As the title states, I am peaceful and content. Things are going pretty good for me right now. I have a job, I have a roof over my head and clothes and shoes, I have food in the cupboards, I have a very cheerful little pet finch waking me up every morning with his 'The Sun Is Up' song... There are parts in my life where things are a challenge, but that happens to everybody.
In the meantime I have two or more friends who would swear in front of a judge that G-d has abandoned them and has chosen to dump on them. A mutual friend of ours died and my friend D has taken it really badly - along with a very sick little cat friend who died of cancer, for which he's blaming G-d and everybody else, himself included. I sat up with him until almost 4am this morning trying to be supportive and I finally had to get stern and tell him to pull himself out of this slump or he'll end up destroying himself. He could not remember the last time he gave G-d a thank-you and some praise - he cannot see the good in his life that surrounds him.
The same goes for my friend L, who gets more and more negative and depressed - and mean - every day her lawsuit goes on. She has a lot going for her, as does D; and yet both say time and time again that G-d has dumped on them, abandoned them, does not listen, why should they even bother believing...
That scares me more than anything, to simply not believe in something. Hey, I've had my down times; we all have. It's part of the way things go sometimes, and we need to lean on G-d to help pull us out of our slump (hey, it works for the Cleveland Indians from time to time, right?). I've lost pets, a parent, other family members and friends; I've been out of work and worried. I've needed shoes and clothes but could not afford them. And yet through it all there is a part of me that just cannot let go of my faith. It sustains me.
I feed my faith by following the Cherokee practice of thanking and praising my Creator more often than I complain and beg. The praise and thanks lifts us up and the stuff making life unpleasant seems to diminish somehow. There is always something to be thankful for. Complaining never helped me and neither did begging; I try to remember to ask G-d for things like an obedient child would ask a parent, and accept that G-d works in a different time than I do. It builds patience and I always feel the better for it, as my Creator knows what I need better than I do.
My friends L and D both ask me why G-d listens to me and talks to me, why I'm so blessed - and I try to explain but it falls on deaf ears. It's all in the attitude you bring to the Throne.
That's all for now...
Sholom and Blessings to All!