|UNITY OF VANCOUVER
3814 FRANKLIN ST. VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON 98660 360-696-0996
Created for Creativity
Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
February 20, 2022
All Rights Reserved
Begin this meditation by singing or saying the Lord’s Prayer. You have now established the consciousness in which you can go deep within yourself and experience God indwelling. Affirm: “I am one with God and all that is good. I am that very good itself.” The higher self of me is God and is always endeavoring to express in ways that bless me and make me a greater blessing to all persons who would enter the circle of my life. In this great realization I relax and know, “There is nothing to fear because there is only God.”
Time after time you have proved the power of God is at work within you. And so, when one of those opportunities for growth, a challenge or problem, or whatever we want to call them, comes into our experience, we can draw on all our prior experience of success. We have been successful up to this point and we are meant to be even more successful as life goes on. So, this morning, whatever concerns you may have about yourself or about loved ones, right now you can set those concerns aside. Instead of focusing on limitation, concern, and fear, focus your attention on the truth by affirming: “There is a Spirit within me; the activity of God, the activity of love, the great healer.” Know this now in the silence of prayer for yourself, for your loved ones, and for all persons everywhere: “The activity of God; the activity of love is ever at work for the highest and best.” As we work with God by holding to the highest possible thoughts about ourselves and the situation, the good that we deserve as children of God, becomes manifest in our life experience. So, take just a few moments now in the quiet to experience your inner contact with God and always know for yourself “I am one with the One.” in the silence of prayer.
In the realization of the oneness that we have with God indwelling at all times, we now let go of all concerns about ourselves, about loved ones and friends; about anyone who might come to mind, and simply rejoice in the truth that the activity of God, the activity of love is ever at work within us to bring about the highest and the best for all concerned. For this we do give thanks and affirm that it is so in the name and the power of that living loving presence of God that abides within us all. Amen.
CREATED FOR CREATIVITY
Sometimes I wonder, when I write a Unity Lesson or get up to speak to a group of people whom I have known for a long time, “What can I say that’s new?” And in a sense, that’s really a challenge, because there really isn’t anything new, the message of Truth remains the same; what changes is how we package it. We try to get the same idea across to different people in different ways. But the truth is always the same because God is always the same.
I’ve always felt that everything we teach in Unity comes down to two basic ideas.
1. Number one is the nature of God. No matter what it is that we are doing or discussing or trying to experience, we’re always working with our concept of God. The nature of God is so important because whether we know it or not, everything we do is expressing our understanding of God. When I found Unity, I knew that I had found something really exciting. I thought I had found something brand new, something hardly anyone else knew about. Some people find Truth and think that all their problems are over, intuitively I knew that it was only the beginning. And it really is the beginning of the greatest journey we can ever make in life. And it all has to do with changing your concept of God.
Most of us grew up with the concept that God was a man with a white beard in the sky. If you were good, then good things happened to you. If you were bad, then God was going to get you. Maybe we intuitively knew this wasn’t right but didn’t know how many other people felt just like us. And then you step through a wonderful new door and a whole new life opens ahead of you. And you feel so blessed and fulfilled but it all began with a change of thought.
You must change (expand) your thought about God: that’s where is all begins. And in Unity our basic statement, our foundation statement about God is: “There is only one Presence and One Power in my life, God the Good, Omnipotent.”
I had never heard or thought that before 1977 when I began my Unity journey. And had I heard it, it wouldn’t have made any sense to me. What a life - changing thought it has been for me and I know it has been and will continue to be for you too. Everything begins with your concept of God because you create your life from that foundation. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus taught us everything we need to know so that we can claim and live the abundant life.
In Unity, in one sense we think of Jesus as an elder brother and great outer teacher. In a deeper sense He represents the inner teacher and that is the Christ within you and me. As I said in the meditation this morning whatever it is we need to live a happy whole life is already there within us, individualized within us as the Source of our being.
In his letter to the Colossians Paul spoke of “Christ in you your hope of glory.” If there’s a scriptural verse that’s a favorite in Unity, it’s this one. It was certainly Unity co-founder, Charles Fillmore’s favorite. Paul precedes that statement by saying something to the effect that it’s the mystery hidden for ages and generations.
It certainly was hidden from me. I never knew God was in me. I thought God was out there and I was really trying to lead a good and happy life based on that concept of God. And it really didn’t work out very well because I thought that God was out there or something or someone out there was controlling my life and my destiny. And then I had the wonderful realization, “Yes, God is out there, but God is also in me.” Such a simple idea yet such a profound idea because it is a life changing idea. It is an idea that we can work with again to create the kind of world we want to live in. “Christ in you your hope of glory.” It’s only a mystery to us because we’ve been spiritually asleep. We haven’t awakened to that belief.
What Paul was talking about was addressing the mystery schools that were prevalent during his time containing people who thought that they had access to certain universal secrets, and they were going to keep them for themselves. Only the chosen or initiated would have access to those secret spiritual mysteries. Remember that old Gary Moore program on T.V. “I’ve Got A Secret?” Well, Paul is talking about an early I’ve Got A Secret Program. He’s saying, “Yes, God has a secret, but it’s an open secret available to everyone. It’s not like those mysterious secrets like the mystery schools are trying to hang onto for themselves. Paul is saying, “God’s got a secret, but it’s an open secret that’s open to everyone, and do you know what that secret is? God isn’t out there; God is within you!” And then we start to believe in it, and we start to take it for just being an intellectual concept, an idea in our heads, into our hearts, and then we start to put the idea into practice in our lives. . . . it’s then that our lives begin to change and change for the better.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that those who believe on him might not perish but might have eternal life?” I love to paraphrase that “For God so loved the world that He individualized Himself within each of us as the fullness of being, not so that we would gain eternal life, because we already have it, but so that we may live the eternal life we have happily, completely, successfully and abundantly.”
To me, that’s a wonderful meditation: “For God so loved the world that He individualized Himself within you, within me as the fullness of life, love, peace, wisdom, joy; as the fullness of any spiritual quality, you can think of.” Why? So that we may through prayer and meditation draw forth those qualities and live this life abundantly.
Are you living your life abundantly? If you are, know that there is always more to go. If you think it’s been good this far, then you ain’t seen nothing yet. If you’re just getting started on this path of Truth, you really ain’t seen nothing yet. All these things that you have feared, all these concerns that you’ve carried for years; all these doubts about yourself, other people, about God: they will all vanish as the mist in the night. Why? Because they don’t have any foundation in Truth, in God.
We have created them by limited thinking, and they have become part of the world we have created. And in a sense since we have created them by holding certain thoughts in mind, we can uncreate them by holding higher, truer thoughts. We can change and upgrade our thoughts and dramatically improve our life. Why? Because God so loved us that He has been individualized within us as the essence of our being. The power is there within us. It isn’t just out there. God is everywhere present. Truth students come to classes, to Sunday or Midweek services, to lectures, read books and they hear that same idea over and over: “You’ve got the power.”
When I first came into truth all those years ago, I knew that something was happening. I started reading books, books, and more books. And in probably more than one of those books the writer said, “One of these days you’ve got to stop reading about everyone else’s story and the success that they’ve become and become your own story.”
When I started this lesson, I said there were two basic ideas that we teach in Unity. Number one is the nature of God. No matter what it is that we are doing or discussing or trying to experience, we’re always working with our concept of God. The nature of God is so important because whether we know it or not, everything we do is expressing our understanding of God.
2. The second idea has to do with the way God operates in our life. God operates in and through us as the “Law of Cause and Effect, or as we call it in Unity, the “Law of Mind Action: Thoughts held in mind produce in the outer after their kind.”
You and I create the kind of a world we’re living in by the thoughts that we hold in consciousness, and that means thoughts we hold in the conscious/subconscious personal sense level of mind and the super conscious/new brain level of mind.
One of the main purposes of prayer and meditation is to feel our oneness with God and to experience all that God is and to throw a light on every part of our personal sense level of mind. Dr. Hunt was a great Unity Bible teacher, said, “We talk about turning on light and consciousness and everybody responds to life and love and peace and joy. But remember, when you turn on a light in a room it reveals all the dirty spots in the corners as well; all those areas of lack are the result of thinking without God on just the human or ego level of mind and when we do that, we create lack in our lives. All those areas need to be uplifted and purified.”
So true prayer and meditation sheds a light on our human level of mind and reveals all the negative thinking that is there: the fear, the resentment, the doubts, the guilt, and shame. If you want to know what is holding you back and why it is that when you’re exercising great faith and moving out on the path of unfoldment and you’re going to accomplish all these wonderful things, it seems like there is always something also pulling you back. . . it’s an area of consciousness that yet needs a little light. “It is not I, but the Christ within me that does the work.”
We are always connected to God we always have the power to create our world. We can use it to create a wonderful world or make a mess for ourselves depending on our awareness that deep down, within us, always coming through us, always making itself known, is that thread of divine guidance. God is always leading us on to something better.
It’s exciting to hear that we have dominion and are in charge of our life and that we are co-creating our world with God. But sometimes it can be scary, especially when we come to that well known fork in the road, and we don’t know whether to turn left or right. That’s the very moment to make the conscious effort to “Get still, and know I am God; I am the thread of divine guidance that’s always there within you.”
It will always tell you to go one way or another. Follow it, even if you make a mistake, you always have the grace of God operational in your life, it will always pull you back on track.
That’s the way the universe is set up. we are assured of our success. The only thing that is lacking is our willingness to let go and go with it all the way. Once you say ‘yes’ to God, as process, you’re in tune with the universe.
If you want to go left when you should be going right, God will let you go left and some day you will come back and go right. It’s built into the system. One of the great realizations that I’m excited about is, “There is actually a system that we can work with.” And that is: “Thoughts held in mind produce in the outer after their kind.” We have the power to create a better world for ourselves and to help other people create a better world for themselves. In fact, we have the responsibility to create that better world.
Watch out for that world ‘responsibility.’ How do you respond to it? Many people feel that they’ve had responsibilities imposed on them that they weren’t too happy about and so they have a negative feeling about the word “responsibility.’
It reminds me of a story: A little boy came home from school one day with his report card which wasn’t what it should have been. His father looked it over and got all excited about the bad grades. He wanted to know ‘what the meaning of this was, why his son wasn’t doing better, and demanded an explanation. The little boy thought for a moment and said, “Gee, dad, I don’t know. What do you think it is: heredity or environment?”
That’s usually the way it is, the human mind wants to go outside of itself and blame others and conditions. The truth is that it’s all within us, but we must work with Truth.
Some people don’t want to work. They want God to do all the work. It doesn’t have to be ‘work’ ‘work’, we are co-creators with God and there is always some creative activity that we can engage in. You and I were created in the image of the Creator, that means we have been created for creativity. The only way that we can find a sense of happiness, fulfillment and accomplishment in life is when we are expressing our creative potential.
Think about those times when you really felt the best. Those times are probably associated with times of creative endeavors such as getting the garage cleaned out, or the drawers rearranged. To be happy in life, you must find a creative outlet for the power that’s always there within you.
Emmett Fox wrote a little booklet called Your Heart’s Desire. In it he says, “Deep down within each of us our heart’s desire has always been there, the very thing that we are here to do. It may change, depending on our stage in life. When we were little kids there was a heart’s desire for us. When we become advanced in years and maybe we’re not working full time anymore, there is always some type of creative activity. Everyone knows this. But discover this for yourself and be fulfilled through its expression in your life.”
There was a man and no matter what job he had, he always complained about it. One day he passed on and was met on the other side by an angel who said, “You’re in this beautiful place and you can have anything you want. Except, said the angel, one thing, “Don’t ask for any work.” So, he asked for all those things in life that he had always wanted, no matter what he asked for, his request was always granted. After a while he began to get bored with getting everything so easily. He said to the angel, “Haven’t you got anything for me to do? The angel reminded him that he couldn’t ask for work. Time went on and he really got frustrated. Again, he asked the angel for something to do, some little task. The angel said, again, “No.’ Finally, he blew up and said, “What kind of place is this? I’d rather be in hell. The angel looked at him and said, “Oh, where did you think you were? This is hell.”
“There is only one Mind, and that is the Mind of God. That Mind created everything you see. You are part of that one Mind. So, what are you going to create?”
I’ll leave that question with you.
What do you think?
© Unity of Vancouver, 2004 All Rights Reserved.