Monday, April 26, 2010

The Calculated Risks of Prayer – Part 3: We Can Become More Christlike

I’m a little long-winded this week – sorry! If it’s any consolation it was a lot longer before I did a massive edit!

I should first establish the meaning of the term “Christlike” before I get into the real meat of this discussion. For most Christians, Christlike just means being like Jesus, because the belief is that Jesus is Christ. For the purposes of this week’s blog I’d like you to think a little more outside of that concept.

In discussing the essence of being “Christlike” I am referring to a more universal Christ Consciousness. In Religious Science we do not deny Jesus his divinity, or that he embodied all that is the Christ. But, we also recognize the divinity in all people as God expressing through us. Jesus the Christ saw through all the warts and scars of people to their true essence, be that innocence or malevolence. If we can emulate that same quality, how could that be a risk? How could it possibly be a bad thing?

First let me say that I am not judging it good or bad. I am only saying that there is risk involved. Like with the other three risks, this risk is worth the effort. However, all too often we blindly go forward in life thinking that just because we are doing something positive with our life then everyone will support us and all will be just hunky dory.

Not so. Developing a Christ Consciousness is one of inclusion and spiritual awareness. This is not a popular concept in the world of material success where western society teaches us that there is only room at the top for one and that we must do all possible to attain that top rung on the ladder to prosperity.

There is nothing at all wrong with success. In fact, if we are taking responsibility for our lives and adhering to the universal principle of cause and effect then success is guaranteed. When I feel like I’m not getting what I think I deserve – note I said “think” I deserve, because I believe I’m always getting exactly what I deserve regardless of how it looks – I remember the concepts with which I was raised as a child. My parents may disagree with me about this and in part I suppose that my childhood belief system about success and prosperity were founded more on my interpretation of those concepts rather than what my parents may have believed at the time or even today.

Nonetheless, as a child, success to me meant that there was probably something illegal, unscriptural and basically immoral going on. Mother used to say that just about anything she thought was fun was illegal, unscriptural, immoral or fattening…and often a combination of one or all of the above! The message I got was that for me to be a good Christian in the eyes of Jehovah I had to be pious, acting at all times in a way that would allow me to escape destruction of this system of things on the earth and be rewarded with everlasting life in paradise.

That meant that not obtaining a higher education and just getting by financially was just peachy, because Jesus and the apostles were poor and downtrodden, so I should be, too. I’m sure I will blog in the future about how none of that is true and that some of the most affluent people were Christians in the first century. Lydia, for example, was a seller of purple fabrics and garments (not a shabby living in the first century – think Coco Chanel in 50 A.D.). She accepted the Apostle Paul’s message and embraced the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. But like I said, that’s another blog! Back to Christ Consciousness and the risks. When we embrace the concepts of becoming more Christlike by directing our prayers, believing in results and taking charge of our lives something transforming occurs in our experience. We begin to see results. We recognize ourselves and others around us for who we are: Spiritual beings having a human experience.

Are you searching for spirituality, your spiritual nature? Look no further; you are already as spiritual as you’re ever going to get. What changes, and looks like a higher degree of spirituality, is our conscious awareness of the divinity within us and other people. As our awareness grows our lives change. Unhealthy habits and attitudes die a welcome death of neglect. People with whom we used to engage in unwholesome activities, be they “bad habits” or just those who can’t complain enough about how downtrodden they are, suddenly slink away into the darkness and go on being a psychic vampire with someone else who is willing to be their victim.

The risk when this happens is to run back to what is familiar. We humans like familiar. We basically enjoy knowing the outcome before we start because we can count on the result being the same. Change something in our lives and we have to deal with the unfamiliar and a different result. When we are Christlike we see the Truth in every situation in our lives and that means we are going to need to embrace change.

Embracing the unknown can be a painful process that can be scary. Two thoughts of admonition come to mind. The first one I heard from my teacher and friend, the Reverend Dr. Arleen Bump: “Pain is a given. Suffering is optional”. The other I first heard from another great teacher and friend, the late Rev. Helen Street: “When you’re going through hell, go through it. Don’t stop, get a realtor and decide to buy property.” In other words, don’t get stuck in the stuff. Move forward no matter what.

We have to jump into the pool without necessarily looking to see if there is water in the pool. We must believe that the universe supports us unconditionally. Not only is there going to be water in the pool, but it’s going to be warm, wonderful and filled with playmates. Spirit will support us. There may be times in our humanness when we do not feel that as strongly as we hope to. If that happens, know there are likeminded people around you who can be the Christ light if there are times of personal darkness. If you want support, it is available with just a thought because God (or Spirit, or Divine Love or whatever you want to call all that Is and all of which we are aware) is always there, always accessible and forever reliable. I hope that if I can be of support to you in some way that you’ll call, write or send up a flare so that we can treat and pray together for your highest and greatest good.

Be willing to embrace the spiritual you. Open to being guided in all you think, say and do by the Divine Wisdom within you. Take the risk of recognizing your Christlike nature and enjoy the rewards it brings. Till next week when we look at Risk #4, the biggest risk of all: The Danger of Having Our Prayers Answered.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Dr. Terry

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