It’s not the first time an inauguration has stirred things up. Yet it feels like a significant stir! Now that I’ve found my way to settle down and get square with life again, I can look at the world through willing eyes, that is to say, eyes that are willing to see more than the surface of things. Of course that requires a mind that is willing to surrender a few personal opinions and all that certainty. Regaining curiosity and a spirit of inquiry broadens what one sees, softens the harshness and opens the possibilities.
From my renewed perspective, I’m not sure what I find more interesting, the daily news or the stunning reactions from otherwise intelligent and caring individuals. (This varies of course, according to one’s own opinion.) To appease my own sense of hope, I thought I would share a couple of simple ideas we can use to move us through ongoing conversations voicing disheartenment or deep concern for the state of affairs in our current world.
The automobile. Yes, it created quite a stir at the turn of the 20th century. They called it the great manure crisis of 1894. Some declared it was the end of the world. And the world was saved because a solution came from a completely surprising direction. Everyone was focused on the… well, let’s just say equine byproduct – what to do with all that stuff. You can Google the full story, but my point is, they were looking in the wrong direction hoping to find the shinola. It’s all about cause and effect. They were shoveling things around in the realm of effect instead of going back to cause and seeing freshly fertilized possibilities.
Maybe we can use that analogy to help us seek a higher solution now. So many angry words, name calling and doomsday pontificators are moving a lot of stuff around now. And maybe that’s o.k. because somehow the mess (especially because it is being acknowledged) will call forward a greater solution we haven’t seen yet. It’s a brand new era and lots of loud voices are calling, demanding that something new should emerge.
Using the example of the car and looking at the process of driving might be a good approach to demonstrate my point. Before we can drive we have to learn the basics of controlling the vehicle on the road. We also have to learn the laws that keep traffic flowing safely. In a similar manner, success in living depends upon our savvy in moving about the planet in this vehicle that serves as our human body.
Spiritual practices help us hone our skills in human life. Relationships must be maneuvered. Our bodies and minds must be fed physically and mentally. We learn how to work with the natural laws such as gravity, but we also learn the spiritual laws of circulation, reciprocity and mental equivalents.
We want to understand what it means to reap what you sow, that there are consequences connected to actions (cause and effect) so that we can experience greater good in our lives and grow through our mistakes. If I want to drive, I have to have auto insurance and obey the laws or I can lose the privilege and freedom connected to driving.
In like manner, knowledge of spiritual principle gives me greater discernment in my life choices. A commitment to understanding the law earns the privilege of living a more comfortable life, a life in the natural flow of things, not against. When our choices align to natural laws, we can sense that life is for us, supporting not opposing our highest good. But success depends on willingness to learn and practice those laws.
So, back to the car, what happens when I want to drive myself to the grocery store? If I know I want to get to the market, I go out to the car, sit behind the wheel, take the key and turn on the ignition. I know the engine has started because I can hear it running and I can feel the vibration of the motor. I am aware that there’s a whole lot of power in that engine, and I’m about to use it to get me around.
Prayer is like turning the key that ignites the natural power. When I want to get my mental attitude somewhere other than a focus of chaos or the fear I’m seeing in the world or my life, I consciously turn within to tap into that Indwelling Power. The words of the prayer help to convince me that right where I am is all the power of the universe. It shifts my attention away from the problem. This changes my vibration… something greater than I am now has my attention. For prayer to be effective, we have to feel it, really feel it deep within. It’s like starting that mighty engine inside, feeling the power and knowing you got your motor running.
Now I’m ready to direct my course. To be specific, if I want to get groceries I have to get myself to the grocery store. I get in the car, start the engine, buckle up, put the car in reverse and back out of the driveway. In my neighborhood that means I must quickly decide if I’m going east or west. If I’m not paying attention, I might head west before I remember I actually wanted to go east, which means I either have to go all the way around the block or come back into my driveway to turn around. Either way, I get a do-over as soon as I notice my error. Groceries east. Redirect course!
Here’s where it gets good… In terms of prayer, the power is always running. We use the words of prayer to get in the groove of it, to feel the inner power. There’s a dynamic energy in the Universe that governs all things. I know it to be God and I know through prayer that it is a power that is supporting and guiding me at all times. It withholds nothing from me, but I must first accept it.
So I turn the key and I idle in that vibration for awhile. Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science, emphasized the value of feeling the power. He said, “The mind is most completely in tune with the Infinite when the emotions are most constructively aroused.” So this is the point where we remember what we believe about God, about that powerful indwelling presence. I want to constructively arouse my emotions. Doing so is the way we prepare the soil for planting the seeds of our desires. We are setting a trajectory that will move us into the next experience.
There’s this annual car race where a bunch of cars drive in a big circle for a day or so. Hubby was watching some of it on T.V. when I had this thought: It’s a call to prayer. What if the next challenge that crops up in your life, or the next time you find yourself triggered by a political opinion (or someone who doesn’t know shinola), what if we tried this… Imagine the problem or the trigger as a great parting in the skies, and a booming voice announces, “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES!” Maybe it could be that simple – all the things that disturb us are just calls to prayer, like a divine reminder to get your motor running. Turn the key, feel the engine, direct the power.
- An angry post on Facebook: “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES!” (Turn the key, feel the engine, direct the power).
- Unkind words overheard in public: START THE ENGINE, feel it, direct the power.
- An unexpected financial predicament: START THE ENGINE, feel it, direct the power.
The bottom line is this: All change occurs from the level of consciousness, from mental attitude first. Recognize God. Know who your Source is, where the power is and how to use it. Contemplate God and spiritual matters, and pray. Each of us has the power to direct our course. If we use it, especially if we use it aligned to spiritual principle, we really will change the world. Get your motor running!!