Beware the Distractions    
June 2009

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     “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Christ Jesus, Matthew 7:13, 14; New King James Bible).

     “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7; New King James Bible).

     “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity;” (Jeremiah 29:13, 14 to lst ; New King James Bible).

     “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment." (Matthew 22: 36-38; New King James Bible).

     Here on earth, any goal worthy of pursuit takes a commitment of time. In order to master any field of science, art, music, or whatever goal one pursues, one must prioritize the use of time. That’s what colleges are all about—committing time to the pursuit of higher knowledge in a chosen field, allowing those students in any particular field to rise above the norm.

     Now, unless born with a certain talent or ability already developed, it often takes years to master the deeper concepts of such human fields; and everyone knows this. Students expect to give years of time and attention to their goals, in order to grow and develop some degree of mastery in their chosen arena. But here’s an odd thing: when it comes to spiritual development, such as the ability to discern spiritual principles and laws in order to heal all the discordant conditions in our lives, no significant time-commitment seems to be expected. Many people, (nay, most people) expect to gain spiritual enlightenment only from a mystical, instant bolt of lightening. The concept of ‘spending time’ pursuing spiritual goals seems to take a back seat to just about everything else.

     In fact, when I was in the public practice of spiritual healing, I was amazed to find how many individuals who read my articles, or experienced a physical healing through spiritual means, had the erroneous notion that it was due to some special ability on my part. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are each, and all, connected in spiritual consciousness to our Source, God—that divine Intelligence, Wisdom, Lawmaker and Ruler of Its own Universe of Spirit. So, this article is meant to debunk the erroneous theory that I, or any other individual, is somehow endowed with more spiritual light than any one else on this planet. If I had been, I’d have known of it and never suffered through the many discords I’ve experienced, before their healing deliverances came about.

     No, there is only one thing I’ve realized about my life that is probably different than most, and that one thing is the amount of time I’ve chosen to give to the spiritual nature of just about everything. Or, stated another way, since I was a child, I’ve given a lot of time to God in my thinking. God was always important to me.

     From about the age of four or five, I was mentally open to whomever and whatever God IS. I begged God (whom I perceived to be a loving, invisible presence and entity who could hear my thoughts) to stay with me and tell me the truth about things. Throughout my growing years into adulthood, I addressed God’s existence and presence almost every day—not for hours, but just in tiny moments of the day. I’m certain that even my earliest childhood experiences of healings in bad situations came about because of my deep need to know God’s invisible harmony of purpose and to mentally communicate with this divine entity that seemed so much bigger, and better, than everything else I knew about life.

     In my mid-twenties, I mentally promised God that if I could receive more of the truth of things, and if I could SEE what life is all about while I was still alive humanly, I wouldn’t pursue any earthly career to any great effect that would interfere, time-wise, with my attention upon whatever divine Truth was revealed to me. I would take jobs for supply, and obtain human education, but my commitment to find the spiritual truth of things would be my most important pursuit. So began my search for God with all my heart, soul and mind. From that time on, despite whatever else I was doing, I recognized that quality time, sometimes hours a day, were to be spent on the spiritual path. So, whatever enlightenment I’ve experienced and whatever comprehension in the spiritual healing arena I enjoy, came from those precious moments of time when I studied spiritual books, meditated, and sought out communion with God. No special ability here.

     Yet, the world is a wide and wondrous place, and looking back, I can see many distractions that did hook me, as well. It’s hard to fight the mesmerism that calls to everyone. The striving in career fields, travel, social causes, fame, fortune, sometimes just mindless pursuits—all await our time and attention, putting spiritual needs on the back burners of our lives. (Even today I can easily spend hours just playing Solitaire on the computer or surfing the Net.)

     The trouble is that we live in daily and weekly cycles that keep us from realizing our need for spiritual awakening and growth. Outside of our necessary work places, we go to gyms, spas, video games, movies, TVs, nightclubs, sporting games, (the list is unending) on regular, recycles of time. With earthly plans and entertainments, we simply blot out the fact that spiritual awakening may just be the most important thing we might spend our precious time upon. We might be here, in this human experience of good and evil, to awaken and rise, spiritually, above this whole earthly experience itself; and, as Kathryn Hepburn once said in a movie, (and I paraphrase): ‘Human nature is what we are here to rise above.’

     It’s just that, with all our self-chosen distractions, many moments of spirituality often slip away from us in all these opportunities to devote our time elsewhere—and these diversions can make a big difference in the amount of harmony or discord we have in our experience. Avoiding our connection in consciousness to God (our Christ Consciousness) we are avoiding our relationship to the Almighty and what things this relationship consists of :  God’s eternal care and love for us, which delivers us from all the ‘bad’ in this experience that tries to take us over.

     The reason we should beware of all the distractions that hold our attention in this material sense of things is that these distractions fill our thoughts with worldly beliefs to the extent that all remembrance of spiritual existence is suppressed. Just as a heavy cloud layer blots out the shining presence of the Sun, so does acceptance of material situations as realities blot out our sense of God’s invisible presence and sovereign, harmonious power over all. We forget that God is still shining (being God) despite all material appearances to the contrary.

     These material dramas and appearances temporarily blot out our remembrance that the kingdom of God and the divine Intelligence of God is within us—within our innate Christ Consciousness that knows the illusory nature of evils in God’s creation and is able to guide our thoughts to deliver us from every ill and discord which humanity encounters.

     But in order to keep the presence of spiritual existence and the spiritual realm of God in the forefront of our thoughts, we must re-cycle spiritual realizations, even a few thoughts each day (and definitely a weekly meditation or remembrance of God’s shining presence) in our time schedules. If we don’t do this, we surrender our human experience to the worldly beliefs which offer little hope for any deliverance from evil.

     Evil (lack of some good) does not originate in God. Yet, when turning our thoughts back to God’s presence, eternal love and power (from the mesmerism of the material sense of life we are mired in) a peace, not of this world brings spiritual reality into the human scene in a transformation called ‘healing’.

     Here’s an example of what I mean: After my children were grown, and during a period of about twenty months, I was engaged in a position as a confidential assistant to a division manager of a state agency. It was a demanding job. My daily work time was usually 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. My meager salary did not compensate for all the responsibilities, processes, and ‘hats’ I wore in that position. Yet, I loved that job. I made many friends, felt quite important, and, mostly, felt fulfilled and valuable because I was performing to my fullest. I really enjoyed my life.

     Over the advancing months, I rather lost myself in that world. I had little or no time, on any regular basis, to turn to spiritual reality or the realization of God’s presence with me. Things were good. The world of Spirit was slipping quietly away in my mind, as I lived each day in a role that I felt born to play. In a private meeting with members of a state board, I was told that, due to a re-organization of the agency, I would be advancing to a much higher position, possibly division manager. I was ecstatic!

     Then it all turned.

     Over the Christmas holiday, there was a political upheaval on the board that was planning the re-organization. Many board members lost their positions. The re-organization was on hold...and with it my promotion. Although disappointed, I accepted it because I was no worse off than before. I was still content in my old position. A short time later, while riding in an elevator I traveled every day, I began to lose consciousness. This was a major thing to me, because I was rarely sick. I tried to battle the fear, but since in the preceding year and a half I had lost touch with that spiritual side of myself, finding my spiritually-mental footing was difficult.

     My health deteriorated, with a fatigue and weakness that made my beloved job too physically demanding for me. (I’d often had to move around the large office building, going up and down stairs and riding elevators several times a day. Also, I walked several blocks each day when my boss held public meetings downtown.) The human claim I was suffering turned out to be a female malady, and I simply wasn’t in the state of mind to enable me to handle it properly. I suddenly felt much older. My position did not allow me to take any sick leave to get my spiritual bearings; so, in great distress, I resigned from my position and tried to stay long enough to train my successor.

     I left my job and took a part time position in a library that allowed me to sit at a desk and stay off my feet. Also, I began to recover spiritually. The female malady began to dissipate, as I re-established (in my thinking) my spiritual identity and Daughterhood to God, free of material so-called ‘laws’.

     Over the next couple of years, I came back to my commitment of time (daily and weekly) to regular meditation and realization of God’s loving presence, power and spiritual laws—which keep every son and daughter of Spirit ever-lastingly whole. As the manifestation of human illness began to disappear, I realized the cost of spending so much time on material pursuits. I saw that I had allowed worldly distractions to utterly wipe out regular moments of spiritual activity, which are needed to keep one’s thoughts ‘up there’ when needed.

     When I speak of turning to God regularly, I’m not talking of public church attendance. I’m speaking of an individual, mental relationship with the God-Mind within each of us, wherever we are. Some people have this relationship each Sunday in a church; others find this relationship in a quiet place of meditation, or by the sea. It goes with them, wherever they go. (An aunt of mine rarely left her house, but she had a relationship with God all her life, even when she passed away, quietly, at 85. Unlike me, she never seemed to be distracted.)

     Every thing we train ourselves to remember in school needs reinforcement from time to time. Just so, spiritual realities we’ve gleaned in our individual lives need reinforcement on a regular basis, lest worldly concerns push them so far back in consciousness that we lose the sense of them. When deliverance is then needed from some earthly threat or another, we can’t find the truths of spiritual existence and the sense of God’s loving control over all that we so desperately need at those times, because our thoughts are so full of other things. Our human memories seem to fail us.

     Yet, the Christ Consciousness within is our very link to the divine Intelligence and loving Spirit that created us. This Spirit has never left us alone, and there is always a way back to our perception of Its presence. When, in our extremities, we bring our thoughts back to the feet of divine Love, and say, “I’ve forgotten You, could you help me remember?” then does the Almighty One show Itself again, with the ‘still, small voice’ within (see 1 King 19:12) which, like a strong arm, lifts us upward. Then we discover that, although we’ve been under the mesmerisms of this material world, the distractions have no lasting power, at all. God the Deliverer is still with us.

     As we each walk our own path through this human journey, we come to many crossroads. These crossroads are the places of change and choices. Each crossroad we encounter makes us stop, think, and adjust whatever we may deem worthy of change for the better. For a short while, we take charge of our choices, make an adjustment, and then move on down the newly-chosen path.

     Going the way of the collective world thought (which always leans toward material rather than spiritual pursuits) may seem right in the short run, but it could prove unwise in the long run. We don’t live in this fleshly illusion forever. The tiny, seemingly unimportant moments of decision at a crossroad can be so much more important, down the road, than we could ever imagine.

     These moments of decision, and their aftermath, are well described in Robert Frost’s famous poem, The Road Not Taken:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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