CREATING AN EXPANDED AWARENESS
At the core of our New Thought teachings are four fundamental Spiritual Truths. They are:
Truth 1: We are Divine, Spiritual Beings: We believe the Scriptures that say:
We are made in the image and likeness of God;a
God is nearer than our hands and feet; closer than our breath;b
The Father and I are one;c
Know you not that ye are gods?d. . .
. . . and we believe that at any moment, any moment!, we can AWAKEN to our own Divinity.
Truth 2: God is ALWAYS present in our lives, because everything is God - God is the creator, the creative process and the creation of all that is. There is nothing that is not God - or said another way, it is ALL GOD . . .
. . . and in the blink of an eye, we can become AWARE of this Presence.
Truth 3: God's Power of creation is constantly at work through a creative process we call "The Law." This creative process works through us and in us constantly . . .
. . . and with each breath, we can become AVAILABLE to work in harmony with it.
Truth 4: God is good all the time - 24/7 - and God's infinite goodness is available to us in abundant form, simply because of who we are. We are heirs to the kingdom of God . . .
. . . and in a heartbeat, we can ALIGN ourselves with this Infinite Good!
Becoming and STAYING AWAKE, AWARE, AVAILABLE and ALIGNED to these Truths is the key to living -- to living an empowered, connected, on-purpose, dreams-come-true, God-filled life!
How about making this your monthly affirmation? I am now awake, aware, available and aligned to the Presence and Power of God in my life. [Now stop for a moment and let that statement sink in and expand your consciousness.] I look for what I want to see, and I see it everywhere I look!
Today, our focus is on the second line of the affirmation: I look for what I want to see, and I see it everywhere I look! In other words, I BECOME AWARE (or more aware) and STAY AWARE of God's Presence in my life.
That's where we are going to go today, and I want to begin with a story, a true story.
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold December morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that at least a thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by and a middle-aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.
A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and, without stopping, continued to walk.
A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3-year-old boy. His mother dragged him along, hurried, but the child stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time.
This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, however, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace.
When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded; there was no recognition of any kind. He collected $32.
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. And in the previous 45 minutes, he played one of the most intricate pieces of music ever written with a violin worth $3.5 million.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston for an average of $100 per seat.
Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was part of a social experience organized by the Washington Post. The question being studied was:
In a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour:
Do we perceive beauty?
Do we stop to appreciate it?
Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written on one of the finest instruments every created, how many other things are we missing?
Just think for a moment - what would you have done? You might like to think that, "Oh, I would have stopped. I would have realized the gift that was right in front of me. I would have taken advantage of that once-in-a-lifetime moment!"
And perhaps, perhaps, you would have been among the 6 who did. But let's get honest -- most of us - mostly likely not! We really do go through life often on autopilot, moving through life with blinders on.
Today, my desire is that we each walk out of this sanctuary this morning with a commitment to take the blinders off and move to an expanded level of AWARENESS of God in your life - because, just like Joshua Bell, the great concert violinist playing in the subway, all of God's Presence, Power, Plenty, Peace, Poise, Perfection, and Prosperity - all of it is right in front of us - we just have to be AWARE of it!
I love these words of John Waterhouse in his book Five Steps to Freedom. He writes: "All of creation perfectly expresses Spirit. . . . Ours is not to force the world into a submission of perfection, but rather to become evermore aware of the presence of Spirit in everything that we see, hear, taste, smell, feel, and know. Perfection is something of which to become aware, not something to achieve."e
Or these from Eric Butterworth in his book Spiritual Economics: "The whole of infinite substance is present where you are, but you have to get that awareness into your consciousness by your own discipline and commitment."f
So, today, through a little discipline and commitment, we are going to GET and KEEP that awareness into our consciousness. I am going to suggest we do this by adopting a certain attitude, which can be facilitated by having two phrases in our active mental and verbal vocabulary. The phrases are:
Oh, how usual!
That's just great!
Say them with me, please. Good. Now let's talk about them.
OH, HOW USUAL!
1. Oh, how usual!
When you have had an answer to prayer OR when something has unfolded in your life just the way you affirmed it would OR when a perfect opportunity just presents itself to you, what do you usually say, either in your head or out loud? Don't we say things like:
That was unbelievable!
Did you see what just happened?
Can you believe it happened? I can't!
It was a miracle!
I'm in shock that that just happened!
That was so amazing - it blows my mind!
That's one for the books!
Or we hear in our heads . . . [Mark plays Twilight Zone music].
Right? Come on we all do it! I do it!
But what I want you to realize this morning is that they are not supernatural, extraordinary or miraculous things to be shocked and in amazement about - they are simply God, the Universe, at work conspiring for your good! And this is always happening, we just aren't aware of it.
Ernest Holmes writes in the Science Of Mind: "The Science of Mind . . . is the study of Life . . . ; the idea that we live in a spiritual Universe; that God is in, through, around and for us. There is nothing supernatural anywhere, on any plane; that which today seems to us supernatural, after it is understood will be found spontaneously natural."g
And when we set the intention to have an expanded awareness of God's presence in our lives and when we commit to looking at evidence of God's presence as "Oh, how usual events," rather than miracles or out-of the-ordinary happenings, we see more of what is already there and therefore have more of it in our conscious experience!
OK, so say with me: "Oh, how usual!"
Good, you're getting the hang of it. Begin using that phrase more and more and more to open your AWARENESS of God's Presence in your life.
THAT'S JUST GREAT!
2. That's Just Great!
The second phrase to help keep us aware of God's presence in our lives is: "That's just great." Not said in a sarcastic way, now! But said when things don't go like we might like them to!
When you can have the discipline to say "that's just great" to everything in your life - you open up, you expand your awareness of God's presence, peace, power, poise, plenty, perfection and then you expand your experience of it as well!
Saying "That's just great" to all that comes into your experience helps you . . . look for what you want to see, and see it everywhere you look!
Let's take a moment now to practice our two new phrases:
When something fabulous, wonderful, "miraculous" happens, rather than be in disbelief, say: Oh, how usual!
And when something doesn't quite go your way, look at it, smile and say: That's just great!
These six simple words, when liberally applied in your life, will take off the blinders and help you BECOME and STAY AWARE of God's presence in your life.
They will help you realize that you're not alone in this. Oh, no, never, never alone! God is always with you, around you, as you - walking with you! These simple phrases help you consciously walk with God and create the life of your dreams! And so it is.
bAlfred Lord Tennyson
eJohn Waterhouse Five Steps to Freedom, p. 71
fEric Butterworth Spiritual Economics, p. 28
gErnest Holmes Science Of Mind, p. 75