Talking to God with Excel

This really cool thing happened today. It starts out like the most boring story ever, but then it gets awesome I promise.

At the office where I (used to) work, we use an Excel spreadsheet as our timesheet. This particular spreadsheet only gives you a certain number of rows, and as the weeks go by, eventually you use them all up and you have to add more (this is the really dull part I warned you about).

Several months ago – the last time I added more rows to my timesheet – I was holding theOption key and hitting the down arrow, and they row count got to 100. And I thought, with only a minimum amount of gumption: That’s got to be enough. I won’t be working here anymore after that.

This was long before I had any real ideas about what or where I might move on to, but had only the feeling that I had probably better be moving on soon. Nevertheless I set my intention in this vague and halfhearted way, and didn’t think of it again until today.

And then, on my second-to-last-day in this office, I opened up my timesheet and guess what line I used? That’s right: line 99. That means that Friday, on my last day in the office, I’ll fill in line 100.

My first thought is Oh my God they listened. I asked the universe to show me a different path, and I gave a deadline, and it happened. This appeared at first glance like glaring proof of the most elementary understanding of what prayer is: We ask, and we are given. God as problem-solver.

I know that the cynics among us will be writing this off as a coincidence, and I must admit that amidst all the optimism I’m also remembering the times I have gotten down on my knees and begged and no one has seen fit to answer. I have walked miles in the night with no path but my one step in front of the last and not a star in the sky by which to find my way. I will not be an easy one to convince that prayer is a reliable problem-solving tool.

I do not presume to understand the workings of the universe we inhabit, but I do know that we get to choose how we interpret the facts, and I’m the kind of person who chooses to see meaning where others see nothing at all. I’m the sort that’s going to chalk this all up to divine intervention; to the perfect order of this interconnected web we call existence.

It doesn’t really matter whether there’s any objective truth in this, only that it works for me. Choosing to see meaning is what allows me to feel hope, to believe in love, to see beauty in a broken world. So I remain willing to see the signs when they come through in a language that’s clear enough to reach me, foggy and sleep distracted as I am, though I must say that Microsoft Excel is not my preferred medium through which to communicate with the Gods. Sometimes you gotta just take what you can get.

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