Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Lord Preserveth the Simple (Count Me In!) - New Thought Sunday Message June 27, 2010

"Most things go well for most people and stuff that goes wrong is insignificant in proportion to all the things that go right. Millions of things have functioned productively for you today, but you have been trained to notice the few things that don't and build your experience around them. Any problem you recognize [usually] represents a tiny blip on the radar screen of your well-being." Alan Cohen "Why Your Life Sucks" (2002)

What if the only prayer you felt like saying today was this: Dear God, I'm fine. I don't need anything. Thank you for my life.

Scary? For a lot of people. "But, I DO need stuff. How could I lie to God by saying I don't need anything?" You couldn't. And I am not suggesting that you say this prayer just to prove a point. I am suggesting that you make a mental and emotional change in your perspective about what it is you actually need, and what you actually have in your life. If you counted your blessings, I would bet you'd find that it isn't necessary to seek anything from Spirit. Besides, your Source has already given you everything you need.

No? Let's see. . .

New Thought teaches that the universe is an abundant, rich, and marvelous place, full of all kinds of experiences. We can choose to see our personal experiences as good or bad, but in the view of the universe, they are simply experiences. When we change our mind about the experience, the experience changes. Remember: desperation produces little. And often, when we beseech God, we come to Him/Her/It in a state of nervous tension. We are fearful for our children. We are on the verge of financial ruin. We just got a negative health report. We just heard of a death in the family. Our mortgage is being called. The last can of soup is about to be opened. The dog has rabies. The cat is pregnant. Insert your desperation here.

Most of our daily challenges are not at the extreme level as those I have just listed. Often, our biggest need, complaint, desire, demand is a new dress, a DVD player, a raise—you know, mundane stuff. And we let them turn our hair gray.

I'm not making light of your challenges. I have plenty. And I used to come to God on my knees, sometimes in tears, almost demanding an answer to my prayer, my need. The answers were, more often than not, slow in coming.

The problem? I was too caught up in the hurt and pain to recognize the solution. I was caught up in the worry rather than in the possibilities. A simple change of mind was in order. Simple, but not necessarily easy.

Worry, it has been said, is a form of atheism. To say you trust in Higher Power and to worry over an outcome is in fact a contradiction. Fear, worry, anger, demand. These are hindrances to Love's ability to get you out of tight places. To say you know that Spirit will intervene and then to become impatient is saying you know better than Spirit. Your timing is of the essence, not the timing of the universe. Been there? Probably.
OK, so what's the answer? Simple (again, not easy). Let go of everything but Love/Spirit/God (whatever you choose to call The Source of All That Is). Nineteenth century New Thought (transcendentalist) teacher extraordinaire Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way: "Take your mind off the problem and put it on God."
Can you do that? Sure, but will you? Do you? Rarely. We look into the future and see a scary outcome. Lucius Annaeus Seneca said, "There is nothing so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness is it in expecting evil before it arrives."
Here's another simple method to help you overcome your fear and worry, to stop being an atheist (unless, of course, you want to be an atheist; I'm not here to judge.):
1.   Get a clear idea of what you want—financially, relationally, professionally, health-wise, spiritually, etc. It's been said, and I agree, that to be realistic, plan for a miracle.
2.   Make a commitment. It has been said that in order to accomplish something, you must be willing to do whatever it takes. Are you? If not, why bother? If so, guaranteed. "Ninety-nine per cent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses." George Washington Carver
3.   Accept that your answer has already arrived, even if you can't detect it yet. (We call that faith.) I love this passage from the Jewish Talmud: "Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers 'grow, grow.' "
4.   Finally, trust.* Even more, know. Let go of the outcome. The Power and Presence that is the very essence of your being wants to give you everything you desire. It is God's good pleasure to give you the kingdom, as the Scriptures say. "Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone." Robert Allen
Simple enough. Easy? Could be. Your choice. The universe is awash with possibilities. Stretch out your arms and receive. But don't demand. Then, after everything I've just written, remember, as Bertrand Russell said, ". . .to be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness." Can you live with that?

"The Lord preserveth the simple." Ps. 116:6

*Trust is not hope. Hope says maybe. Trust says definitely.

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