ARE YOU A SECRET AGENT?
On the way home from church, a little girl turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, the preacher's talk this morning confused me." The mother said, "Oh, why is that."
The girl replied, "Well, she said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?"
"Yes, that's true," the mother responded.
"And she also said that God lives within us. Is that true too?"
Again the mother replied, "Yes."
"Well, that's where I get confused," said the little girl, "if God is bigger than me and lives in me, why doesn't God show through me?"
Today, we continue our month of exploring living from a "Through Me" Consciousness -- not Why Me, and not By Me -- but Through Me. And today we are going to explore whether God is showing through you.
Two cars were waiting at a stoplight. The light turned green, but the man in the front car was looking down at something, and he didn't notice it. A woman in the car behind him watches as the traffic in the other lanes pass them. The more cars that pass, the more irritated she gets, so she begins honking her horn, then pounding on the steering wheel and then yelling at the man to move.
But, alas, the man does not move. The woman now goes ballistic inside her car, ranting and raving at the man, pounding her steering wheel and dash even harder. The light turns yellow and the woman lays on her horn and begins to scream profanities at him.
The man finally looks up, sees the yellow light and accelerates through the intersection just as the light turns red, leaving her to sit through another light.
The woman is beside herself, and as she is in mid-rant, she hears a tap on her window. She looks up into the barrel of a gun held by a very serious looking police officer.
The police officer tells her to shut off her car while keeping both hands in sight. She complies, speechless at what is happening. After she shuts off the engine, the policeman orders her to exit the car with her hands up.
She gets out of the car, and he orders her to turn and to place her hands on the car. She turns, places her hands on the car and quickly is cuffed and hustled into the patrol car. She is too bewildered and frightened by the chain of events to ask any questions and is driven to the police station where she is fingerprinted, photographed, searched, booked, and placed in a cell.
After a couple of hours, a policeman approaches the cell and opens the door for her. She is escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer is waiting with her personal effects.
He hands her the bag containing her things and says, "I'm really sorry for this mistake, ma'am. But you see, I pulled up behind you while you were blowing the horn, pounding your fists on the steering wheel and cursing up a blue streak.
Then I noticed the bumper stickers saying "What Would Jesus Do?' "Christ is the Way" and "Follow Me to Sunday School" . . . so naturally I assumed you stole the car!"
If you were arrested for being a Unity student, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Is the answer to that question "yes, most definitely!" -- or, it is "well, no, not really. In fact, I'm doing a pretty good job being a Unity secret agent!" ??
In that context this morning, we are going to explore two specific questions:
Do your actions in the world reflect your core beliefs?
And are you willing to share those beliefs -- through your actions and your deeds and your words -- with others?
1: DO YOUR ACTIONS IN THE WORLD REFLECT YOUR CORE BELIEFS?
Question No. 1: Do your actions in the world reflect your core beliefs?
I am not asking you this question this morning to make you feel guilty, but rather to invite you into some personal reflection and assessment.
Peace Pilgrim: "The key word for our time is practice. We have all the light we need, we just have to put it into practice."a
Ashley Montagaue, PhD: "If you want to know what people believe, don't read what they write, don't ask them what they believe, just observe what they do. The only measure of what you believe is what you do."b
Jesus told the people: "By their fruits you will know them."c
Do your actions -- your fruits -- reflect what you believe? I think sometimes we can be more like our friend in the car illustration.
Who knows what would happen in the world if we were to speak and live the truth? It's never been tried. The world has never yet followed the simple ethics of Jesus.
Charles Fillmore wrote in The Pure Reason and Honest Logic of Practical Christianity: "Jesus knew that words without works are dead, and his whole life and teaching had for object and aim the demonstration in actual, everyday life of a religion based upon Truth."d
What makes up the simple ethics of Jesus? The teachings we have embraced in New Thought. There are ten core concepts I would like you to consider. Think about these concepts and just assess where you are living in each of them.
1. One God, One Power, One Presence in through and as all things. In, through and as me and each and every one of us! "The Kingdom of heaven is within."e "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you . . therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."f
This implies our oneness with one another. Unity minister's statement:
I long for the day when we say:
My race is human
My Religion is Oneness
My God is Love.
2. The One God, One Power, One Presence is threefold in nature -- Spirit (the self-knowing, thinking center; the center of beauty, love and Truth), the Law (the process through which Spirit creates) and Body (that which is created). The Holy Trinity. As God is threefold in Nature -- so are we.
3. Because of this threefold nature, the Divine Creative Process is always happening -- Spirit is planting thoughts/intentions/desire into the Law (or the production plant) that manifests the results. The Divine Creative process is always operating in us as well, through our consciousness. "It is done unto as you believe. Your faith hath made thee whole."g
4. God's eternal good is readily available and one tool for bringing it into our experience is through affirmative prayer.
5. Because there is only One God, One Power, One Presence, there is not God AND anything. Not God and the devil; not Love and Evil. Only God; Only Love. H. Emilie Cady in How I Used Truth "There is no evil in reality, or in Truth. Evil can have neither presence nor power, and must exist only as long as we hold that belief."h
6. Infinite abundance abounds -- just look at the leaves on the trees -- and we have a Divine Right to that abundance - "It is the Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom."i
7. We live in a reciprocal universe -- that which we put out, returns to us. "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."j
8. God does NOT forgive (nothing to be forgiven in Divine Love), but as long as we judge (anybody not do that?) we must forgive - "seventy time seven"k the Master Teacher told us.
9. God is eternal Life; therefore I am an immortal being. When Jesus was asked by his disciples what was God's relationship to the dead, he said: "He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him."l
10. Finally, Christ or Cosmic Consciousness . . . ."These things and more ye shall do also."m
2: ARE YOU WILLING TO SHARE
Question 2: Are you willing to share those beliefs -- through your actions and your deeds and your words -- with others?
A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at McDonald's. He noticed that they had ordered one meal, and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the older gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, then counted out fries, one for him, one for her, until each had half of them.
Then the old man poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap.
The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn't have to split theirs.
The old gentleman said, "Oh, no. We've been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared, 50/50."
The young man then asked the wife if she was going to eat, and she replied, "Not yet. It's his turn with the teeth."
Today, Are you willing to share this belief system in action, deed and word?
One of the early new thought leaders said "We are a preaching and teaching, not a proselytizing, order of the Christian faith."
Because of this, I think, we - as a movement - have been quite reticent to proclaim our Religious faith. I know I have!
Mat 5:14-16: "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."n
Isn't it time that Unity ceased being one of the best well kept secrets?! I'm not suggesting we go around on bicycles in white shirts, black slacks and ties distributing pamphlets door to door, but . . .
In a nutshell this teaching helps us understand our relationship to the Universe and our responsibility in our thoughts, attitudes and spiritual life. When we take this teaching seriously and practice the principles, our lives must and do change. If that has happened to you, wouldn't you want to share that with others? Of course.
Jesus said: "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me."o
We must be about the business of awakening.
Awakening humanity to what is great in them!
Awakening humanity to their co-creative nature!
Awakening humanity to the idea that God's good is available to all and that we have access to it!
Awakening humanity to the idea that there is ONLY Love!
Do we, in this spiritual community, have a fear of growth? We seem to grow to a certain point and then drop back. Grow again, and then drop back. Are we afraid that if we get too big, we will lose that intimate feel?
But there is one thing that must be heard. If we are not growing, we are going backwards. If we, frankly in any area of our lives, are not committed to growth and expansion we are getting stale, we are slipping backwards.
The Talmud says, "Every blade of grass has an angel leaning over it, whispering, 'Grow, grow, grow.'"p
We are not meant to stagnate. We are not meant to repeat the life we've already experienced. There is a voice whispering to us, "Grow! Become all that you can be. EXPRESS YOUR GREATEST YET TO BE!"
Are we willing to grow and share with others the gifts we have received by our involvement in the Unity Principles, and this ministry, or are we a Secret Agent?
Do we hide our teaching under a bushel, protecting it, hoping no one will know what we really believe? Or are we willing to show others by the changes in our own lives and attitudes, and by our conversation who we are? Can we be willing to share with others our beliefs, our church, our selves?
This morning -- I have a most heartfelt and earnest challenge for each of US (myself included) -- To the extent you have been a secret agent -- come out from under the bushel! Let your life so radiate these principles that people want to know why you are different. Then don't be afraid to share with them why you are -- and where you learned it!
Remember, the world needs us to be about the business of awakening.
- Awakening humanity to what is great in them!
- Awakening humanity to their co-creative nature!
- Awakening humanity to the idea that God's good is available to all and that we have access to it.
- Awakening humanity to the idea that there is ONLY Love!
This truly is our high calling.
Let's close with a prayer:
I am a center in the Divine Mind, a point of God-conscious life, truth and action. My affairs are divinely guided and guarded into right action, into correct results. Everything I think, say or do is stimulated by the Truth. There is power in this word that I speak, because it is of the Truth and it is the Truth. There is perfect and continuous right action in my life and my affairs. . . . . . Right action alone has power . . . and Power is God, the Living Spirit Almighty. This Spirit animates everything that I think, say or do. Ideas come to me daily and these ideas are divine ideas. They direct me and sustain me without effort. I am continuously directed. I am compelled to do the right thing at the right time, to say the right word at the right time, to follow the right course at all times. I know that this is . . . the Truth and this Truth has set me free. . . . AMEN
bAshley Montagaue, PhD (1905 - 1999) - British-American anthropologist
dCharles Fillmore The Pure Reason and Honest Logic of Practical Christianity
f1 Corinthians 6:19-20
hH. Emilie Cady How I Used Truth
oJohn 12: 32