Faith tested


Recognizing ones own powerlessness and working out how to manage that is what I was faced with yesterday and I went to yoga instead of spending a fretful hour or so waiting for news. Although people often say how out of control one really is in this world we generally choose not to believe that. Instead we try to managing our life, preparing for disaster, buying insurance, saving for rainy days and such. Trying to create a scaffolding, an illusion of being in control and being prepared for whatever may come our way.

Yesterday I was thrown into a harrowing situation as the neighbor of my grandmother-her neighbor from her old house-called me to say that my grandmother had just driven over to pick up a few things and had just left. We had thought, without explicitly saying-that she shouldn’t be driving at the moment. That she was too confused.We had hidden the car keys. Too unsure of her surroundings and too unfamiliar of her new address to know how to navigate the streets on her own, in a car. Living 35 miles away,  and on a Friday afternoon, traffic particularly horrific, driving down would have meant at least a couple of hours of bumper to bumper and then what? What would I do when I go there? Just drive aimlessly hoping to find my dear 90 year old grandmother on some street, in some parking lot?

All this on a day where my grandmother had called me 3 times crying asking where she was? what city did she now live in? Can I come and help her. To know that 2 hours later she was driving around on her own didn’t make for easy breathing.

I called her non stop, no answer. At last she picked up and told me she was in a parking lot, before hanging up. No idea which parking lot. No more answers when I kept calling. Eventually I got her friend on the phone who said she would drive right over to her new place and try to locate her.

I somehow felt guilty as I told my friend at the yoga studio that my grandmother was currently lost somewhere in Long Beach but that I was here about to take a yoga class. But what was there to do? Again I thought of that man that when faced with a busy stressful day he mediated for double his normal time. I spent the hour and 15 minutes class praying and thinking about faith and how we can use the word a lot but can we actually put it into practice? I was reminded how powerless I was in the situation and how all I could do was have faith that my grandmother would be safe, sound and at home. I came out of the class, scared to be thrust back into my emergency situation. Two calls and two answer machine messages awaited me. She was OK. She was fine.

It sometimes takes the big things like this to remind one that we do have choices in situations in life. We are not powerless. We can be caught up in the panic, in the frenzy or we can do the opposite of what our initial reactions are, and sit still, meditate and pray. Have faith in the outcome rather than descend into a vortex of anxiety. After all the only thing we can actually control in life is our reactions.


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