Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Asked and Answered--The Story Continues

A friend of mine once told me to “boldly ask” the Spirit for the things I desire.  There wasn’t a lot of backstory to go with that declaration, but it seems logical to assume there’s a certain amount of universally moral consideration that governs the situation.  One does not ask for evil to befall another person or being (“God” takes care of judgment and/or punishment); one does not ask for frivolous things, like a winning lottery ticket.  But if a request is properly examined and deemed acceptable, there is no reason not to step up to the Almighty and ask, frankly and specifically, for it to be granted.

This is in direct conflict with my old Catholic upbringing, which had us bowing, prostrating and sometimes flogging ourselves before the throne of God, framing our requests in terms of “If it be thy will.” Resorting to bargaining, if we were really desperate.  Early on, we were taught that God answers all prayer, but sometimes the answer is “No”—so if we prayed for something and didn’t get it, it wasn’t that God hadn’t answered the prayer.  The result of which was that we were anything but “bold” in our dealings with the Almighty.  We were more like…whipped puppies.

I have honestly tried to change that attitude that was implanted in me practically from the moment I came to understand that there was an entity called “God” and we were allowed, on an extremely limited basis, to interact with It.  Difficult as that road has been, I feel like I’ve made some headway.  I want to be a spiritual grown up; I don’t want to be stuck in that stage where most human religions seem to be mired: where mankind’s relationship to the Universal Spirit most closely resembles the relationship between a five-year-old and her parent. The child has learned who is the ultimate authority in her life and is learning what behaviors will ingratiate her to that authority.  And the Authority alternately punishes and rewards the child in order to enforce acceptable behaviors.

Still, given my early life indoctrination, it’s been difficult to put my spiritual aspirations into practice.  I actually have given the “boldly ask” notion a try…admittedly, on issues not terribly important or life-changing.  And the results, when I do put myself out there and ask, have been pretty amazing. 

So far, my bold requests have been limited to…owls.              

Three years ago, before we made our first birding trip down to Klamath, I turned my face toward the Almighty and boldly said, “I want to see an owl.”  I had no idea that the Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuges were pretty much overrun with great horned owls in the winter…we were going down there to see the eagles.  So, of course, my request was answered to an extent that I could never have imagined or hoped for.


The following year, as our bird viewing was getting universally skunked by the devastating drought conditions that had limited prey opportunities for the birds we sought, I once again requested of the Almighty that I be allowed an owl experience.   I was surprised and delighted to make the acquaintance of a completely different little owl with whom I would never have had a clue to request a meeting.

The past two years, we haven’t been able to afford a trip to that enchanting place in the high desert.  Discouraged and sad, I have nevertheless gone to the Almighty with my requests to meet owls.  Last year, it was a barred owl in the woods off a gravel road on Sauvie Island

This winter, it has been great horned owls in the leafless backwoods of Columbia County. 

As a side note to this winter’s effort:  After spotting my first GHO of the season, I began to wonder if I was destined to experience only one owl sighting per year.  This seemed unfair and unacceptable.  So…sitting behind the wheel of the owlmobile last Wednesday, I asked the Spirit, “Why only one owl?  I’d like to see TWO owls this year.  May I see two owls?” 


Yesterday, I had almost the same conversation with the Almighty, except it was, “Three.  I’d like to see three owls this year.”  Once again, the request was granted.


The Almighty has been more than generous in responding to my requests to see owls.  I know…it seems naïve, silly even, to believe that the Creator of the Universe hears or cares about this request from one infinitesimal human, regarding things most definitely not of Universal importance.  And yet…I only know that, in my personal experience of spiritual matters, I’ve noted a distinct tendency on the part of the Almighty to honor even the smallest sincere effort by a human soul to contact and commune with Her. 

The Spirit is out there, and She wants us to know She is out there.  If it means bringing two tiny creatures of this earth together in a requested meeting to prove the point, She is not averse to making that happen.   

Eventually, I will need to embolden myself to take the next step, a much larger step, toward communion with the Almighty.  In the meantime, I’m happy to ask for owls.   

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