LETTING LOVE BE OUR GUIDE
The founder of Religious Science, Dr. Ernest Holmes, once described the Science of Mind teachings as: "The correlation of the laws of science, the opinions of philosophy and the revelations of religion all combined to meet the needs and aspirations of humankind."a
I so love that description for a couple of reasons - First, I love the idea of weaving together science, philosophy and religion, and, second, I particularly love how practical it is. And both of these things are true for all New Thought teachings whatever umbrella they may fall under - Religious Science, Unity or Divine Science.
This beautiful Unity teaching that we are in is not just spiritual theory or theological rhetoric that we contemplate on Sunday morning and then go live a life starting Sunday afternoon disconnected to and unaware of who we are, whose we are and the power that lives as us. Rather, it is a practical, hands-on way of life that supports us in meeting our needs in this human experience. Oh, but not just meeting our needs. It's so much more than that.
It is a practical, hands-on, way of life that supports us in attaining our aspirations -- achieving our dreams -- realizing our heart's desires -- experiencing the experiences we wish to have, being the people we came here to be and touching the world in ways we are meant to touch it.
WHAT WOULD I LOVE
So, this entire month, we are going to explore the question of what are our aspirations, our dreams, our heart's desires? What are the experiences we wish to have? Who is it that we came here to be? How is it we are called to touch the world? We can find answers to those questions in the answer to another question: "What Would I Love?"
This is an interesting question, isn't it? And how many times do we actually ask ourselves that? More often than not, we ask questions such as:
"What should I do?",
"What can I afford to do?",
"What will people think of me if I do. . .?"
"What do people expect me to do?"
Do they sound familiar to you? This month, we will look at the idea of living a life we love and loving the life we live.
Because, remember this -- imbed this in your conscious awareness: Life Itself - Capital "L" Life - wants, yearns, longs, desires to be expressed as and through you!
The Cloud of Unknowing is a book of contemplative articles published in the 14th century in which an introductory line says, "a soul is oned with God." In it, it says that you think your desires are your desires. You think that they came from within you. But actually that is not true. Rather, by the time they reach your conscious mind, they are the echo of Life's desiring to express and experience Itself by means of you.
Let me say that again because it is so yummy! We think our desires are our desires. We think that they come from within us. But actually that is not true. Rather, by the time they reach our conscious minds, they are the echo of Life's desiring to express and experience Itself by means of us. And if we don't express them, they will look for another opening where the expression can be made.
Have you ever had a great idea, but didn't do anything about it because you didn't see how, didn't have the time or resources, didn't think you were good enough, didn't think the time was right, etc. and then later see it come out as some successful product?
I really want you to get it this morning. So say with me:
"My desires . . . are the echoes of Life's desires . . . to experience Itself by means of me."
And that is the Truth, that is the Spiritual Truth of your being. You did not come here to live a meager life, to live a life of struggle, to be downtrodden or burdened or oppressed.
Holmes tells us in the Science Of Mind textbook: "God is more completely expressed through the one who lives largely than through the one who lives meagerly."b
And, yet I know some of us are struggling right now, feeling downtrodden, burdened and oppressed, living meagerly. I get that, and I understand that, and I want you to know something very, very important -- You have come to the right place this morning. Because there is something here for you. Something in a song that is sung, in a prayer that is offered, in a word that is said or in the smile or contact that occurs between you and someone here. So be aware that that is true and you will receive it.
Because life is yearning, longing, wanting, desiring to express through you, today we are going to let the question "What Would I Love?" be our guide.
Usually when we think of Letting Love be Our Guide we think in terms of the way we relate to people or in terms of the place from which we made our decisions and choices. Right? We want to come from a place of love when we relate to others, right? We want to come from a place of love when we make decisions. And that is good, that is very, very good!
But this morning, I mean it in an additional context. I mean it in the context of letting "what YOU would love" be your guide in what you focus on and letting what you love guide how you spend your time, your talent, and your resources.
What if you did that? If you think about it, every single invention, every discovery and every human creation came from someone letting what they love guide them. If it were not for the love of the Wright Brothers, we could not fly in an airplane. If it were not for the love of scientists, inventors and discoverers, we would not have electricity, heating, light. We would not have cars or phones or appliances or computers to use. Without someone letting love be their guide, there would be no teachers, schools or education. There would be no books, no art and no music.
Each and every one of these things was created because someone answered the question, "What would I love?" and then they let the answer to that question guide them.
In The Power written by Rhonda Byrnes, it says: "People who have great lives think and talk about what they love more than what they don't love. And people who are struggling think and talk about what they don't love more than what they do love!"c
Or in Science Of Mind, Holmes wrote: "Whatever we think, act, believe in, feel, visualize, vision, image, read and talk about - in fact all processes which affect or impress us at all - are going into the subjective state of our thought, which is our individualized use of Universal Mind. Whatever goes into the subjective state of our thought tends to return again as some condition. So we, and we alone, control our destiny."d
So you may say, this is all well and good, but I'm struggling just to make ends meet. I've got no time, energy or resources to focus on what I love. And what I want to say about that, my friends, with a great deal of love in my heart, is that you are telling yourself a lie and then you are believing it.
I am not saying quit your day job so you can become an artist (if that is what you would love), but what if you spent some time each day seeing yourself as an artist and then spent another few minutes doing something an artist would do. This is what I'm talking about.
Then what if you neutralized your emotional engagement with the struggle pattern of whatever is going on. Yes, deal with what needs to be dealt with, but do it with as little emotional involvement possible and then get your focus back to what you would love.
And when you do that, what we call our "opportunity awareness" expands. When our mindset becomes open, then our awareness of opportunities that are available, many of which have been available all along, but which we couldn't see, is much broader. This person thinks and does things differently.
And just in case you think you have to do this all by yourself, I want you to know you don't! In fact, we are given a great promise in Psalms 37:4, 5: "Trust in the Lord; and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass."e
Wow. That's a pretty direct promise isn't it? The desires of our heart shall come to pass if what? If we play our part. And our part is so important that it is mentioned twice.
"Trust in the Lord; and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass."
What is it? We must trust. Trust! Trust!
I want to share a true story of a congregant of one of my ministerial colleagues. It's about a woman named Laura.
Laura was having a really, really rough day. Upset, unhappy, angry, crying, and generally not being very nice to anyone who crossed her path. Definitely not trusting in God, in Good! Definitely not loving her life.
She went to the bank to deposit her paycheck through a drive-up teller with one of those pneumatic tubes. The teller was very kind and kept trying to support Laura. "How can I help you? Is there something I can do for you?" she kept asking but Laura, coldly replied, "No, no, no! Just cash my check."
The teller then said to her, "I am sending you something back when I send you your deposit slip." It came in an envelope. Laura threw it on the seat next to her. She didn't even open it - not then anyway.
Let me pause for a moment from Laura's story, to tell you another story that Laura had heard several years ago in a Sunday service. When Laura was describing her encounter with the teller, she said that this story had always stuck with her, although on that day, she had forgotten it, she had completely forgotten.
The story goes like this:
A woman was lying in a hospital bed near death when a beautiful young woman came to visit her. The visitor spent loving time with the patient, listening to her and offering her comfort. When the visitor left, she gave the patient a small gift. It was a tiny ceramic frog. The patient thought it a bit odd, but frankly was too ill to really care so she asked the visitor to place it on the shelf over her head.
Shortly after the visit, the patient rallied and experienced a seemingly miraculous recovery. A nurse entered the room and, after checking on the patient somewhat in disbelieve at her turn around, she noticed the ceramic frog sitting on the shelf.
As she looked at the little frog, she said, "This explains your recovery. You have a guardian angel."
The patient was confused so the nurse continued. "I've seen a number of these little frogs in patients' rooms and every single one of them miraculously recovered. It was delivered by a beautiful young woman, wasn't it? Every such patient has described her, yet no one except those patients has ever seen her. If you turn the frog upside down, you just might understand."
The patient did just that and found written on the bottom of the little ceramic figure the letters: F - R - O - G
Followed by the words: Fully Rely On God
Now back to Laura. When she got in her car the day after her encounter with the bank teller, she saw the envelope the teller had given her and remembered that the teller said she was going to send her back something. When she opened the envelope, what do you suppose she found?
You guessed it! A little green frog on the end of a keychain - a tangible, real reminder that she can truly, completely and fully rely on God!
And we can truly, completely and fully rely on God as well to bring forth the desires of our heart, because remember by the time they get to us they are the echo of Life's desire to express Itself.
So, I ask you this morning: What would you love? Pick one thing right now. Just one thing. A healed relationship; a relationship at all. Success in your business. Releasing a business. A deeper connection with the God of your being. A return to physical vibrancy. Restoring of a broken heart. To plant flowers. To create art.
Whatever it is that you aspire to, that you dream of, that you would love get an image of it right now and close your eyes. Now just visualize it and see yourself in it; see yourself letting it guide your way as you move into this new year.
Take that vision with you as you go about your day today and just see where the Universe is leading you.
aDr. Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind
bDr. Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind, p. 404
cThe Power Rhonda Byrnes, p. 17
dDr. Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind, p. 126
ePsalms 37:4, 5 (Lamsa version)