|UNITY OF VANCOUVER
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Moving Beyond Recovery
Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
February 28, 2022
All Rights Reserved
MOVING Beyond Recovery
Do you know what experts say about New Year Resolutions? They say most people have forgotten or already failed at their New Year's resolutions within three weeks of making them. The reason for this is that they have not changed at the core of their being. The New Solution didn't become a part of them.
I've noticed that most of us are in a constant state of recovery. We are always recovering from something; a cold, a relationship, a business, or career situation -- somewhere that we're experiencing a low point. The economy is in a constant state of recovery. If we live in a constant state of recovery, then even when we are at a high point we fear it, because we just know it won't last. Something will go wrong, and we'll begin recovery again.
In today’s lesson we are going to talk about what happens when you go to God and say, “God, here I am. I'm tired of this roller coaster, I want to be changed at depth." We can learn to move beyond recovery to discovery.
In Unity, we learn to become receptive to God-given ideas. We do this by learning to rise above our Ego Mind and come into agreement with our spiritual nature and indwelling Christ Mind. We are going to practice this in today’s meditation.
Begin by silently affirming: “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.” Now is the time of the Lord's coming inside of you. I invite you to take a deep breath, feel God in the silence and open to God’s Presence and Power. Affirm: Old behavior patterns and habits have no power over me. Now is the time of the Lord's coming inside of me. Your words cause God to move through you, cleansing your memory of old behavior patterns. Affirm: Old behavior patterns and habits have no power over me. Now is the time of the Lord's coming inside of me.
God is empowering you and bringing patterns of the Christ to your awareness and building habits that result in peace of mind, well-being, health, and abundance. There is no need to burn your bridges behind you, or fear. You are separated from them for you have placed God between you and them. The old you is cast away, a new you is chosen. Affirm: Old behavior patterns and habits have no power over me. Now is the time of the Lord's coming inside of me. Right now, in oneness with God mind, choose the infinite good of God and stand firmly in the presence of God; a decision you will make many more times as you move through this year. Affirm: Old behavior patterns and habits have no power over me. Now is the time of the Lord's coming inside of me. My human mind is filled with holiness and right thought for it's filled with God, the only power in my every action. I take possession of the mind of God, and the life of God and it takes possession of me. I surrender to God, and I am one with infinite harmony, which inspires me, lifts me, and raises me on the wings of personality soaring above its former self. Old behavior patterns and habits have no power over me. Now is the time of the Lord's coming inside of me. Amen.
MOVING Beyond Recovery]We often hold onto thoughts, behavior patterns, and things, much too long. For example: A man wanted to escape from oppression in Cuba. He saved for years until he had enough money to buy a raft. But after he bought it, he was afraid that someone would steal it before he could use it, so everywhere he went, he carried it around on his head. This worked well for him until he was able to put the raft in the water and sail to America. Ten years later, in this make-believe story, the man is now a successful working citizen of the U.S. but everyone who sees him points at him and says, "Isn't he strange," because he still carries his raft on his head. He says to himself, "This raft has been good to me. It served me well. I'll just carry it with me and keep it forever, I may need it."
Have you ever acted like this? Something has served you well---or not so well at one time or another in your life, and so you continue to hold onto and carry that behavior. You can't see how it weighs you down. You can’t see the burden of old habits you are carrying on your shoulders and how 'strange' you may look to others.
One day I sat watching a fly trying to get out of the room. He would fly, fast, and smash into the window. It must have hurt. But no matter how many times he hit the glass he'd back off and head toward the glass again even faster. The amazing thing is that less than two feet away there was an open door. If the fly could have stepped back for a minute and thought, "Wait a minute. What I'm doing isn't working. I think if I just hit the glass hard enough it will break, and I'll be free. This is hurting me. I'm just getting a migraine. Why don't I just get still and let God help me out of this." He would've felt the breeze through the door and been led by it to freedom. Instead, he beat himself to death.
"I set before you an open door." Sometimes the solution to our problem is so close to us that we can't see it. At any time, without any struggle at all, we can release old behavior patterns and go through an open door to safety and a new life.
When we're having an experience and what we've done in the past isn't working, rather than continuing to beat our heads into the wall, 'believing the wall will give way', the old pattern must give way. We have to learn to say, "God, my way isn't working anymore. I'm locked in--I'm not going to be like that fly and just try harder and press on with the human will. I'm turning to you and asking to be guided in a new direction."
We get so locked in doing things in a certain way, so locked into old behavior patterns that worked for us at some time (or that never worked for us), to old habits of doing things, and even old places. Sometimes we even get locked into certain people or groups that aren't a positive influence on us, so we need to raise our level of consciousness in choosing the people we choose to spend time with.
For example: A little boy playing baseball in his backyard was overheard talking to himself, "I'm the greatest baseball player in the world." He then threw his ball up in the air, swung his bat at it and missed. Undaunted, he reached down, picked up the ball, and threw it in the air again saying, "I'm the greatest baseball player that has ever lived throughout time." Then he swung at the ball . . . and missed again. He picked up the ball a third time, threw it up into the air again, and swung at the ball saying, "I will go down in history as the greatest baseball player that has ever lived." Again, the ball dropped to the ground. He stood back for a minute, closed his eyes, and joyfully said, "Wow, what a great pitcher I am!" He could have been depressed and said, "I'm not good at baseball at all!" But he stepped back, got quiet, took another look, and went through another door to success.
Here's a true story: Wallace Johnson worked in a sawmill. He came to work one morning, and his foreman said, "You're fired." It was out of the blue and he had just turned 40. He said, "I was depressed and discouraged. All I could think of when I went home was "where's the closest sawmill where I could go to work." He went home and talked with his wife. She had been in prayer all afternoon. She didn't know why; she just felt like praying. This gave her a depth of understanding, so she didn't react like a wife might react to this news. She said, "Instead of looking for anther job at a sawmill, think for a minute about what you really want to do. What is your love in life? Would you have the courage, with me by your side, to change direction?" He said, "Honey, what I'd really like to do is be a builder." She said “Then, be a builder." They mortgaged their small house and got enough money to go into business. At first, he built small sheds for people, but within five years he was a multi-millionaire. He said that if he could find the man who fired him, he would give him a big hug, shake his hand, and thank him from the depth of his being for being a catalyst for change in his life. If it had been up to Wallace Johnson, he would have stayed at a job in a sawmill for minimum wage for the rest of his life. But that's the way God works. Sometimes through people, and what you think of as a terrible thing is not a terrible thing at all - when you look at it the way God sees it. Everything is always a forward progression to a greater expression of God through you and into the world. So, if you're going through something like a change of work, a change of residence, a change in a personal relationship like marriage or divorce, God is with you and with God there is always a way out and up.
Resistance means you try to change events from what they are, and you react to them with familiar safe responses. Just like the fly. He says the glass is not a barrier to him, (that's denial) and he doesn't need to change direction. He'll just do what he's always done--fly straight ahead faster and faster, struggling and struggling. Acceptance doesn't mean have to be like a fly hitting the glass. Acceptance means you allow events to unfold around you, and you react to them spontaneously, willing to change direction without suppression as God directs. The first step to finding God's way is to change your thinking about the situation. Instead of telling yourself that there is no way to meet this problem tell yourself, "There is a way with God. With God there is always a way.
Your faith becomes your positive thought and your confident attitude. You change the direction of your thinking. You think in terms of possibilities instead of impossibilities. Whatever the obstacle in your path, you team with God and you move in the right direction at the right time.
On the human level of mind (ego), we have a great fear of making the wrong choice. We're afraid of what we conceive of in mind. We think it's the unsafe way and that what we see in front of us is the safe way. So, we just remain where we are; doing what we do. We don't venture out into the unknown, we do nothing. The worst thing about doing nothing is you never know when you're finished.
Each day we need a fresh start. Each day we need to tune into God to be empowered by God to move through an open door. An individual life is a gift from God, but it's just raw material. Each of us is an artist, creating our lives as we wish. With God, endings are always new beginnings. Life is what happens on your way somewhere else.
Let's close with a prayer: We pray today that we will never feel alone on our path. That we'll know, without doubt, that God is there helping, guiding, and empowering us to take each step. To move beyond recovery to discovery of the expanded good God has already prepared for us. Amen.
What do you think?
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