We are continuing our Summer series on the 7 days of Creation. As we have, mentioned before, in Unity we take the Bible seriously but not literally. As such, we teach that in the first Chapter of Genesis, which is allegorical in nature, God is creating the spiritual ideas that are the foundation for a future manifestation.
So, in the first chapter of Genesis, God is basically laying down the foundational ideas for the creation of the physical world.
We began the first day with the light, which stood or stands for illumination or clarity, then came faith, symbolized by the firmament.
Last week, on the third day of creation we spoke about IMAGINATION and how nothing can be created unless is imagined before.
Today on the fourth day we read: On the fourth day, “God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night.” Charles Fillmore associates this with the twin powers of will and understanding. The key element here is the realization that the divine light already (and eternally) present must be both focused and reflected for the creative process to move forward.
So basically we have two spiritual ideas today. Those ideas are WILL and UNDERSTANDING. How are we going to use those two in our own creative process.
Let me begin by sharing a couple of thoughts about the spiritual idea of will: Charles Fillmore says that the will is the executive director of the mind. Without our personal will we would be puppets just reacting to a some force that exercises control over us.
Now, let us keep in mind, that even though it is good to have a strong personal will, It will pay off if we learn to ALIGN our will with the will of God.
That of itself, establishes the difference between willfulness, which is the exercise of our personal will and our willingness to align our will with Divine will
SO, IGUESS, THE QUESTION IS HOW EXACTLY DO I DO THAT?
We might get an idea from our Master Teacher, Jesus.
Earlier Song. Come to me
(PPT) Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
I have chosen this version from a contemporary English version of the Bible called, The Message. This is a crucial time in the life of Jesus’s friends and disciples. I believe that is also an awesome illustration of willfulness versus willingness. This is at the time that the end is near. Jesus clearly sees that his friends are going to exercise willfulness by making a run for it, by getting out of Dodge, if you know what I mean.
On the other hand Jesus words, “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”, is an example of surrendering to the Divine while at the same time acknowledging that sometimes life is not pretty. Yet, in spite of the appearances, in spite of the fact that he is about to be subject to torture and death, he says: In the world you have tribulation but, take heart, I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD, says another translation.
Willfulness is necessary to navigate through life and accomplish things. I am not knocking the use of our will. Linda Martella writes in Divine Audacity:
(PPT) However, when wielded in a vacuum or for mere personal gain, willfulness becomes a negative attribute, the opposite of allowing.
Charles Fillmore, the co founder of Unity cautioned:
(PPT) “Stubborn, willful, resistant states of mind congest the life flow” -The Twelve Powers of Man,
Back in 2000, while working as an executive head of a department at Unity Village, I was informed that I would not be put through the ministerial school as part of their in house leadership program, as they had promised 4 years before when I was hired as as head of the Audiovisual department. This was one of the worse disappointments that I had experienced until then. I was also very angry. I had held my end of the deal. They had not.
The exercise of my willfulness said that I needed to fight for was owed to me and if I did not get it, I could consider legal action. Yet, after a few days of intense grieving and prayer, I chose to allow Spirit to be the guiding force behind my actions. The guidance I received was to finish my Licensed Teacher degree, which I did. By then Alinda would have her ordination and we could return to Orlando, which we did. I could enter later the Field Ordination Program, which I did. I resigned in good standing and with a little tenure in September of 2001. Little did I know that within a year, there were massive layoffs and my department was among those that were closed. 4 years later I was surprised with a letter saying that I had worked there long enough to be vested and that I had a little over $25,000 to cash in or roll over into a retirement account. I chose the latter, of course. This is and example of what I call the railroad track approach. In a rural setting where there are no gates at the tracks, the advise is to STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN.
We stop before allowing are strong personal will to move us to do something that we can regret later. We calmly LOOK at the whole picture. We ask questions; we ponder if-then scenarios. Finally, we get real quiet and we allow the still small voice within, we allow our DIVINE SELF, we allow our own divine nature to guide us and direct us
How do we distinguish between our personal will and the will of God. One of the first things that come to mind is that when we are trusting the will of God, we are not attached to the results; someone has said that such is the true benchmark of a spiritually advanced person.
When we are trusting the will of God, we are usually willing to become still and in prayer seek the still small voice. How is the will of God revealed to us? In different ways. Sometimes its just a feeling. At times is the advise or counsel of a friend. Other times we are looking at some serendipitous encounter with someone. Sometimes we know that we know.
I cannot emphasize enough the fact that we must watch out for who’s doing the works, our ego or our divine persona.
Some New Thought thinker said that when we fulfill our own divine nature, we fulfill the will of God. It makes sense to me; if we pursue acting 24-7 from an awareness of our oneness with the divine, we will find that we will live with less stress and will be able to manifest abundance, prosperity and peace of mind.
The Fourth day of Creation is about these two important lights, WILL and Understanding. We have discussed will today.
Emily Cady in Lessons in Truth, talks about understanding faith versus blind faith. The next time I see you, we will se how both of these are valid in our creative process. In the mean time, whatever you ask for in prayer, aligning your will with God’s will, make sure that you end your prayer by saying, Thank You, God, for this, or something better.