Great Morning Beloved!
Time for a Discussion…
What would Jesus do? Would He be welcomed in the churches and Synagogues, and Mosques of today? How about the Buddha? Hari Krishna? Would ANY of our so called Spiritual Leaders be welcomed in our church and Centers?
I ask because we, our society, is and has been for some time now, falling away from the very doctrine that is supposed to be our founding Principle….Look at our Bill of Rights:
Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Press; The Right to Bear Arms; The Housing of Soldiers; Protection from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures; Protection of Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property; Rights of Accused Persons in Criminal Cases; Rights in Civil Cases; Excessive Bail, Fines, and Punishments Forbidden; Other Rights Kept by the People; Undelegated Powers Kept by the States and the People.
Have we lived up to those principles?
Not even from a political standpoint, but from a Spiritual standpoint? This is what I wish to discuss today.
When we look at our Unity Principles, they should easily come before the 10 listed above. And, saying that, it would be easy to follow the 10 because our belief that we are ALL One, we are ALL of God, our Creator, we can honor the 10.
So, the issues facing our country and the world are not political issues, they are Spiritual issues, or lack of Spiritual issues.
Luke 4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Jesus called us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, to turn the other cheek, not to consider ourselves better than others, to live at peace with all people, to model an engaging faith, to bind up the wounded, rescue the perishing and bring God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
And WHAT does that mean?
It means we can’t risk walking around with a negative, resentful, gossipy, critical mind, because then we won’t be our true selves. We won’t be usable instruments for our Creator to use for good. That’s why Jesus commanded us to love. It’s that urgent. It’s that crucial.
Fr. Richard Rohr tells us: “Jesus tells us not to harbor hateful anger or call people names in our hearts like ‘fool’ or ‘worthless person’ (Matthew 5:22). If we’re walking around all day thinking, ‘What idiots!’ we’re living out of death, not life. If that’s what we think and feel, that’s what we will be—death energy instead of life force. We cannot afford even inner disconnection from love. How we live in our hearts is our real and deepest truth.”
It reminds me of what Prof. Albus Dumbledore said, “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”
What we say & think is creative…it’s magic because of the energy surrounding those words.
Fr. Rohr continues: True religion is radical. It moves us beyond our “private I” and into the full reality of we. Jesus seems to be saying in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) that our inner attitudes and states are the real sources of our problems. We need to root out the problems at that deepest interior level.
Jesus says not only that we must not kill, but that we must not even harbor hateful anger. He clearly begins with our need for a “pure heart” (Matthew 5:8) and knows that the outer behavior will follow. Too often we force the outward response, while the inward intent remains like a cancer.
If we walk around with hatred all day, morally we’re just as much killers as the one who pulls the trigger. We can’t live that way and not be destroyed from within.
Yet, for some reason, many who call themselves Christians have thought it acceptable to think and feel hatred, negativity, and fear. The evil and genocide of both World War I and World War II were the result of decades of negative, resentful, and paranoid thinking and feeling among even good Christian people.
Unfortunately, more wars and conflicts have followed from the same causes.
In Matthew 5:44, Jesus insists that we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Once we recognize that whatever we do in conscious, loving union with our inner Christ is prayer, we can better understand what Paul means when he says, “Pray unceasingly” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If prayer is merely words or recitations, such constant prayer is impossible in any practical sense.
But prayer is not only words or recitations…it is our thoughts…it is our actions. It’s what we mean when we say, put feet to your prayers.
So, when we speak of the issues of the day, it is not political, it is SPIRITUAL. It is our responsibility as care-takers of this earth to care for the environment; to honor the lives of all life including the lives of those animals that feed us and labor for us and are companions to us.
It’s our Spiritual duty to care for all humanity and do ‘what is ours to do’ to aid any who is in need.
In Unity, we don’t speak forcefully when it comes to politics, though we are finally speaking on the issues, especially regarding the environment, and social issues.
Unfortunately, we are living in an increasingly polarized society. ‘Red or blue, ‘left’ or ‘right’, our stances on politics and issues are becoming more inflexible. Our social fabric is being ripped asunder while we breathlessly assign blame to “those idiots on the other side”.
We are asked to “be willing to listen to the other side”
– but it takes more than an open ear to communicate effectively, especially if the other person in the conversation holds an opposing view. An essential element in this conversation must be to understand the opposing view, not just hear it.
The point is not to change anyone’s mind but to illuminate how those opinions were formed and why they are maintained. It is not about determining who’s “right” or “wrong” but about gaining insight into the other’s perspective, so communication becomes more effective and constructive solutions more accessible.
I’m hoping today, we can start right here. That we can be open to listen to opposing views, and yes, there are some here in this room. That we can then, start the healing process and let our light and love shine to the larger Community and the world. So, we can do better…
Wayne Dyer said, “You don’t need to be better than anyone else. You just need to be better than you used to be.”
Here are some suggestions for improving ourselves:
7 ways to be better than you were yesterday from The Road to Character, by David Brooks
1. Nourish your soul daily. At least once each day, we need to break away from our work or home routine and take a little time to feed our soul. This may involve a walk out in nature, reading a spiritual text, taking a yoga class or spending 15 minutes in quiet contemplation. You choose what works for you….and DO it!
2. Be grateful. Find something to be thankful for each day, even if it’s just to give thanks for the food in your refrigerator or the roof over your head or the fact you lived to see another day. Say a prayer or affirmation of gratitude each morning, giving thanks for my family and friends, for life and all blessings.
3. Be humble. “Humility reminds you that you are not the center of the universe, but you serve a larger order.” This also means keeping your ego and pride in check. “Because of pride we try to prove we are better than those around us. It makes us more certain and close-minded than we should be.” Be willing to hear out others. Be open-minded.
4. Don’t be led astray. This means: Stay away from temptation. Be brave when the situation calls for it. Don’t look down on others. Try not to overindulge in food or drink.
. Trust in a force greater than yourself. The world can be a tough place and we need all the help we can get. Whether you believe in the God of the Bible, THE FORCE or a set of moral principles, we all need a guiding force.
6. Know how to quiet the inner self. “Only by quieting the self can you be open to the external sources of strengths you will need. Only by muting the sound of your own ego can you see the world clearly.” That means engaging in a regular practice of meditation, contemplation or centering prayer.
7. Determine what life is asking of you. We spend much of life focused on what we want—but we also need to discover what the world wants from us. That means finding a need in the world, one you have the skills or passion to address, and serving it. This is a hard one, but a question you should ponder daily—the answer may take weeks or even years to arrive, but it eventually will.
Dalai Lama reminds us – love & compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
Let’s be FOR something…for love, for peace, for compassion…not against anything.
If we have an issue with that,
Johannes Tauler tells us, “In prayerful silence you must look into your own heart. No one can tell you better than yourself what comes between you and (your) God. Ask yourself. Then listen! —
GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!!
The Answer is Gratitude.
Last week we discussed grief, and I hope it was an inspiring message for you…inspiring in that you felt better about the grief that we all hold for people, pets, loves, etc. that have gone on. The grief we feel is equal to the love we have.
This week we will look at Gratitude.
Patricia Campbell Carlson, director and senior editor of spiritualityandpractice.com, says Grief and gratitude are interlocked in such a unique way, “Grief and gratitude are kindred souls … each pointing to the beauty of what is transient and given to us by grace.”
They are not just attitudes of mind; but require us to accept both of their gifts to know the joy of life. Grief guides us to gratitude, and gratitude guides us to an understanding of peace, and the healing power of love. Grief shows us what is important to us personally, and gratitude gives us the energy to contribute what we have learned with others, and to sit beside them in their grief.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 remind us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” That means being grateful for whatever happens. If we live by that standard, we will be transformed.
Sometimes it seems harsh to think we could find something to be grateful for in the things that will sometimes happen to us, no matter how ‘good’ we believe we are being.
In times like those, we can recall what Mr. Rogers said…
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers
It may take a few minutes or even a day or more, but if we just find something to be grateful for, the experience, whatever it may be, can seem just a little ‘less’ harsh, maybe, a little less hurtful.
And not only so-called disasters, but every personal grief we encounter, we just need to believe there are helpers there for us if we only allow them to enter our world.
The Revealing Word sates – gratitude & thanksgiving are both necessary in demonstrating prosperity through divine law. Be grateful to God & thankful to the friends whom He uses to supply you.
Charles Fillmore continues…” All metaphysicians have found by experience that being thankful for what they have increases the inflow. Gratitude is a great mind magnet, & when it is expressed from the spiritual standpoint it is powerfully augmented. The saying of grace at the table has its origin in this idea of the power of increase through giving thanks.”
Melody Beattie continues that thought – “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude make sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
An attitude of gratitude can be developed over time if practiced sincerely and on a regular basis. When we pray, remembering to be grateful, we develop gratitude as a habit and thereby establish it as a way of life.
Let start now…
Say these words out loud: I am blessed.
Now say them again with a pause in between each word. I. Am. Blessed.
Now one more time with a longer pause and with your most powerful voice: I … Am … Blessed!
Doesn’t it make you smile?
Just saying these words can activate your imagination of the blessings already in our life, knowing many may not even be in our present awareness.
Let’s share for a few minutes…. what are you grateful for?
The root of the word bless means “to consecrate, to make something holy.” The word shares its origins with the word blood. To understand blessing is to know it as an invisible, cosmic bloodstream pulsating through the universe.
We have so very much to be grateful for, but like the black dot ion the white paper we talked about last week, we too often focus on the 1% of not so good instead of the 99% good.
Let’s say this affirmation:
“I am grateful for all God’s blessings in my life”
A blessing is life-giving; it is life itself.
The great Jewish sage Abraham Heschel said, “Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.”
Find the good in all things and bless it.
Rev. Kelly Isola instructs us to “Bless it because it exists—there is no other reason needed. Then we must follow that up by passing along our blessings. Blessings are life-giving, but only if we pass them on. This is how we are blessed beyond measure. “
There is a pattern inherent in being blessed and being a blessing.
• First, we express delight when we realize we are blessed by something, just allowing it to be.
• Second, we give thanks for that realization.
• Eventually we become the blessing—the life of God—by passing the blessing along.
• Finally, we repeat the pattern, over and over, good beyond measure.
But at times, life is hard. We struggle, and we might see what exists in front of us as fraught with pain, anger, death, fear, violence, loneliness, overwhelm, or powerlessness. We may ask ourselves: how can this possibly be a blessing?
There are times when we are challenged, when life stands still or seems too dark to find our way out. When we’ve camped in the Valley and sometimes aren’t sure we want to find our way out to the sunshine.
Experiences and difficulties with people can make us truly wonder how we are being blessed, when all we can feel is our sense of inadequacy or unworthiness. Our sense of belonging, of being loved and lovable, seems to disappear into thin air.
This is when we must bring our attention to the present moment.
Paul John Roach has said, “I believe we need only one thing to live in gratitude and appreciation. That one thing is our ability to allow the present moment to unfold just as it is. The simple willingness to look and listen is all we need to open up to whole new worlds of possibility. When that expanded vision arises in us, we cannot help but give joyful thanks.”
Remember who and what we are…powerful beyond measure, Divine inheritors of blessings beyond our imagination.
Our 1st & 2nd Principles remind us of that every time we remember to re-member it…
There is only one Presence and one Power, God the Good.
We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. God is present in all people as our divine essence, our Christ nature.
Whether we walk firmly with great determination, or unsteady and unsure like a toddler (and every stage in between), remember that God is everywhere present.
Feeling this, we know we walk in that Spiritual presence, one step at a time, one day at a time.
We grow in the midst of our discomfort, seeing how these challenges expand our wisdom and compassion.
Unity cofounder Myrtle Fillmore said, “Every individual has to live his own life and draw for himself upon the life, substance, health, and strength that are waiting to be brought forth. No one can eat another’s food for him or breathe for him; neither can one person express the indwelling life and health for another. Each one of us must draw upon the source of these things for himself. Blessed are we when we recognize that this is the way of receiving and do it.”
AN attitude of gratitude…. it’s our choice. An we have those choice opportunities all the time.
Here’s an example of how gratitude goes both ways…
San Francisco Chronicle front page story: December 14, 2005, illustrated in a very clear way the transformative power of gratitude.
A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body — her tail, her torso, even a line tugging in her mouth.
A fisherman spotted her just outside the Golden Gate Bridge and radioed an environmental group for help.
Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her — a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer. They worked for hours with curved knives to free her. And she never made one aggressive move toward any of them. She did nothing that would have put the rescue workers in danger. In fact, the diver who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eye followed him the whole time and in it he could see gratitude. Eventually she was freed. And when she was free, the divers said she did something completely unexpected.
She didn’t just immediately head out to sea. Instead, she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then swam back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around — as if to say, “Thank you.” The rescue workers reported it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives and that they would never be the same.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
~ John F. Kennedy
Great Morning Beloved!!
In the spring of 1968, right before my freshman year finals at West Chester, I received a call from one of my boyfriend Fred’s roommates at Ohio State, where he was attending college. The call was to inform me that he had been killed when a car struck him while riding his motorcycle.
That was my first real experience of grief….and mourning. Mourning is the outward expression, grief is the internal process. Mourning is the external part of loss. It is the actions we take, the rituals and the customs. It’s how we process loss.
I remember going through the stages of grief…lots of denial and anger. And eventual acceptance.
When my Father died, in a car crash, more than 2 decades later, I experienced grief and mourning in a different way.
My Father’s death led to a journey of discovery, about what my relationship with my Father was and what that discovery would lead to for me.
I didn’t mourn my Father’s passing. And after the funeral, it was a time of memories and laughter. Partly, because that was what my Father was known for…the life of the party to many. But partly too, because I was glad in some ways that he was no longer around to hurt my Mother, or to hurt me.
Loss comes in many ways, and the loss of someone dear to you or even the loss of a dear pet, can put us in a state of pain, of missing that person, or that pet.
We can also mourn and process grief at the loss of a relationship, a job, a home…anything that you held close to your heart, that meant something special to you.
It is said that You will understand what true freedom is when you understand the impermanence of life. At any moment life can change from life affirming conditions, to conditions that are not life affirming.
The real question is do you truly understand this? Conditions that don’t support life will change for many today, if you understand this can occur at any time, it will allow you to let go of all the nonsense you think you need for your life to be. The only place of true freedom is in understanding this.
When you know your current form of existence to be temporary, how can you not be grateful and know that now is the only moment that ever is. Death is not truly death, it’s merely the existence of changing conditions.
The Bible tells us:
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26).
The ‘enemies’ of Christ Consciousness are the illusions of separation and limitation that confuse our minds and distract us from our spiritual Truth. The greatest illusion, of course, is the one that tells us we are finite, mortal beings who cannot escape the ultimate fear, death.
We know that is not true…we are eternal beings having a physical experience.
We know that very form of physical life has a beginning and an end. Death as just a door to a different form of existence.
Robert Brunet tells us:
“We in the Western world are generally not comfortable with death in any form. We tend to acknowledge and celebrate beginnings and to deny and to lament endings. We rejoice at a birth yet often see death as a tragedy. We celebrate weddings but tend to see divorce as a failure. Even a graduation ceremony, an obvious time to acknowledge an ending, is referred to as a “commencement” and the keynote speaker will typically address “the vast and limitless future that lies ahead.”
Good as it is that we celebrate beginnings, endings also need to be honored and perhaps even celebrated. We can truly experience a new beginning only when we have fully dealt with the ending that preceded it; otherwise, we simply carry the unfinished business of the past into the future
And so we have grief. That cycle to attend to unfinished business.
Grief is the internal part of loss, how we feel. The internal work of grief is a process, a journey. It does not end on a certain day or date. It is as individual as each of us. Grief is real because loss is real.
Each grief has its own imprint, as distinctive and as unique as the person we lost. The difference between the loss of Fred and of my Father, are perfect examples.
I definitely went through the 5 Stages of grief when Fred died. Not so with my Father. There really was no grief for my Father, but maybe for something else as I learned more of my relationship with him.
The pain of a loss can be so intense, so heartbreaking, because in loving we deeply connect with another being, and grief is the reflection of the connection that has been lost. Our grief is a result of the love we had for the lost love one.
We think we want to avoid the grief, but really it is the pain of the loss we want to avoid. Grief is the healing process that ultimately brings us comfort in our pain.
There are five stages to grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. They are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live without the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling.
But they are not stops on some timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss as there is no typical loss. Our grief is as individual as our lives.
Grief is the healing process that helps us deal with the loss of a loved-one. It does not have a clear beginning or clear end to it. Rather, it is a reflection of feelings surrounding the loss. Grief will ebb and flow throughout our life after a loss. We don’t get over the loss of someone, but we learn to live with that loss. We also will eventually remember and honor our loved one without feeling pain. We will grieve as long as we need to.
The Five Stages of Grief according to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross are:
Denial is the first stage of grief. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day.
Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle. As you accept the reality of the loss and start to ask yourself questions, you are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the denial is beginning to fade. But as you proceed, all the feelings you were denying begin to surface.
Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal.
There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing.
Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss. At first grief feels like being lost at sea: no connection to anything. Then you get angry at someone…The anger becomes a bridge over the open sea, a connection from you to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing. We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love.
Before a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God,” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.” After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others. Then can I wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream?”
We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What“ if…” statements. We want life returned to what is was; we want our loved one restored. We want to go back in time: find the tumor sooner, recognize the illness more quickly, stop the accident from happening…if only, if only, if only.
Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. The “if onlys” cause us to find fault in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently. We may even bargain with the pain. We will do anything not to feel the pain of this loss. We remain in the past, trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt.
People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one.
After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever.
It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss.
The loss of a loved one is a very depressing situation, and depression is a normal and appropriate response. To not experience depression after a loved one dies would be unusual. If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way.
Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one.
This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing.
Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad ones. As we begin to live again and enjoy our life, we often feel that in doing so, we are betraying our loved one. We can never replace what has been lost, but we can make new connections, new meaningful relationships, new inter-dependencies.
And while it may feel like we are caught up in a never-ending spiral of sadness and emptiness, it is important to remember that the grief we are feeling is not a permanent state of being. Rather, grief is part of the process of letting go that in many ways can be a gift, allowing us to go deeper within ourselves to rediscover the light amidst the seeming darkness.
Think about this:
One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They waited anxiously at their desks for the test to begin. The professor handed out the question paper, with the text facing down as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked his students to turn the page and begin. To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions….just a black dot in the center of the page. The professor seeing the expression on everyone’s face, told them the following:
“I want you to write what you see there.”
The students confused, got started on the inexplicable task.
At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one of them aloud in front of all the students. All of them with no exceptions, described the black dot, trying to explain its position in the middle of the sheet, etc. etc. etc. After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor began to explain:
“I am not going to grade on you this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same happens in our lives. We have a white paper to observe and enjoy, but we always focus on the dark spots. Our life is a gift given to us by God, with love and care, and we always have reasons to celebrate – nature renewing itself everyday, our friends around us, the job that provides our livelihood, the miracles we see everyday.
However we insist on focusing only on the dark spots – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend, etc.
The dark spots are very small compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds.
Take your eyes away from the black spots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you.
Or affirm this:
this too is good, this too is god, this too is for me and i demand to see the good in it now.
Great Morning Beloved!!!
The Golden Key
We’ve heard of many tricks and ways to keep us grounded and moving forward as we travel this physical life. Often our journey is filled with twists and turns, happenings and opportunities that could throw us off course.
We Travel this Spiritual Journey knowing that we could be tested. And most of us have been.
But what puts us back on that Spiritual path? What is it that ‘straightens us out?
Many people will have a different response to those questions.
Sometimes it’s a long drawn out series of steps we are told to take…do this or do that and you will be better.
But what if it’s really a simple thing? What if there is an easy answer to any question, any problem, any issue?
What of we just “Golden Key it?”
What does that mean?
It means give it to God.
We know that God is omniscience (all-knowing), omnipotence (all-powerful), and omnipresence (all-present).
There isn’t anything that this Divine Energy cannot accomplish. Yet we fail time and again to call upon that same energy to guide us through difficulties we have here on this physical plane.
We are made in the image and likeness of our Creator. We have the ability to draw on this power. No special prerogative of the mystic or the saint, as is so often supposed, or even of the highly trained preacher, minister or even spiritual leader has any more authority to call on God. Everyone has this same ability.
That is the golden key. That is the answer to what you are asking for when we all place the issue, the difficulty, the dis-ease in our Creator’s hands, well MIND really.
We Golden Key it.
Whoever you are, wherever you may be, the golden key to harmony is in your hand now.
When we turn our challenge over to God, we are going past our limitations or weaknesses. They are not limitations or weaknesses to God. We are the channel through which the divine action takes place, and we are just getting ourselves out of the way.
All we need is an open mind and faith.
And what does ‘getting out of the way’ entail?
Stop thinking about the difficulty, whatever it is, and think about God instead.
That’s it. That’s the answer.
That’s the Golden Key.
Yet we place energy into our worry in so many unproductive ways.
Dr. Paul Brandwein, at the George Washington high school in New York City,
used a simple yet dramatic demonstration to point this out to his students.
When the students came into class, he had a bottle of milk perched on a laboratory desk. After they were seated and wondering what experiment the milk was for, the doctor would startle the students by smashing the bottle of milk into the sink and exclaiming,
“Don’t cry over spilt milk!”
He then invited his students to gather around the sink. “Take a good look,” he said, “because I want you to remember this lesson for the rest of your lives. That milk is gone, you can see it is down the drain; and all the fussing, and hair-pulling in the world will not bring back a single drop of it. All we can do is write it off, forget it, and go on to
the next thing.”
We Golden Key it.
If only we will do this, the trouble, whatever it is, will disappear. It makes no difference what kind of trouble it is. It may be a big thing or a little thing; it may concern health, finance, a lawsuit, a quarrel, an accident, or anything else conceivable; but whatever it is, stop thinking about it and think of God instead—that is all you need do.
What could be simpler. It’s just like the story about where to place our divinity….
Do you recall it?
According to an old Hindu legend, there was a time when all human beings were gods, but they abused their divinity. So, Brahma, the chief god, decided to take the divinity away from them and hide it somewhere they could never find it.
Brahma called a council of the other gods to help him decide where to hide the divinity.
“Let’s bury it deep in the earth,” said the gods. But Brahma answered, “Humans will dig into the earth and find it.”
Some gods suggested, “Let’s sink it in the deepest ocean.” But Brahma said, “No, Humans will learn to dive into the ocean and will find it.”
Then some gods suggested, “Let’s take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there.” Brahma replied, “Humans will eventually climb every mountain and take up their divinity.”
Then all the gods gave up and said, “We do not know where to hide it, because it seems that there is no place on earth or ocean that human beings will not eventually reach.”
Brahma thought for a long time said, “We will hide their divinity deep into the center of their own being, Humans will search for it here and there, but they won’t look for the divinity inside their true selves”
All the gods agreed that this was the perfect hiding place, and the deed was done.
And since then, humans have been going up and down the earth, digging, diving, climbing, and exploring, searching for something, which already lies within themselves.
“Divinity lies within us all”
And so it is with The Golden Key.
God could scarcely have made it simpler
So simple yet so difficult….because we make it so.
We get in the way…
So maybe we should practice putting God first…use the Golden Key.
Think on these things…
God is wisdom, truth, inconceivable love. God is present everywhere, has infinite power, knows everything. It matters not how well you may think you understand these things; go over them repeatedly and know they are the TRUTH.
So, stop thinking of the trouble, whatever it is. This is what you don’t wish for in your life.
The rule is to think about God. If you are thinking about your difficulty, you are not thinking about God.
The key is, we can’t think of more than one thing at a time…so it’s either God, the Good or the problem.
It’s either love or fear….and we talked about fear last week.
Also, to be continually glancing over your shoulder in order to see how matters are progressing is will only bring the problem to you, because it is thinking of the trouble, bringing the problem into you consciousness and you don’t want that…must think of God and nothing else.
It’s the old axiom, you don’t dig up a seed to see if its growing!
Your object is to drive the thought of the difficulty out of your consciousness, for a few moments at least, substituting for it the thought of God.
Try constantly repeating a statement of absolute Truth, such as: There is no power but God;
I am a child of God, filled and surrounded by the perfect peace of God;
God is love;
God is guiding me now; or, perhaps best and simplest of all,
God is with me
—however mechanical or trite it may seem—you will soon find that your mind is clearing; be quiet, but insistent. Each time you find your attention wandering, switch it back to God.
Do not try to think in advance what the solution to your difficulty will be. … Leave the question of ways and means to God.
You want to get out of your difficulty—that is sufficient. You do your half, and God will never fail to do God’s part.
It’s asking the question, who’s business is it—yours? Someone else’s? Or God’s?
You take care of yours, never mind someone else’s and God will take care of God’s.
Isaiah 26:3-4 tells us:
“Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—in peace because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.”
Rev. Tom Shephard interprets this scripture: “This brief passage is a universal prescription for whatever is disturbing us. The prescription is that we remain “of steadfast mind”—that we know without question, doubt or distraction the truth that we are the Allness of God seeking to express in this human experience. We must truly understand our innate Oneness with the divine energy we call God. We must never slip back into victim consciousness. The Presence of God within us—is the everlasting rock on which everything can be built. If we find ourselves distressed, depressed, doubting or confused, we can simply quiet our minds, focus on the reality of God, and allow the promised peace to guide us forward. Take your mind off your problem and put your mind on God.
To act out the principle of turning prayers over to God, one family took a paper bag, wrote “God” on it, and taped it up high on the back of their kitchen door. As they prayed about matters such as their careers, their role as a father, or mother, their abilities to be a good husband, or wife, they would write down each concern on a piece of paper.
All those pieces of paper went in the bag. The rule was that if you start worrying about a matter of prayer that you have turned over to God, you have to climb up on a chair and fish it out of the bag. The family said that they did not want to admit how much time they spent sifting through those scraps of paper! But it taught them an important lesson of how useless and unnecessary worry is.