“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11: 23, 24).
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7: 8-11).
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32).
Every few years, my husband and I leave the Midwest for the gulf beaches of Florida, usually the southwest area. We like to experience the ocean’s magnificence and vastness, for just a bit, and view the beautiful sunsets. I also like to listen to the rhythm of the surf, which feels like the heartbeat of the planet. As I close my eyes and mentally slip into that awesome rhythm, I can almost feel God’s harmonious symphony engulfing me and all creation. I love to meditate by the ocean; it clears my mind.
On one such occasion, I was sitting in a shady spot, about thirty feet up from the water’s edge. Off to my right, down near the water, a lad was building a large and complicated sandcastle. By the time I arrived on the beach, he was almost finished. It was beautiful. He used what looked like waxed paper cups to make the turrets and taller towers. With his fingers, he dug a trench surrounding the castle, trying to reach just the tips of the gentle waves, so that water could flow into the trench, creating a moat for his masterpiece.
He’d picked a spot quite close to the water’s edge for his creation. I assumed he’d done so because the sand there was moist for packing. Still, within minutes after completing his glorious work of art, an aggressive wave swept over the bottom half and dissolved much of his castle back into sand, washing it out to sea.
I felt his pain; but he seemed to suffer only a few seconds before picking up his tools and finding another spot, several feet up from the water. Then, he began anew. Within minutes, he’d carved out a large foundation and was even smiling while creating a new castle from scratch. Ultimately, the tide would take this one too—yet, I realized that, to this boy, it didn’t matter at all. He could always replace one sandcastle with another. His joy came from knowing how to build it.
As I said, my mind is often quite clear, there by the ocean. I realized that I had just witnessed this boy’s confidence that the sandcastle was within himself, to be reproduced in infinite variety of form, wherever and whenever he felt like building a sandcastle. Neither nature nor the ocean could wipe out his creations, because the objects of his desire, sandcastles, were within his own conscious mentality—not in the externalized world. He would put them in the world. The smile on his face as he began to rebuild told me that, deep down inside, he trusted this place within and his own ability to express it without.
We all build sandcastles in our lives, often to see them destroyed by the ever-occurring tides of chance and change. With these tides, our creations and dreams can be washed away in a moment. Our sandcastles are the conditions and labors of love we produce in order to create the life we choose to live. They are the houses we build, the little fiefdoms we create in our workplaces, or our expressions of art that we wish to share with the world. And, like the frail sandcastles on the shores, our physical structures can be demolished by nature; our comfortable human conditions in career fields can be sabotaged by corporate decisions or another’s will; and our works of art can fall upon barren ground. Humanly speaking, nothing is really safe from what might happen tomorrow, or even today.
Yet, the sandcastle builder on that beach had shown a spiritual wisdom that was taught by Christ Jesus when he said, “…the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21). This young individual was already reaching within his own conscious being for his supply; he wasn’t waiting for someone outside himself to bring it, nor was he wasting a moment of life’s precious time to mourn what was lost. He, somehow, knew not to do that. Instead, he reached within himself to find another castle. Then it was easy to bring that mental creation into the physical environment.
To someone watching him, the boy was expressing what’s called ‘self confidence’ or ‘self reliance’. Yet, the self he was accessing wasn’t a limited, physical sense of self. He was going within his own consciousness to access his higher Self, the Christ Consciousness, common to all. He was drawing upon his oneness with God, where the divine Intelligence, Wisdom and infinite supply of the Creator resides. The kingdom of God can be found within us, because that’s where it IS—in our conscious link to God.
Jesus was telling us to go within our own, spiritually present mentality, to find our true, spiritual identity, and its link to divinity. Within our spiritual Self, any and all answers we need, any and all material conditions we require to change or manifest, are within the divine consciousness we all share. The ‘thing’ we humanly need (like a sandcastle or home) is within us, along with the way to bring it into material form. If finances should stand in our way (the suggestion that we don’t have money to complete some project) we must go within to find the infinite finances of Spirit. The way will then open to us, mentally, in consciousness, so that we can proceed to make any changes we need to make and find the new human channel for the money we may need.
We’re always at one with our divine Source of being. All supply comes from this Source we call God. When Jesus needed money to pay his taxes, his divine consciousness within revealed he could find it in the mouth of a fish (see Bible, Matthew 17: 24-27). Yet, we struggle so much with a sense of loss in this material plane of existence, because we keep thinking we’re going to find our heaven or harmony ‘out there’ in the material realm of form, rather than within the divine consciousness and our link to God’s infinite, all-seeing, all-knowing Intelligence within our own being. This state of mental lack is described as like having a gold mine in one’s back yard, yet, living in lack all one’s life, because there’s no realization of the wealth, invisibly present just steps away.
As I write this, memories of Hurricane Katrina come back. Here was an act of nature that wiped out much of a great city. Here in the Midwest, we were part of a large group of people filling trucks of supplies for the stricken area. This went on for months. Yet, the squabbles over the money, corruption of public officials, and people waiting for help from ‘out there’ began to dominate the stricken scene—no matter what millions of dollars, and hundreds of supply trucks arrived from around the country.
Fortunately, in the midst of all this, many other people who were wiped out (home-wise and economically) had stories to tell of new places for work and home which they’ve been led to, or which have opened up for them, leaving them better off than they were before Katrina struck.
One thing common in these types of stories is the fact that the individuals involved didn’t wait for someone or something ‘out there’ to assist them. They immediately turned within themselves to find the answers and began to follow the thoughts that allowed change of place or situation to commence. Several TV testimonies mentioned that these people also trusted that God was with them. The prayers of these individuals, no doubt, didn’t take the form of begging God to take care of them; rather, these sounded like prayers of faith and trust that they were all right, no matter what had been destroyed physically. They trusted to be led from within; then they’d make the new sandcastle.
My point is this: As long as we continue to look ‘out there’ in the external world for our deliverance from lack (instead of opening our thoughts to the kingdom of God within) we’ll continue to search in vain. Oh, we may get lucky, now and then; but our complete need won’t be met. God is the Source. One of the most important spiritual lessons for us to learn is that God is a Spirit—a spiritually, intelligent entity; and this Spirit is our one and only Source of all good. We don’t need to depend upon other people in order to survive and prosper; we need God and God’s kingdom within to survive and prosper. Until we realize this spiritual fact, life on earth can be continuous situations of lack, and not just from violent storms.
Here’s an early experience I’m happy to share: To have a college education, I had to work my way through school. In those days, many families couldn’t afford to send their children to college. Mine was no exception. Yet, God showed me the way to work. As a freshman, my income didn’t always stretch too well, but I was making it. One day, however, I was faced with the fact that I didn’t have enough money to eat. It was a scary situation, so I prayed, realizing that I was not to accuse God of failing to care for me. So, I prayed to “open my eyes” within, to know where God’s supply was coming from. Immediately, the thought came to go to the campus bookstore and sell all my books. That seemed extreme, but I had absolutely no cash left, so I did so. (I thought, at the time, that God might be leading me toward quitting school.)
My books brought enough food money for about a week. At the end of the week, a check arrived in the mail for $250.00 from a relative who had borrowed money from me in the past. (This was in 1962, at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, and my rent was only $40 per month; so that money would stretch a long way.) I clearly heard the mental command to now go and buy back my books and continue with school.
But that isn’t the end of the story. I soon received quite a raise in pay, because I worked as a half-day secretary for the Air Force ROTC, and it was federally funded, as I remember. My income was then sufficient to complete school.
Earlier in my life, through a few trials, I’d already learned not to go to anyone but God, and my connection to the Spirit within, for supply. The divine Intelligence within never fails to communicate with us. It comes as a gentle voice in thought. It comes as ideas. These seem like our own thoughts and ideas, but their Source is in our divine link with God. We live within this spiritual entity.
Several other situations involving lack have come my way over the years, but the way to overcome the lack always came to thought. The divine Source (God’s Omnipresence, Omniscience, and Omnipotence) has no way of failing. No other kingdom really exists but the kingdom within us. The world ‘out there’ is the material fabrication, or poor copy, of the true, spiritual creation we all exist within.
Faith in the divine Love, Intelligence, Wisdom, all-seeing, all-knowing Mind of God, (and our own link to It within consciousness) will replace any material thing lost, be it a home, a job situation, income channel, or any good thing we may need. But notice that the boy on the beach didn’t try to stay and repair the sandcastle that the ocean was destroying. Because of its location, divine wisdom within told the boy to relocate his workplace, so his masterpiece might last for, at least, his whole day on the beach.
This is often true of all our sandcastles in the human experience. Let go of the old, destroyed thing; it can be replaced by the divine Creator within. Change is often the only thing needed for a better human situation to occur. Change and movement, prompted from within, is the way to be delivered from disasters. To our God and Its kingdom within, there are infinite sandcastles we can build…no need to hang on to just one.