Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Activate the Good

Connect with the Source

Not long ago I was preparing for a Sunday service and also a potluck following the service. In my attempt to be efficient, I decided to make a dish in a crock-pot and leave it at home to cook while I was at church. And so before I left for church I prepared the food, put it in the crock-pot, turned it on and left for church. After church I came home – opened the door expecting to be greeted by the smell of some great food cooking. Nothing. Oh-oh. I went to the pot and felt it – cold. Nothing happening there. I looked at the knob – it was turned on. What was going on? And then I noticed. The cord was just sitting on the counter – not plugged in.

And isn’t that just like us sometimes? We have all the great ideas about what we want to do or create – and we forget to plug in……to the Source. We are so busy doing that we forget about the great power that will support all our efforts to bring to us even greater results.

That Source, God, is everywhere present. But - God does not force itself upon us. We are not puppets in God’s hands. We can choose to plug in – or not. We do have the ability to act and think and choose all by ourselves. And that is sometime where we get tripped up. We rely solely upon our own efforts. We forget that we are CO-creators with God. That we do not have to do everything ourselves – and sometimes it is not actually the best course to pursue. But I think sometimes we can keep the 2 year old phrase, “me do it!” we want to do it, we don’t want help, and – I speak for myself – I struggle and work harder and try more………..and on and on.

Myrtle Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, has some very wise words for us in this regard. In the late 1800s when Unity was in its infancy, most of the work done by Myrtle was in correspondence with those who wrote and asked for her thoughts or advice. We are fortunate to have copies of her responses and they are in books such as this one “Healing Letters”. Now we only hear her response, we do not know what the question was, but it is often easy to guess what the writer was saying. Here is one of her responses to someone -

“When you give yourself to God to do His work, and then assume a lot of personal responsibility and think you have to plan and provide, can you not see that you are serving two masters?”

We say “I want to co-create with you God” but our actions illuminate our true feelings we want to do it all. Or - I think I know the best way to proceed. Or we ignore the inner guidance that is trying to get us to see another way. We say we want to co-create with God and then we try to do it all ourselves.

Myrtle also says to someone: “Do not do too much; leave something for God to do.” Remember we are co-creators.

Turning your activities over to God, does not mean that we will sit back and God will do it all. God only works through us. We still have a very active role to play. Remember the hokey-pokey – we put our whole selves in! Not serving two masters as Myrtle reminds us.

So, like trying to cook a meal in a crock-pot, we want to make sure we are connected to the Power Source, with God, with Spirit, with Universal Abundance.

How do we do that? How do we connect? Prayer is definitely one of the ways to re-member our connection with the divine. We really want to be careful with our words – make sure they are aligned with our principles. We do not say – I want to reconnect with God, because the Truth is - we cannot be separated from God, right? We may feel like we are, we may think we are. But what is our First Unity Principle? There is only one God, good – everywhere present. Right here, right now, in you and in me. So what we are wanting to do is remember our connection to the divine.

“Stop trying so hard …..It is when you are thinking of self that you struggle….No one, not even God, can change you or your circumstances so long as you insist upon looking at and thinking of and worrying yourself and your problems.” Myrtle Fillmore

The first step in activating our good is to go within. To connect with Infinite Spirit. To remember that we are one with the source of all good. To acknowledge where our good comes from.

And what is the next step? After we Reach in then we Reach Out. Why is reaching out so important? Why is it important that we connect with like-minded people?

Let me tell you about a fascinating glimpse into how and when we, as human beings, started communicating/connecting with each other.

Some archeologists were doing some investigation into the resting spots of the very early humans. Thy found remnants of where they gathered - fire pits and the evidence of their spear making efforts. As they uncovered ground they got a glimpse of life with these prehistoric human beings through thousands of years. One thing they noticed was that arrowhead-making stayed the same for thousands of years. It was easy to see where one person sat, chipping away at rock to make a point. Sometimes the rock was too brittle, sometimes too soft. It was like the person picked up whatever rock was close by and picked up something else that was close by that was harder and over time worked a point from the piece. Each area where someone sat was the same, the results were mixed, and the design of the tool to make the arrowheads was crude, even over thousands of years their methods did not improve. That was not what the scientists were expecting. They expected to see that over time, methods improved, better rock from surrounding areas would be used, and tools would get more and more sophisticated. And then they realized why this was not the case. The only reason things would stay them same and not progress is that there was no communication between the individuals. Each time a young person got old enough to start making a spear, they would look around, find what they could and start chipping away. In one person’s lifetime only so much progress could be made and since no one spoke to each other, no learning was passed on – each person only worked with what they could see and figure out themselves.

The scientists could actually pinpoint the point in time when humans started communicating with each other. At a certain point in time they noticed a change. They found evidence that tool-making was progressing. And they knew that one person could not have moved through this much sophistication in one lifetime. They must be sharing information. Showing each other what worked for them. Showing each the good place where they had discovered better rock for tools or for the spearheads.

It is only when they started sharing information with each other – that there was real progress. Their methods were refined, the points sharper, everyone started using the best rock for the spearhead. Everyone’s spears were shaper, faster, stronger – everyone benefitted.

This is so important. What happens when we talk to each other? We find perhaps that our difficulties are shared by others. We are not the only one. We are not alone. We don’t have to figure it all out ourselves.

It is so important to find with and connect with people who share your beliefs, your principles. To talk to each other, spend time with each other. Because it is in the every day activities of our lives that we can sometime forget our spiritual nature.

Creating a spiritual network is so important.

What are the gifts of a spiritual friendship? Trust, acceptance and love.

Trust is knowing that you are safe with this person, that you can trust them to listen to you.

Acceptance gives you the freedom to feel your feelings, say what’s on your mind without being judged or criticized. Because sometime we just have a bad day or a time in our lives that is really challenging. When we are not feeling cheerful or upbeat. And with a friendship based on acceptance we don’t have to pretend to be who we are not.

And unconditional love – who wouldn’t want to know that someone recognizes your inner beauty and joy and wisdom and will love you and appreciate you even when you are not feeling worthy of it.

These are the gifts of a spiritual friendship.

So how do we activate our Good? Reach in and Reach Out. Go within and remember that we are one with the Source, with God, with Good – and then – reach out, connect with others that can hold that Truth for you. this is the path of spiritual transformation.