THE ANCIENT SECRET TO HAPPY LIVING
Let's start with a prayer: Father/Mother/God, help me to understand that all things are possible with God. Even when things seem difficult, you shore up my strength to carry me through. You are my fortress and the rock I turn to in my time of need. Whenever I feel despair or overwhelmed, help me to center and remember my happiness. Help me to see the good in every day and in every person that I meet. AMEN
Just last week we had April showers -- how wonderful that was! And this month we are turning our attention to another kind of APRIL SHOWERS -- showers of God's blessings that are always pouring down upon us, through us, from us and back to us if we but open our hearts to experience them.
Today we are going to explore an idea that has been called the "ancient secret for happy living." An idea, which, if you make a habit of it, can transform your life. Why? Well because of the Reciprocal Nature of the Universe --
Here's an illustration. . . .A man and his son were taking a walk in the forest. Suddenly his son trips and feeling a sharp pain he screams, "Ahhhh!" Surprised, he hears a voice coming from the mountain, "Ahhhhh!"
Filled with curiosity, he screams, "Who are you? But the only answer he receives is "Who are you?" This makes him angry, so he screams, "You are a coward!" and the voice answers, "You are a coward!"
He looks at his father, asking, "Dad, what is going on?"
"Son", the man replies, "Pay attention!"
Then he screams, "I admire you! The voice answers, "I admire you!"
The father shouts, "You are wonderful!" And the voice answers, "You are wonderful!"
The boy is surprised, but still can't understand what is going on.
Then the father explains, "People call this an 'echo' but truly it is 'life!' It gives you back that which you CHOOSE to put in it. It is simply a reflection of who we are."
WHAT WE ARE TO THE WORLD, THE WORLD IS TO US.
Our topic for today -- the "ancient secret for happy living" -- is in alignment with this core concept. What is it? Given our monthly theme, you might have a clue already -- It is the simple act of blessing. When we engage in the act of blessing, we are blessed in return.
THE ANCIENT SECRET
Catherine Ponder, one of New Thought's greatest prosperity teachers, in her book, The Prosperity Secrets of the Ages, says that "the act of blessing everything is a transformative prosperity secret."a
The Bible -- the Old Testament particularly -- focuses a lot on the practice of blessing, and the Hebrews put great store in the power of blessing. If one was to receive a spoken blessing, he did not want anyone to stand in his way of accepting it. He considered the blessing a priceless gift.
The Bible tells us that Jacob felt a blessing was so powerful that he stole the blessing his father intended to bestow on his brother.b
God pointed out the great power of blessing to Abraham when He said to him: "I will bless thee and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing."c
So what, exactly, is "blessing?"
Webster's dictionary says "to bless" is to, ". . . .hallow or consecrate by religious rite or word. To invoke divine care of; to confer prosperity or happiness upon."d
And Webster says that "a blessing" is, ". . . a thing conducive to happiness or welfare."e
Charles Fillmore in the Revealing Word writes: "Blessing imparts the quickening spiritual power that produces growth and increase. It is the power of multiplication."f
If you make a habit of blessing everything and everyone, it CAN transform your life.
There was a little girl who, one night, was saying her bedtime prayers. After sending blessings to her mom, her dad, her brother, her sister, all her relatives, all her pets and just about everyone and everything she could think of, she then added, "And, dear God, bless you too. Because, if anything happens to you, we're all sunk."
We needn't be concerned that something will happen to God, but it is a powerful practice to begin blessing everything -- just like this little girl.
Do you remember the feeling of being blessed on Palm Sunday? How about if you now take that blessing out into the world.
First, focus on the good and bless it. Bless even the not-so good because to bless is to bring forth good in a situation, whether there seems to be any good to be brought forth or not.
To bless is really to judge not according to appearances, as Jesus advised, but to judge according to righteous judgmentg -- that of beholding the good and thereby bringing it forth in a condition or person.
Blessing the "good" is the easy part, right. But blessing the not-so-good. Now we're getting into the tricky part of this business. But that's where the transformation comes!
For example -- A grocer went to his guru one day in great distress to say that across the way from his shop a large chain store that would surely drive him out of business had just opened. His family had owned his shop for a century -- and to lose it now would be his undoing, for there was nothing else he was skilled at.
Said the Master, "If you fear the owner of the chain store, you will hate him. And it is hatred that will be your undoing."
"What shall I do?" said the distraught grocer.
"Each morning walk out of your shop onto the sidewalk, give thanks for and bless your shop, accepting for it prosperity. Then turn to face the chain store and do the same for it."
"What? Be grateful for and bless my competitor and destroyer? Are you crazy?"
"The gratitude and blessings that you give him will rebound as your good. Any evil you wish him will destroy you."
After six months the grocer returned to report that he had had to close down his shop after all. But he was now in charge of the chain store and his life was in better shape than ever before.
Remember the echo; remember the reciprocal nature of the universe:
WHAT WE ARE TO THE WORLD; THE WORLD IS TO US!
As Paul advised at Romans 12:14: "Bless and curse not. Let us not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good."h
Of this scripture Charles Fillmore writes in the Revealing Word: "Evil must be overcome with good. We must dwell in the good so wholly that all the substance of our thoughts and our being is given over to the promotion of the good. This is a mental process in which all negation (evil) is denied, and creative, fearless affirmation of God's perfect good is steadfastly adhered to."i
To better define evil, Charles Fillmore writes in the Revealing Word: "Evil is a parasite. It has no permanent life of itself; its whole existence depends on the life it borrows from its parent, and when its connection with the parent is severed nothing remains. In Divine Mind there is no recognition of evil conditions. Such conditions have no basis of reality. They are conjurations of a false consciousness. Apparent evil is the result of ignorance, and when Truth is presented the error disappears."j
What if, by blessing, we could be a light in someone's life?
When we bless a problem, an injury, a lack, or a foe, we acknowledge the divinity in the situation or the person.
Bless your body and see it manifest radiant wholeness . . . Bless away troublesome physical conditions. Recognize perfection and by the sure working of divine law, perfection will reveal itself through you.
Myrtle Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, regained her health through this method. Told that she had a terminal condition, she began blessing and thanking each organ of her body, praising the intelligence within it, and encouraging it to come forth into new life. Try blessing your cells regularly and see how eagerly they respond with increased health.
Blessing affirmation: I bless my body and my mind, for they are good and worthy of my love.
Bless your problems. Even if you feel that you are powerless before the tide of events, a blessing will call forth good where you can now see only obstacles and challenges.
Bless your debts in the certainty that it is the Father's good pleasure to provide you with enough to easily meet every obligation of yours.
In his book Prosperity, Charles Fillmore described the power of blessing this way: "Blessing the substance increases its flow. If your money supply is low or your purse seems empty, take it in your hands and bless it. See it filled with the living substance ready to become manifest. As you prepare your meals, bless the food with the thought of spiritual substance. When you dress, bless your garments and realize that you are being constantly clothed with God's substance ... The more conscious you become of the presence of the living substance, the more it will manifest itself for you and the richer will be the common good of all . . . Identify yourself with substance until you make it yours; it will change your finances, destroy your fears, stop your worries, and you will soon begin to rejoice in the ever-present bounty of God."k
It is absolutely possible to bless . . .
an empty purse into plump abundance,
empty shelves into blessed sufficiency,
an empty heart into the fullness of joy.
Remember this simple affirmation that you can use often in releasing the dynamic power of blessing into your life and affairs: "God blesses me and makes me a blessing."
Form the habit of blessing everything you have. It may seem foolish to some persons to bless nickels, dimes and dollars, but when we do, we are setting the law of increase into operation. All substance is one and connected, whether in the visible or the invisible. The mind likes something that is already formed and tangible for a suggestion to take hold of. With this image, the mind sets to work to draw similar substance from the invisible realm and thus increase what we have in hand. So when we bless our money or other goods, we are complying with a Divine Law of increase that has been demonstrated many times.
So I now bless all our politicians who are making vital decisions right now with righteous judgment.
I bless all of the first responders, the doctors, the nurses, the cleaners with vibrant health and energy.
I now lovingly bless all those in our world affected in any way by this Coronavirus with an abundance of all they need..
I bless this Earth that we live on and know that she is healing from all the damage we have done to her.
I lovingly bless this church and anyone who has been, is now or will be a part of it with infinite love, abundant creativity and overflowing prosperity!
Charles Fillmore writes: "When we have faith in the invisible God, and strive to do his will, we are a source of blessing, not only to ourselves, but to the whole world. There is no real increase in the material world; what seems to be increase is simply change. When, however, the ideals of the mind begin to lay hold of new concepts, increase, [blessings,] multiplication, and expansion enter into consciousness, and the whole world is thereby lifted up spiritually."l
And that, my friends, is the ancient secret to happy living!
aCatherine Ponder The Prosperity Secrets of the Ages
fCharles Fillmore Revealing Word
iCharles Fillmore Revealing Word
jCharles Fillmore Revealing Word
kProsperity, Charles Fillmore