Eager Writer in Las Vegas asks: “I was wondering if you could give us some leads on which lines in the Bible some of us writers could glom onto that could get us on the best-seller list, like that Jabez prayer….I’d like to be number one on the New York Times’ Bestseller List before I die.” Beware, Eager: unlike the God of Jabez, the Spirit only gives you the answer you need, which is not necessarily the one you want…
I was wondering if you could give us some leads on which lines in the Bible some of us writers could glom onto to that could get us on the best-seller list, like that Jabez prayer. I wouldn’t want to have to read the Bible myself or anything, but I’d like to be number one on the New York Times’ Bestseller List before I die and I don’t have a diet book to peddle.
—Eager Writer in Las Vegas
[NOTE TO READERS: For those of you with no clue as to what Eager is talking about, the book THE PRAYER OF JABEZ: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life by Bruce Wilkinson is a national best-seller based on this brief Biblical prayer:
And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,
“Oh, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.”
So God granted him what he requested.
—I Chronicles 4:10 NKJV
The book interprets “enlarging your territory” as asking God to bless you every day so that you can have more abundance in your life. The author has received hundreds of testimonials ascribing more dates, more money, more kids, more health, more faith, more this and that to using the Jabez prayer. So now you know.]
The Spirit confesses she has not read much of the Christian Bible, and slept through much of Hebrew school, so she’s not the best person to ask about which scriptural reference could be the basis of the next best-seller. But let’s take a look at this from another angle, shall we?
Many of my students invoke the goddess Lakshmi for wealth, or repeat affirmations about abundance in the hopes that they’ll strike it rich. Others play the stock market, or constantly scan the want ads for a better job, or are super-nice to rich-but-nasty Great Uncle Phil in the hopes that he will remember them kindly in his Will. Still others worship the sacred concept that if only they could latch onto the Next Big Thing first, they’ll be rich and therefore happy.
But I ask you: You hear about the people for whom these prayers and intentions and get-rich-quick schemes have worked…but how often do you hear from the ones for whom nothing has worked…as in, you, me, and the vast majority of denizens of the planet?
Furthermore: Can you know with any certainty that the folks for whom these prayers seem to bring about miraculous results would not have become rich (married, famous, happy, thin, etc.) anyway?
And: Aren’t a lot of rich, successful people in therapy?
Abundance is an energy. Like the wind, it comes and goes. You could get rich today and lose it all tomorrow…be healthy today and get hit by a bus tomorrow…get married to Fabio today and tomorrow, he leaves you for Winona Ryder. Does that mean God does not love you and want you to be happy? What if getting what you think you want keeps you from experiencing that which is for your highest good; would you still want it?
The greatest gift my guru Shri Schmattaji gave me was to assure me that I already was living the perfect life. Now, according to some, living with a thyroid problem, and with my husband Al who can be a real pill sometimes, in an apartment that’s falling down around our heads despite numerous complaints to the landlord, and having kids who do not always lead their lives the way I’d like them to, and living down the block from a pushy mother-in-law who mark my words is going to live to be 120, might not sound like the perfect life. It didn’t sound like the perfect life to me either. But it is, darllng. It’s the perfect life…for me. I could not be happier now. It was this perfect life that led me to my Perfect Master and Perfect Understanding that everything is perfect. Without this perfect life I might never have become enlightened. I might have had all the money in the world, a doctor son and a lawyer daughter, and been married to Burt Reynolds, and I would not have what I have now, which is, in a word, Everything.
I’m not putting down the author of the Jabez book, but I’d love to ask him if it would be okay to just ask God to bless us…without asking for anything else. (And S/He will bless us even if we don’t ask — because that’s what God is for!)
As for you, Eager…if writing a best-seller is what you really want, do it. If you want to exploit some obscure Biblical passage, read the Bible and go for it: grace comes with self-effort, as the great yogis say. But if you want true abundance, I invite you to look at your life as it is…because what you want is not necessarily what you need. And what you have, if you see it through my glasses, may not only be what you need, but what you want. Fahshtedt?
Just a suggestion. Think about it, okay?
Loving it all in the form of you.
Write to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org