Here is a little in reference to this week’s reading coming to us from Ch. 23, I. The Irreconcilable Beliefs.
On Tuesday’s show, Rev. Gayle and I collaborated on a read-through of the section interspersing our insights and comments. You can listen to it at this link: http://www.spreaker.com/user/miraclesone/no-conflict-only-truth-5-20-14
For me the lines, “The memory of God comes to the quiet mind. It cannot come where there is conflict, for a mind at war against itself remember not eternal gentleness” speaks volumes for the section. We are at war with ourselves more so than we realize. We think we are at war with another person, country or political party as we make them our enemy. Rather, we are at war with our very self and we don’t even believe it to be so.
It is always someone or something out there in the world that is the issue or the problem. The war against myself was undertaken to show me I am not God’s Son! Every bit of hatred that is whispered in my ear is placing a stake in the ego’s ground. That fear thought, that judgment I make, the criticism I may share all lead me into alliance with the ego and its petty thought system.
There is hope. Hope is the knowledge of what Jesus instructs. Attacking one another is not the answer. Attacking myself is not the answer. Attacking yourself is not the answer. We can let this madness be undone for us. Who would’ve thought?! But we can, step above the battleground of hatred and despair and turn to the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will show us the spark of God is still within. It shines for us to remember our Father when we are in the midst of battle. Conflict is conflict whether it is the conflict in our mind or conflict with another. It is not peace. Yet peace we can experience in our quiet mind.
Recently, I had this experience. As some of you know my husband, Rev. Paul is stationed in Afghanistan. Typically I hear from him at least once a day. Yet this time, two days had gone by and no word. At first I didn’t think anything, then the seed of fear began to grow and within twenty minutes it was a full grow noxious weed. I had the man dead and buried and me isolated and alone. Then I actually noticed how I was feeling, tense, afraid, concerned and worried. I went and sat in meditation. I lit a candle to remind me of the light within. A small gesture, although not needed, but the ritual of doing so was a reminder to dispel the darkness.
I sat. I acknowledged the uncomfortable feelings and riotous thoughts. Yes, I feel this way. It is okay. I said a small prayer to the Holy Spirit. “Holy Spirit, I see how polar opposite I am from just a little while ago. I am in fear. I do not appreciate how I am feeling at this moment. I do not want to follow the trail of fear any longer. What does this show me? I am open and willing.”
I became aware in a short time my biggest concern was safety. Would there be a safety net for me? Would my daughter who still lives at home and I be taken care of? What about the work that I love to do with this ministry will it be snatched away? Now I know that safety is not found in this world. It is only found in God. Only God can take care of me and surround me with His care and love. I did not feel it at first. When I saw how this was a cover for the underlying guilt of being separate from God, feeling isolated and alone, I knew it wasn’t the truth. Jesus has assured us the truth is we are Home in God.
Thankfully it passed and peace returned to my mind. I have to open the door and allow the peace in. As Jesus says here, “The stillness of your certainty of Him and of yourself is home to both of You, Who dwell as one and not apart. Open the door of His most holy home, and let forgiveness sweep away all trace of the belief in sin that keeps God homeless and His Son with Him.”
Further he says, ‘You dwell in peace as limitless as its Creator.”
When I can meet with the conflict squarely in the eye and see I have no need to fear because in fact I am not alone, peace is mine.
Rev. Deb Phelps, Senior Minister
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