the house. I put on my gym clothes and plan to head to the rec center. I won’t have much to say to God in the car, since I’ve spent a bit of time writing about all this just now. If I’m lucky, however, I’ll find the peace and quiet in myself to listen.
A bit of birdsong might drift through my open window and cheer me up. I might overhear a snatch of conversation when I get to the rec center that makes me think of a friend. A small child holding her mother’s hand as they walk by might look up at me and smile. Then I will know that my talking with God has been answered. I am where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing. It doesn’t matter what that looks like to anyone else. I’ll know I’m watched over, that I’m never alone. All is well, indeed.