Many spiritual teachers share their wisdom through story. On the Isle of Palms near Charleston, as I prepare for Hurricane Irene, I couldn’t help recalling this one. It’s one of my favorites.
It begins to rain and waters start to rise. A man with great faith in God and His power to save him sits in a corner and prays. “Oh God, I’m your humble servant. I know you’ll save me.” A neighbor wads through knee high water to get to his house and says, “Hey man everyone up and down the street is getting out of her. Come with me.”
“No,” he says. “I’m waiting for God to save me.” The waters rise until they reach the door and a boat comes by filled with people fleeing. “Hey man, get in and come with us. We’ll save you.” But the pious man said, “No, I’m waiting for God to save me.” He remained there and prayed and prayed. He finally climbed on the roof of his house as the waters continued to rise. A helicopter arrived and sent him a rope to lift him out. “Come on man, this is your last chance. You’ll drown if you don’t come.”
The man put his hands together and said, “No I’m waiting for God to save me.” The house and the man were soon engulfed by the water. When the man stood before God in heaven he said, “God, why didn’t you save me?” God looked at him calmly. “I was there three times to help you. Why didn’t you listen to the voice of God?”
Every day we receive signs and messages – both subtle and not so subtle, helping to nudge us in the right direction. I love how often a person who I meet casually, a cashier, or a friend can say words of particularly profound significance without ever realizing it. I feel this is the Divine giving messages along the way. The story also indicates that faith is only one part of the picture. We also need to movie into action. So as the warnings about Irene come and the waters rise here, I plan on paying close attention and evacuating in plenty of time.
Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.