Thursday, July 6, 2017

"all I have needed...."

"all I have needed
Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Lord unto me..."

There are songs that feed my soul when I am sad, or lonely, or just feeling a bit disconnected from my best self. This afternoon, it was Chris Rice's version of "Great is Thy Faithfulness." I wasn't searching for it -- it was just there. Like a reminder. Like a prayer.

I would like to think that I am immune to the way that others treat me, those I love, and those I have yet to meet -- locally and globally. But I think, that at least for me, this would signal my ascension -- the ultimate dissolution of the ego. I am obviously not there. But every day I seek the grace to let the opinions and actions of others inform me less. I am discovering that this grace is, truly, all that I need.

I've never felt this need more clearly. It has breathed new life into a favorite passage from Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

"What we most need, is the prayer
of fervent desire for growth in grace,
expressed in patience, meekness, love,
and good deeds."

Yes, this grace is what I most need. But, it is also already what I most desire -- fervently.

Over the years I have written about healings I have experienced. About character traits transformed. About physical challenges overcome. About financial needs met. But, it is this wrestling match with the ego that continues to give me a run for my spiritual money. 

Why am I ever surprised by this? Isn't this what would keep us from feeling the spiritual freedom we ultimately seek? The ego -- which is never personal -- is simply that false sense of being. One which constantly asserts that we are separate entities from the one Source of all existence -- God.

The ego says, "You are special. You started from unique circumstances -- good, bad, privileged, doomed. You have the opportunity to either exploit this personal good, or overcome the unfortunate circumstances of your life. You can change it all. You are self-determined and self-created. You are the master of your own destiny. Now, mortal, go make something great of yourself -- or screw it up royally.  It's all up to you."

But this kind of thinking can also lead to self-blame, feelings of inadequacy, failure, victimization. "If only I..."

Where is God in either of these equations? The Divine is relegated to a help meet -- serving our self-determined, or self-condemning, agendas. This God is neither omnipotent, nor omniscient. This Deity needs our consent -- our spiritual buy-in -- to have any power. This not-so-all-knowing, knows only what we tell Him we want or need. This God is not the Source of our being, but the biased arbiter of our success or failure.

This is what the ego presents -- a self-determined mortal on the treadmill of his/her own design. And it is a treadmill that will never stop turning. Churning out endless scenarios of self. One minute a self that achieves, the next minute a self that can be deceived or deceiving. One day a testimony of healing, the next a nightmare of pain.  In one scene a confident spiritual healer, the next a fragile ego on the brink of tears.

Our only hope is grace. Grace, among other definitions, is the "unmerited and unearned favor of God." Ahhh -- this is where a fathomless peace lies. Not in our own efforts, but in an effortless trust in His/Her faithfulness -- in the unconditional and impartial nature of Love -- a love that is not personally circumscribed, but universally giving. A love like the sun -- that shines on the dandelion, as brightly as on the rose.

Tonight, I am leaning into that grace. I am kicking the ego out of its hiding place -- under a thin-skinned mortal sense of self. I am trusting Love to be impartial -- to pour It's grace upon us all - to refresh and renew every heart in the healing waters of God's all-presence.

offered with Love,


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