THE HAVE-DO-BE MODEL
I ran across this ad for a new church coming to our fair city just the other day:
Has the heaviness of your old fashioned church got you weighted down? Try us! We are the New and Improved Lite Church of the Valley!
Studies have shown we have 24% fewer commitments than other churches. We guarantee to trim off guilt, because we are Low-Cal. Low Calvin, that is.
We promise 35-minute worship services, with 7-minute sermons. Next Sunday's exciting text is the story of the feeding of the 500. We have only 6 Commandments -- You choose which ones!
We are the home of the 7.5% tithe, AND we take the offering only every other week.
Yes, the New and Improved Lite Church of the Valley could be just what you are looking for. We are everything you want in a church... and less!
What do you think? Want to attend that church?! Well, while that may appeal to some, it is my deepest desire that WE are everything you want in a church AND MORE!
And this month we are exploring the ideas that you are MORE than what you have been told! In fact, we have been focusing on Spiritual Truths you may never have been told. Spiritual Truths such as:
You were born to bring Spirit, God, Divine Energy, to this earthly experience in your own perfect way!
You are here so that the Divine Idea of Life might fulfill Itself.
You are here so that the Divine Circuitry may be complete.
You are here to bring the metaphysical (the unformed, infinite potentiality) into the physical (the formed, the tangible).
You are completely worthy and deserving regardless of what has been done to you or what you have done! and
By your very nature, you are creative . . . . . . . to summarize the month so far.
Today we wrap up this theme by dispelling one final untruth we may well have been told by taking a look at a particular mode or model of operating through life! It's called the "Have-Do-Be" model. I know you all know it. It looks like this:
I need to HAVE the right education in order to DO the right job to BE successful;
I need to HAVE the opportunity to DO a different job in order to BE respected;
I need to HAVE a loving relationship in my life in order to DO all the things I want to do in order to BE fulfilled;
I need to HAVE a more cooperative spouse in order to DO marriage properly in order to BE loving;
I need to HAVE enough money in order to DO certain activities so that I can BE happy.
Or, there this variation on this model; it's called the "Do - Have - Be" Model:
I need to DO what is required of me in order to HAVE a healthy body in order to BE whole;
I need to DO activities to protect myself so that I can HAVE enough security to BE at peace;
I need to DO the right job in order to HAVE enough money in order to BE abundant.
The variations on these two models could go on forever, but I think you get the drift. I'm describing models of thinking and operating that we have been told are the way to show up in life to get ahead. But I want to explore this morning that they are both bass-ackwards (can I say that in church??!).
Neither of these models will invite great and even greater possibilities from you. Neither of them will support your living a life in rich and meaningful communion with the God of your Being.
Why? Because they are not grounded in Spiritual Truth - they are outer focused, not inner focused. They are putting the cart before the horse; the chicken before the egg. They are focused on EFFECT not at CAUSE. And we now know that life is lived from the INSIDE OUT!
We often think what we require is money, friends and physical healing. And we all do need these things. But they are the effects of right relationships to life. Right relationships to life are CAUSE.
Imagine the possibilities of how life might work if we started with Cause by switching either of these models to the "Be-Do-Have" Model!
German educator Freidrich Froebel once wrote: "The true origin of man's activity and creativeness lies in his increasing impulse to embody outside of himself the divine and spiritual elements within him."a
Thomas Troward, one of our spiritual teachers wrote: "The highest consciousness is not one of possession, but of being. The greater your consciousness of being, the more automatically will the Law flow from this consciousness into the acquisition of that which you desire."b
Using the examples I gave a moment ago, here are the spiritual elements involved:
success * respect * fulfillment * love * happiness
wholeness * peace * abundance
Rather than striving for those things -- let us BE those things. Because the Truth is (which you may not have been told) we already are those things!
It is our divine nature, the indwelling Presence of God, that urges us to express that which we are. The model that will lead to fulfillment and a deep sense of satisfaction is Be, Do, Have.
First, we turn to our essence. When we are in touch with that, what we DO will flow forth out of it with effortless ease and we will HAVE the life experience our heart's desire.
Whenever you connect with your innate oneness with God, you will, as Thoreau said: "Live with the license of a higher order of being."c
Few people realize this truth - but that is what the wise have told us since the beginning of time.
Jesus was referring to this when he said: "Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing."d
To abide in Him symbolically means to awaken to the realization of our own innateness, that life is lived from within out.
Our greatest power is the power to consciously become that which we have been created to be. We are told in the sacred Judeo-Christian scripture: "But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God."e
Receiving = consciousness awareness
Believing in his name = Accepting your true nature
You are a unique individualization of the Spirit, and you are endowed with the power to be what you were created to be. You already have within you:
success * respect * fulfillment * love * happiness
wholeness * peace * abundance
You don't need to HAVE anything or DO anything to make that so! It already is so.
Eric Butterworth wrote: "You live and move and have your being in God, who is Being. Thus, you are Being being you. The whole meaning of life is that we are in the process of becoming that which we innately are. That is why you can affirm that you are whole even when you are sick, why you can claim you are free even when you are in bondage. There is always the perfection of Being within the changing process of becoming."f
Ghandi said: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."g
So - of course - the big question is how!?
It starts with choice. Make a choice to "back into beingness," meaning begin where you want to end.
Choose your aspect of Divinity at the moment it seems the farthest away. How can I be it (happy * at peace* successful * abundant * etc.) when I am not - at least not consciously?
Give it away to someone else! Because the moment you give it, you realize you must have had it all along - otherwise, you couldn't have given it away. That is how we "back into beingness."
I've heard Deepak Chopra say that he began telling his children while they were still very young to forget about money, good grades and the best schools [HAVING and DOING]. Instead, he encouraged them to discover for themselves what they love [BEING] and then ask themselves how they could serve humanity with it.h In other words -- discover how they could give it away.
All life starts with the self-givingness of God. And so it is with us. Our life experiences begin with self-givingness. "Whatever I give to thee is received by me."
Imagine the possibilities for our world if we gave away that which we desired for ourselves. We might be just the last person needed to have that consciousness to change the perspective of the entire world!
There is a story Gandhi liked to tell. It went like this:
Two birds are sitting on a tree branch in winter. "Tell me the weight of a snowflake," a coal-mouse asked a wild dove. "Nothing more than nothing," was the answer.
"In that case, I must tell you a marvelous story," the coal-mouse said. "I sat on the branch of a fir, close to its trunk when it began to snow--not heavily, not in a raging blizzard--no, just like a dream, without a word, and without any violence. Since I did not have anything better to do, I counted the snowflakes settling on the on the twigs and needles of my branch. Their number was exactly 741,952. When the 741,953rd snowflake dropped onto the branch, nothing more than nothing, as you say--the branch broke off."
Having said that, the coal-mouse flew away. The dove, since Noah's time an authority on the matter, thought about the story for a while, and finally said to herself, "Perhaps there is only one person lacking for peace to come to the world."
By reversing the "Have-Do-Be" model and living from BEINGNESS you just might be that final snowflake - that "nothing more than nothing" - which changes everything!
Perhaps you are the only person needed for peace to come to the world. Perhaps you are the only person needed for love to become the norm in our world. Perhaps you are the only person needed for respect and fulfillment and abundance and happiness and wholeness to become the qualities by which we all live.
As the medieval mystic, Canon Farrar, once said: "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do; and what I ought to do by the grace of God I will do."i
Let us join together now in a reflection. Close your eyes and take a moment to breath deeply into the depth of your beingness. Touch into the Spiritual Truths of who you are - despite what you were told. Feel into the Truth of you AS success [pause] . . . . as respect [pause] . . . . as fulfillment [pause] . . . . as love [pause] . . . . as happiness [pause] . . . . as wholeness [pause] . . . . as peace [pause] . . . . as abundance [pause] . . . . Now, choose one of those qualities - success, respect, fulfillment, love, happiness, wholeness, peace, abundance [pause] . . . . and ask the Divine Center within you: "How might I give this quality to the world? [pause] . . . . "How might I give this quality to the world?" [pause] . . . . Invite a clear and specific knowingness of how you might BE this quality in the world [pause] . . . . See yourself BEING it [pause] . . . . See the world receiving it [pause] . . . . And then repeat softly aloud after me:
I am only one . . . but I am one. . . . I cannot BE everything, . . . .but I can BE this . . . . What I can BE . . . ., I ought to BE . . . and what I ought to BE . . . by the grace of God I AM!
And so it is.