Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Part II: What are we fighting?

[second installment of talk entitled, "How being yourself guarantees infinite supply"]

We came here this weekend to talk about abundance. We're doing this of course because there's an issue that we all have to face every day when we make purchases, every month when we pay bills, every year when we pay taxes, long-term when we plan for our retirement or for our loved ones, and on and on. Every single human being on this planet faces this issue not just once in their lives, but throughout their lives. What are some words for it?

[People shouted out fear, money, lack, etc. Lack is what we then focused on.]

Now, here's a pop quiz from Mary Baker Eddy. What are the three words Mary Baker Eddy uses to summarize all the evil that we experience? I'll give you a hint: here's a passage from page 26 of Science and Health: "Divine Truth, Life, and Love gave Jesus authority over …" What? You got it, "…sin, sickness, and death." (26:14-16)

MBE uses the three major categories of sin, disease and death to summarize all that we strive to overcome in this mortal seeming.

So, where does lack fit into those three? Which one of these three is lack? Is lack sin, sickness, or death? Let me ask you this. What is the result of lack taken to its logical extreme? If you experience total lack, what happens?

[Someone said in effect, "You die."]

Exactly. To me, lack is a belief in death. To borrow a rhetorical device from Joe Biden, let me repeat that. Lack is a belief in death.

Lack is a fear that you won't have enough, that you'll run out of what you need, and that you won't survive. Taken to its logical extreme, that is annihilation, that is death.

But you know, funny thing is, we do survive. We continue to survive for a long time, even while we're afraid of lack. We continue to have a place to stay, friends who feed us, clothes to wear, even as we're shivering in our boots scared to death of what we think we're not going to have later. Doesn't this indicate that the law of abundance is at work even when we're not in tune with it completely? Has anyone in this room not survived lack? Here we are! We still survive!

To quote that deeply spiritual film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "I'm not dead yet." You're not dead yet, so lack hasn't caught up with you yet. And it never will, because God Himself prevents it.

The toothpaste story
[some may recognize this as an earlier blog entry.]

This reminds me of a time about fifteen years ago, before I went into the Christian Science practice full-time.

My kids were small, and we were living in Santa Monica, California. Great town. I had a terrific job that paid for our apartment, the nanny, the car, being able to travel home to see family, and get everything we needed. We had a nice life there for a while. Then, my firm had lay-offs.

That was a Thursday. On Friday, I found myself out of a job and at home for the first time in five years. The reality of the situation started to sink in first thing that Friday morning, and trembling, I got up to start the day. My one single biggest concern was money. How would we survive?

The prior several months, though, had been a time of spiritual awakening. All my free time, along with down times at work, had been oriented toward spiritual study and prayer. I'd gained many significant spiritual insights and had been transformed from one who prayed only in a crisis to one who prayed for the sheer joy of it. I felt closer to divine Love than I ever had before.

The spiritual insights were almost like a bank account, and I'd been making deposits every day. The great thing about a spiritual bank account is that even when you spend your spirituality, the account doesn't get any smaller. In fact, the more you use it, the larger it gets. By practicing what I was learning, my spiritual reservoir was actually growing.

So that morning, as I stood at my sink getting ready for the day, I thought about what I'd been learning. I relaxed slightly, and felt a growing sense of trust. And then the moment came that has truly stayed with me in all the lean times since then.

I looked at the toothpaste tube in my hand. It was nearly full. I thought, "Hey, at least I don't have to buy toothpaste for a while." I thought of the full gallon of milk in the fridge downstairs. I thought of the full tank of gas in my car. I thought of our closets full of clothes and all the furniture we had. I began to feel rich.

I thought, "I have everything I need *today*. Why am I doubting I'll have all I need tomorrow?"

This startling realization turned me around. My confidence that all would be well grew in that moment, and colored my decisions and actions thereafter.

Well, obviously, we did survive. One day at a time, our needs were met, both through my own earnings and through generous help from friends and family. I wound up in the Christian Science practice full time within a few months (another result of all that spiritual study), I started writing extensively for the Christian Science periodicals, and eventually I was offered the job at and relocated with the family to Boston. Those years of service led to this, a successful freelancing writing/editing business and increasing supply. I may have other issues I'm working through, and I do! But this one I think I learned a thing or two about, which I'll be sharing today.

Mary Baker Eddy tells us in her pithy little essay "Angels," which I'll talk more about later, "Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment."

So what are the four steps we'll be covering?
  1. Step one: know God
  2. Step two: be obedient
  3. Step three: be yourself
  4. Step four: let it flow
TOMORROW: Part III: Know God

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or submit a question.
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At 10/29/2008 11:04:00 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

I knew there was more CS to Monty Python then they let on ;-) Looking forward to part 3!

At 10/29/2008 11:43:00 AM, Blogger Magdiel Martinez said...

Wow, so many good ideas in this post! Keep them coming! :D

At 12/02/2008 10:46:00 AM, Anonymous Carol Matthews-Nicoli said...

Mom, you are so smart!
I love this talk so far and I'm only on the second installment.


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