Friday, September 02, 2005

Do your homework

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Years ago, I used to think that God was kind of harsh. Sort of the ultimate homework giver. Life was one big "lesson" and every problem was "homework." If I didn't do the homework well, I'd flunk the class. Sometimes a big test would come along, and if I were prepared all would be well. If not, look out!

So I used to build in ways to "learn my lesson" through extra discipline and performance. I did every sort of spiritual duty that was expected of me. Sure, I learned a lot, but I think I was doing a lot of it for the wrong reasons. I also began to develop a sense of superiority, i.e., Well, at least *I'm* doing what God wants me to do. This, alas, led me to think I had some wiggle room on some issues, and I started making my own choices according to what I thought I deserved rather than anything to do with service.

Hypocrisy is a terrible thing, and when you hit that wall it can feel like it's all over. I hit my wall when my life became sufficiently messed up that even I could tell I wouldn't be able to make it on my own. And that's when I found out that God is kind.

To find His loving Self there, waiting for me, when I'd messed up so thoroughly, caused a profound shift in my soul. The harsh God I'd believed in had always been a figment of my imagination—He'd never been harsh, but always Love. My misconception had led me away from Him, but even then He'd remained Love and was there for me when I needed Him.

Many years later, I talked about this concept of God being kind with a friend. She pointed out a sentence in Science and Health that has since become one of my favorites:

If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter is then submitting to Spirit.

She, a grammarian, explained to me that this statement is comparative, meaning it says nearER, dearER, and MORE real (not near, dear and real). Divine Love has to be *becoming* more of those things to us, but we don't have to comprehend it fully for matter to still be submitting to Spirit. And, we also don't have to ourselves expend any effort to force matter to submit. It does this naturally as Love becomes MORE real to us.

This to me is kindness. While it seems difficult to achieve absolute understanding, I feel confident I can do a bit more along the road of understanding Love every day. And who doesn't want to learn more about Love? What kind of great homework is that?

God, Spirit, to me now is the kindest, most patient, most loving teacher I could ever imagine. And the homework is always perfect.

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At 9/02/2005 06:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Laura! This is such an important and lovely reminder. I am just wrestling with this false inner parental voice, pretending to be somebody. Yes, Love is kind, gentle and patient indeed and so are we as Love's image!
Peace, Veronika


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