Holy Spirit Magic: All It Takes is a Minute
“Begin by being still. Quiet the outer world, so that the inner world might bring you sight.” –Neale Donald Walsh
This is a large mall in the Philippines owned by a Chinese business tycoon where they practice a minute of prayer at 12 noon. I had to stop as I got off the escalator to join the minute of prayer. My attention was caught by the items on the display rack a few feet to my right.
On the 23rd of April 2012, long before I was told of the exciting news, I encountered the word “Reproducer” in my dream (similar to the experience of dreaming of the words, “Aspect of Time”). Little did I know what it really meant at the time until my daughter told me that she was expecting a baby! The date of conception was estimated to be around the first week of April. She told me after the 23rd, after her first having confirmed it with the doctor.
With that, the only interpretation I could give to the word “Reproducer” in the dream is a reference to the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the human person when the egg and the sperm are joined in the womb. So the dream was an announcement of the new direction my life was taking---I was about to be a grandparent.
The other night I went to bed, falling asleep with a song visiting my dream. “Like a baby sleeping cozy, cuddled in summer’s warm embrace …” Both the lyrics and the melody are originals.
Back to the item in the mall that caught my attention while in prayer. It was a checkered, long-sleeved shirt. I thought of the shirt, “This is so me.” I have lost interest in fancy clothes for about a decade now. It was really something for me to have my attention caught by a piece of clothing. I took it to the fitting room and, finding it fit just perfect, bought it and brought it home.
Earlier, in the same mall, for some reason, I just felt drawn to visit my favorite watering hole---the bookstore, which hasn’t caught my fancy for quite some time too. I discovered to my delight that they finally have available, copies of Neale Donald Walsh’s “Conversations with God” book series. I got myself a copy of Book One and said to myself, that’s why I had an urge to go in that direction, to get a copy of a long-awaited book.
Hmm. Somehow the Holy Spirit is doing my shopping for me. I needed the shirt for my grandson’s christening. I found a long awaited book.
After my life has taken a new direction with the birth of my first grandson, I did not have the usual quiet time to myself. There was not much time left for listening to God’s still, small voice. I know if I did not give time to cruising, or just-“loaf”ing around (which I associate with the Taoist concept of wei wu wei or doing without doing), these simple tugs or guidance to go to these places and find the much needed items would not have been possible.
On our homeward commute from the mall, as I was reading the book I just bought, an old song played over the radio. I remembered a time in the past working on “On the Wings of Love”, in dialog with the Holy Spirit. The way I interpreted the event of having chanced upon hearing the song is that it is an affirmation from the beloved Spirit,
“It is I.”
All it takes is a minute. If we are not ready, the Holy Spirit’s messages will entirely escape us. It may be there for only a minute and if we are not alert, we would not have heard.
Readiness is practiced on a regular basis as we bring our awareness to the present moment, Now. We have seen how this can be done even by busy people in an earlier article, “Making Room for Presence: 3 Simple Tips for Busy People”. It is normal to think it to be difficult as there are only few among us who have the luxury of time. But when practiced diligently, being present to the moment develops an alertness and openness in us that makes God’s still, small voice perceptible to us.
This is not to suggest that we should make it a habit to “loaf” around. This is to propose the idea that when we make it a regular practice of being present to the moment, even amidst our busy daily routine, we develop a certain way of being in the world characterized by noise and turmoil, yet being perceptive of the subtle and ordinary. Thus when the Holy Spirit, the Great No-Thing, does speak to us, we are predisposed to notice.
All these subtle instances, the dreams, the shirt, the book, without the minute of prayer would have gone unnoticed. It’s as if the minute of prayer was the cue saying, “Attention! The Holy Spirit is guiding you in wondrous ways.” I just so happened to the minute of prayer, at the top of the escalator. Better yet if we intentionally set a minute to remind ourselves every day, to be at attention and watch out for how the universe churns out God’s blessings on our path.
With quiet time on my homeward commute, reflecting on the events over the past few days, I realize the Holy Spirit always accomplishes great things through the subtle in our lives. The magic is always there for everyone. It only takes a minute to notice and be grateful, to experience joy and delight.
‘New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.’