Abundance is Being In Cahoots with a Higher Power

Fisherman and young boy at dusk.

What if before we were born we stood with God on the edge of heaven, overlooking the earth and discussing our assignment—our part in His great plan to end suffering and pain? And what if in addition to discussing this assignment we also allowed God to design the perfect scenario that would best enable us to carry out this plan?


We’d be assigned the perfectly designed family and group of friends and community with the exact issues that would best help us understand our mission. The perfect encounters, experiences, and events that would prepare us and guide us to the right beliefs so that we could become a change agent in this world.


I’ve always thought that God has a purpose for us, and whole-heartedly believe that life has meaning. It’s the pain of disease and abuse and all the forms of hate that I question and so passionately desire to change.


I grew up in church, literally and physically. My mom was the church secretary for fifty plus years, so I spent a lot of time at the church with her, listening to Christian beliefs and teachings.


I have many fond memories of church and my experiences there. One memory is especially vivid: I’m young, maybe ten years old. I’m in the fellowship hall with other members of our congregation. We’re either about to eat the variety of potluck dishes each member has brought or we’ve already filled our bellies, and now the Pastor has asked us to close our eyes. He invites us to visualize a tree, on top of a hill. There are children and other people at this tree. The preacher guides us to experience the sound of crying babies, certain sights and smells that I don’t necessarily remember now, and the one thing I’ve never forgotten—we are under that tree with Jesus.


I’ve returned to this experience over the years, only now I’m alone with Jesus under that sprawling tree. The other people and children are not there. It’s hot, a dry heat, yet still cool sitting together on the exposed roots under the shade of that tree. We are on a hill overlooking, what appears to me as an African plain. There are numerous animals: lions, giraffes, hippopotamuses, elephants, antelope—you name it, all of these animals are there, freely and peacefully roaming across the plains and around the sparkling water hole below us.


I feel no fear. I absolutely know I’m safe. Nothing is going to happen to me under that tree. I’m not even going to witness some horrific act of nature and survival between the animals. All is at peace and as it should be.


Sometimes I return to this hill and just sit with Jesus as a way to calm and settle my mind. Other times, I use these experiences to talk with Jesus, to ask him why this or why that. Why isn’t the world, my life, some thing, or some person more at peace? Why do people have to carry some burden, suffer under the weight of some addiction, cruelty, or injustice? Why can’t things just be right, or at least right as I define it in my mind?


I’m always granted a response that puts me at ease, that somehow make sense of my struggle with suffering and/or injustice.


I nurture this meditative-like experience because I’ve always been taught that a relationship is exactly what God wants. My mom tells the story of being really angry about something and the Pastor of our church at the time telling her to go tell God about it. If I’m remembering the story correctly, the Pastor told my mom to get angry with God, to even stomp her feet if she wanted to.


Giving ourselves permission to experience all of our emotions, especially anger, sometimes feels irreverent, wrong, and in direct contrast to how we think we’re supposed to interact with a God who holds all the power. But what if allowing ourselves to be seen and heard really is what God wants? What if it really is about the relationship with someone or something greater – and also with others, and with ourselves?


If you plug your ears, you can hear the Universe.


This idea of being in cahoots with a higher power invites us to live fully. It’s an invitation to question, to think, to really dig deep for answers, and to step into roles of advocacy for the things that hit the hardest against our hearts. It feels like grace to stop asking why and instead get curious about what this alliance, this partnership, might look like. To ask how, instead of why:  how we can best use our individual gifts to find purpose and meaning, and where we can share these gifts with others.


What if before you were born you stood with God on the edge of heaven, overlooking the earth and discussing your assignment—your part in His great plan to end suffering and pain?


If you knew you were in cahoots with God or the universe or a higher power, would you joyfully embrace your assignment, your family and the people and experiences in your life? Would you take back your agency and fight for the things you know in the very depths of your being are your purpose for being here? Would you surrender your resistance and questioning around why a God or the universe or a higher power allows pain and suffering, and step into this grand and mystical dance of life?



Have you missed a post in the Abundance Series? Here are the posts thus far:


Abundance is Found Within

Abundance is Found in Surrender

Abundance is Found in the Stories We Tell Ourselves

Abundance is Found in a Mostly Empty Four-Bedroom Farmhouse, the Title ‘Mom’, and Hope

Abundance is Embracing Who You Truly Are–An Exquisite Masterpiece