There is a lot of confusion about what it means to let the Universe be in your life’s driver’s seat. Unbeknownst to you, the Universe has always been there, but we mucked up our lives by relying on and following the advice of our ego instead. It took the failure of these willful efforts to open my eyes to the Universe in my life.
This kind of spiritual awakening can disorient, for it calls on one to let go of the old habits and coping mechanism he/she relied on so far. But letting the Universe/God/Higher Power be in charge of our lives does not mean we give up; we still must respond when the opportunities arise. We cannot just sit on our butts waiting for the Universe to take all the action.
The Parable of the Flood
The old story known as the Parable of the Flood illustrates this point;
A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.
Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”
The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he will save me.”
So, the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, Jump in, I can save you.”
To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he will save me. I have faith.”
So, the motorboat went on.
Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”
To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he will save me. I have faith.”
So, the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you, but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”
To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”
This poor man had the right faith in God, but he failed to see his ability to save himself. His fear for the unknown consequences tied to making a decision kept him from taking responsibility for himself.
A matter of free will
Letting the Universe be in charge of your life does not mean there will a holy light that parts the clouds so that a heavenly voice can descend upon you with instruction. There will be no seas parting or water being transformed into fine wine. Your problems will still be there and you will have to confront your fear of what might happen before you decide.
The difference that comes when you turn things over to the Universe is that you now believe things that happen to you do so for your greater good. It also means you trust this Higher Power has given you the tools needed to handle any challenge you face. As you reflect on your past, you will see the Universe at work in your life. You will also understand that just because things didn’t work out the way you wanted them to didn’t mean the Universe had abandoned you. In fact, you will detect that the way things worked out turned out to be in your best interest.
But just because you now recognize the Universe has been in the driver’s seat all along does not mean your work is done. You must remain vigilant for the opening doors and respond with action. It is up to you, for the Universe gave you free will. It will not force you to do anything you don’t want to do. You can make all kinds of choices; you can curse at the Universe for not doing what you wanted, or you can blame others for your maladies. You can do as the man in the flood story did and shirk your responsibility while you wait for a godly presence to take action. Chances are things will not work out well for you either if you take that course of action.
Remember, paying gratitude for your life forward will reward you with great joy and contentment.
Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.