ARE YOU READY TO SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE?
We have been speaking this month about Fully Living, and I've been asking the question "Are You Ready?" Are You Ready to do several things that will allow you to express life to the FULLEST?
Ernest Holmes in the Science Of Mind writes: "To be filled with the fullness of God is to manifest our true nature . . . "the power that worketh in us." This power is the power of God, and if we admitted no other, we should ever be satisfied, happy, prosperous, well and complete. The Spirit of God dwells in the inner man with power and might. The outer man reflects this Spirit in so far as the intellect allows it to come forth into expression."a
Are you ready -- is your intellect ready -- to allow your Spirit to come fully forth into expression so that you live like this poem suggests? Remember it from our first week?
Life is not a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving
safely in a pretty and well-preserved body.
But rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out,
and loudly proclaiming:
Wow, What a Ride! "
NOT QUITE LIKE THIS . . . . Sitting on the side of Highway 22, poised and ready to catch speeding motorists, a State Trooper sees a car puttering along at 22 m.p.h. He thinks to himself, "This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!", so he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.
Approaching the car, he sees that there are five elderly ladies in the car -- two in the front seat and three in the back. All but the driver are wide-eyed and white as ghosts. The driver, obviously confused about why she was stopped, says to the State Trooper, "Officer, I don't understand, I wasn't speeding. In fact, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?"
"Ma'am," the officer replies, "No, you weren't speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can be just as dangerous as speeding."
"Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly ... 22 miles an hour, just like that sign right there says!" the old woman says a bit proudly pointing to the Highway 22 sign.
The State Trooper, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that 22 is the Highway number, not the speed limit. A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error.
"But before I let you go, Ma'am, I have to ask... Is everyone in this car OK? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven't moved or muttered a single peep this whole time," the officer asks.
"Oh, they'll be all right in a minute, officer. We just got off Highway 99."
I don't mean a ride quite like that! But what does it take to live from that fully alive place? Well, each week, I've given you suggestions. In the briefest summary in history here they are:
Take 100% responsibility for your life and experience.
If you're not expressing Spirit as fully as you could, be willing to shift and change -- to look at things differently, respond to things differently, think about things differently;
Know the rules -- the spiritual rules - of Life, which are:
There is an Essence, a Power, a Presence from which everything comes;
The Nature of this Essence, Presence Power behind all creation is LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and all those things that flow from LOVE;
This Essence, Presence, Power behind all creation operates through its own Law, a Process that simply responds to the directives it is given.
This Essence, Presence, Power behind all creation (both the Love and Law) resides within each of us.
And, we connect with this Essence, Presence, Power behind all creation and use it through our consciousness (thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes, values, actions).
Have the discipline to practice living from the rules, even when it gets tough (that was all from week one!);
Get on purpose! (that was week 2).
(and last week) Remember how much God loves you;
Tell the truth about yourself so that you can be seen, accepted and LOVED;
Refuse to stay angry;
And, Finally, be loving, which you can easily do if you (a) remember how much God loves you, (b) tell the truth about yourself and get loved and (c) refuse to stay angry.
SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE
That was a summary of our three previous weeks. That's a pretty good formula, if I do say so myself, for letting the fullness of who we are, the Divinity that we are, express Itself through us. So, what is it going to take for us to be/do all those things? COMMITMENT. That's what I meant by today's title:
ARE YOU READY TO SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE?
You sign on the dotted line when you buy a house, when you purchase a car, when you get married, our prayer chaplains sign a dedication form, our Board members do as well . . . We are often signing on the dotted line to COMMIT to those things we want.
But are we willing to make the commitment to living fully and to do whatever it takes to do so? Now, I don't have a supply of contracts the ushers are going to hand out today for you to sign -- although I did think about doing that -- so we're looking at signing on the dotted line metaphorically.
But this morning I want you to think about signing on the dotted line to commit to your own spiritual unfoldment -- not to have just a casual relationship with it, not just to be INVOLVED with it, but to be COMMITTED to it!
Breakfast as an illustration of commitment: The chicken providing the eggs is INVOLVED in our breakfast; the cow providing the milk is INVOLVED; but the pig, providing our bacon -- now, the pig is COMMITTED.
Or here's another illustration -- A truck, carrying three lumberjacks on their way to work, got stuck in mud up to its axles. The three men sit in stony silence in the cab. There they are, stuck in the woods on their way to the cutting site.
The first man slams the steering wheel, curses, and storms out of the truck.
The second thinks the early morning woods are inviting, he's a bit tired so he decides just to crawl under a pine tree to nap until someone comes along to pull them out.
But the third man -- the third man grabs an axe and a saw and sets about cutting wood to slide under the wheels. Within an hour he manages to get the truck out of its muddy bath, and they got on their way.
Which man is really committed to being a lumberjack? Obviously, the third man. He was committed to getting to work that day. He was going to do all that was necessary to make it happen.
Judge Thomas Troward, a man very influential on Ernest Holmes, would call that Entering into the Spirit of it. In his essay "Entering into the Spirit of It", he wrote: "Entering into the Spirit of a thing makes all the difference both to us and to that which we enter. If we do not enter the spirit of a thing, it has no invigorating effect upon us, and we regard it as dull, insipid and worthless. By entering the spirit of anything we establish a mutual vivifying action and reaction between it and ourselves. We vivify it with our own vitality."b
In other words, we make it vivid - we bring it to life, and we bring ourselves to life by entering into the Spirit of It -- by being committed to it.
So this morning, you are being asked to check your commitment.
If living fully means being more prosperous - and nothing is showing up - check your commitment to do whatever it takes;
If living fully means being in a meaningful, sacred relationship and you're still alone; how committed are you to becoming the person who can be in that relationship?
If living fully means a vibrant and healthy body - what evidence do you have in your life that you are COMMITTED to your health?
Ernest Holmes wrote in the Science Of Mind: "There is no secret in this business of demonstrating. The only secret is the persistent ability to use the Law, and the determination to continue to use It until we prove It."c
But here might be the challenge. Someone once said: "Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them day after day."
We simply forget our commitment. It's easier to slip into the old patterns. We don't do it on purpose, but soon we find we are not living our commitment. We SIMPLY FORGET. Like author Howard Thurman wrote in For the Inward Journey: "Despite the dullness and barrenness of the days that pass, if I search with due diligence, I can always find a deposit left by some former radiance. But I had forgotten. At the time it was full-orbed, glorious, and resplendent. I was sure that I would never forget. In the moment of its fullness, I was sure that it would illumine my path for all the rest of my journey. I had forgotten how easy it is to forget. There was no intent to betray what seemed so sure at the time. My response was whole, clean, authentic. But little by little, there crept into my life the dust and grit of the journey. Details, lower-level demands, all kinds of cross currents -nothing momentous, nothing overwhelming, nothing flagrant - just wear and tear. If there had been some direct challenge, a clear-cut issue, I would have fought it to the end, and beyond. So, in the quietness of this place, surrounded by the all-pervading Presence of God, my heart whispers: Keep fresh before me the moments of my High Resolve, that in fair weather or foul, in good times or in tempest, in the days when the darkness and the foe are nameless or familiar, I may not forget that to which my life is committed. Keep fresh before me the moments of my High Resolve."d
I am asking each of us keep fresh before us our moments of HIGH RESOLVE and to get support, however that looks, to keep them! Prayer partners, mastermind groups, Partners in Believing groups, Real Love groups, etc.
It says in W. H. Murray's book The Scottish Himalayan Expedition; and I want to personalize it: "Until I am committed there is the chance to draw back; always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless of my ideas and splendid plans: the moment I definitely commit myself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help me that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from my decision, raising in my favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which I would never have dreamed would come my way. Whatever I can do, or dream I can, I now begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it."e
Keep before me my moments of high resolve. That is what I am asking you to do today. No one can do this for you. We can support you in it; help you in it, but you are the one who must sign on the dotted line.
And only you can say whether you are READY TO DO SO. All I can say is that if you do, buckle up, hold on to your hat and be prepared to say "Wow! What a ride!"
aErnest Holmes Science Of Mind, p. 492
bJudge Thomas Troward, essay "Entering into the Spirit of It"
cErnest Holmes Science Of Mind, p 176.3
dHoward Thurman For the Inward Journey
eW. H. Murray The Scottish Himalayan Expedition