Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Are you a Planet or a Plan-It?

By D. Michael Day

When I was in elementary school our report cards not only captured our grades, but also listed social skills that were monitored by the teacher. These included items such as being neat and clean; tardiness; being prepared; listening; etc. They were not “graded” but simply had a small box for the teacher to add a checkmark indicating, “Needs Improvement”. My dad teased me when I got a check mark next to “Whispering in class”. He said, “Don’t you know how to whisper?” I recall receiving a lot of checkmarks in the column, “Using free time wisely”, an indicator of things to come because I was pretty much on my own schedule of things I wanted to do and the time I felt was available for me to achieve them.

Fast-forward to this past weekend when many of us were able to observe an unusual event called a “Super Blood Moon Eclipse”. This rare occurrence is when the moon is closest to the earth at the same time as a full eclipse and because of light refraction causes it to have a reddish glow. We knew the exact time the eclipse would start and stop, from where it could be seen and what to expect. We were also cautioned not to be late and miss it because this would not occur again until 2033. The exact date and time can again be precisely calculatedMrs. Eddy tells us the, “Suns and planets teach grand lessons.” (240:7), but also reports, “The planets have no more power over man than over his Maker, since God governs the universe; but man, reflecting God's power, has dominion over all the earth and its hosts.” (102:12)

Does it seem strange that we can learn grand lessons from the things over which we have dominion? The teacher can learn from the student since the demonstration of principle is the same in each. But how about the word planet (plan-it); is there a difference in the controlled and the controller?

Here I will insert one of Mrs. Eddy’s writings (Mis 230:1-21) entitled IMPROVE YOUR TIME:
     “Success in life depends upon persistent effort, upon the improvement of moments more than upon any other one thing. A great amount of time is consumed in talking nothing, doing nothing, and indecision as to what one should do. If one would be successful in the future, let him make the most of the present.
     Three ways of wasting time, one of which is contemptible, are gossiping mischief, making lingering calls, and mere motion when at work, thinking of nothing or planning for some amusement, — travel of limb more than mind. Rushing around smartly is no proof of accomplishing much.
     All successful individuals have become such by hard work; by improving moments before they pass into hours, and hours that other people may occupy in the pursuit of pleasure. They spend no time in sheer idleness, in talking when they have nothing to say, in building air-castles or floating off on the wings of sense:  all of which drop human life into the ditch of nonsense, and worse than waste its years.”

Apparently moving around smartly (over planning) can be just as bad as moving around foolishly (bad planning). This is another name for scheduling. Can you imagine the moon rushing ahead smartly so it wouldn’t be late for the next eclipse, or the sun changing the revolution of the planets so the days would be longer in summer or shorter in winter? The planets are in perfect alignment and perfect operation. So why is it one man never seems to have enough time, while another has time on his hands? Isn’t it the way we artificially fill our calendars with human to-dos rather than letting spiritual assignments unfoldment? We set our own timetables, our “Alarm” clocks (who wants to be motivated by constant alarms and crises)? Do we fill our days or fulfill our daze (adding unnecessarily to the commotion demanding our attention)?

At the end of the day can we look back and see how much material good we’ve accomplished compared to the spiritual progress we have made. Are we (and those we strive to bless) any better off for the time and effort we expended? If God is planner of the planets, shouldn’t we allow him to be the planner of our existence and schedule? He is a time and planning efficiency expert, par-excellence!

When we take our rightful place as a planet, revolving effortlessly, without friction, around the central sun (divine Mind) in the heavenly universe (the kingdom of heaven/harmony) operating entirely under the direction and omnipotence of God (not our own self-propulsion or false deadlines) we are experiencing perpetual motion, which can only be achieved when there is no resistance. We give up the false concept of ourselves as a plan-it, trying to regulate our own needs, speeds and course, trying to accomplish a self-imposed and often impossible material goal with little or no degree of success. Insistence is futile.

A well beloved and often repeated poem goes:
I am in the spot where God shines through (he assigns a time and space for me, my appointed place)
for He and I are one, not two. (not two conflicting, opposing minds debating on overlapping agenda items)
He wants me where and as I am (I am properly suited and prepared for every task He delegates to me)
so I’ll not fear nor fret or plan. (I will exclude outside interference or influence in my thinking or experience)
If I’ll just be relaxed and free (the moon reflects what it receives. It doesn’t create anything itself nor do we)
He’ll carry out His plan for me. (He carries us, we don’t carry the burden, we don’t “achieve” anything)

Jesus asks, “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” (Matt 6:27). It follows that we cannot reduce our stature by thought, neither can we accomplish or eliminate any material activity based on personal expenditure of time, effort, physical gyrations or mental machinations. We accomplish nothing of ourselves for we are simply the mirror, the reflection of God’s calendar of events. We cannot move time ahead by moving the hands of the clock, neither can we, by our own hands, accomplish anything God has not ordained for us. Accomplishing an erroneous task is no accomplishment at all.

So let’s think a little bit about predestination or fate. Some religions believe that God has given man “free will”. This is described as the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion. Here, man has the freedom to act as he chooses, but is subject to retribution in retaliation for making wrong choices. What do Christian Scientists believe? Are we under the same positive and absolute control as the planets or is there some latitude for self-determination? Do you think Jesus was controlled by God, was his preordained fate sealed even though he asked that it be removed from him? How about Saul/Paul, Moses, Noah to name just a few? Were they not given specific assignments and timetables to achieve God’s plan for humanity as His representatives on earth?

Aren’t we governed the same way, perhaps unseen and unknown, but the still small voice is always there, whether hidden by cloud or human comment, we are always being directed along our pass in a timely progression. Does traffic slow us down, a rainstorm, a stoplight, an indecisive driver ahead of us, a detour, an event seemingly out of our control? This is not an impediment to our schedule, but part of God’s infinite plan for us to be at the right place and at the right time of His appointing. It is up to us to a knowledge the opportunity and express the truth that we of been freely given to bless others in need around us. Perhaps it delays us from our self-appointed schedules, but we are never too early or too late for God’s expression where it is needed. For the love we express brightens the path of others whom we may not know and is either reflected back or shines forward as part of our continuous expression of God. His will, His schedule, His plan is all that exists and nothing on our agenda can ever interfere with the divine expression, infinite, omnipresent and omnipotent. As a child I needed parental approval before acting. Nothing has changed.   

There is no detour nor distraction for God so there can be none in our experience either. Diversions to human planning are often expressed as God’s direction superseding our man-made agendas. Obviously if we have not left sufficient time to respond as a “Good Samaritan” when needed along the way (to demonstrate the allness, the all-in-oneness, the all-inclusiveness of God and man) God intervenes for us.    

We experience great relief, rest and can be completely at peace when we accept, as Jesus did, the inevitable, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42) which is a fulfillment of Mrs. Eddy’s Manual requirement of the Sixth Tenet, “And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.” It is useless to carry someone else’s cross and we could not if we would. Our sole duty is to God. Listening to his agenda will take the fret, frenzy and worry from our experience and false, self-imposed burdens completely disappear.

Jesus’ observation, “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30) will help us “do more” than was ever humanly possible before. It is a divinely authorized and completely attainable agenda for all mankind.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

God's Emergency Plan

D. Michael Day

We have great proof of God’s dear care for each beloved child.
He holds each one of us so near, the prodigal, the wild.
God has a plan to get us home if we have gone astray,
Desire in an emergency will help our find our way.

Immersing is like stepping down into Bethesda’s pool,
its waters stirred by angel’s touch, but you must heed the rule
to be the first one stepping in to have your ailment cured.
Imagine waiting there for years, your malady endured.

Submergence is the second step as John the Baptist did
to purge the heart and soul of sin, your consciousness to rid
of every thought and deed impure, to wash your garments clean,
to agitate the dust and dirt, removed it can’t be seen.

Emergence is the second birth, we must be born again
of water and of spirit if we wish to enter in
the kingdom of our God and of his Christ, and of our Lord.
When Love reigns in our consciousness it shows in deed and word.

Insurance or Assurance, which policy is yours?
God’s tides of Love flood human sense and beat upon Life’s shores.   
Immerse, submerge, emerge our thoughts, reveals the perfect man.
Nothing else could e’re replace God’s Emergency plan.

D. Michael Day 9/19/2015

Author’s note:
We often hear that everyone should develop an emergency plan, a hurricane or tornado plan, an evacuation plan, a disaster plan, a recovery plan, etc. It includes the preordained steps we intend to follow in the event of an emergency or accident.

Man’s definition of “emergency” is quite unlike God’s and is usually only invoked in dire straits.

It occurred to me that God probably has an emergency plan for man, where men can reach out in his extremities and constantly be assured that God has a secure preordained plan for His child’s protection.

God’s definition of “emergency” is like an ongoing three-step process of baptism by the Holy Ghost.

First we must immerse ourselves, stepping into the purifying pool of divine science with confidence, similarly to the Israelites as they stepped into the Red Sea, the first ones getting their robes wet before the waters divided.

Second we must submerge ourselves completely in the substance of spirit, washing every nook and cranny to free materialistic imperfect thought, dust to dust or the Adam man and leaving man cleansed and free of impurities.

Finally we must emerge, as Jesus told Nicodemus, we must be born again of water and of spirit. To be as a ship borne upon the water is to be carried above the water, to float above the material senses and emerge into the spirit, the atmosphere of Truth and Love. During this continual process of imerging, submergence and emergence (entering, being enveloped and rising “leavening”) we are daily cleansed and washed clean. This is the only “Emergency” Plan God recognizes, the constant, ever-present purification or baptism of mankind (no accidental start or heroic finish involved).