Time Marches OnPosted: August 8, 2013 | |
My dear friend and colleague, Rev. Jeanette Keil, made her transition last week, while I was at the Asilomar conference. I’d been saying good bye in my heart for while, but I was sad. At the same time, nearly everyone was a little bit sad because this is the last time we will hold our conference on the beautiful Asilomar campgrounds.
When I was a kid, they ran newsreels about World War Two at the movies. They always began with a man’s deep voice, announcing, “Time Marches On.” Despite that message, the war seemed endless, and Roosevelt was our president until I was eleven years old. Life felt pretty static.
However, time did march on and I learned that things change all the time. I now understand that moving on is the nature of life. I do not expect to live forever, nor do I expect my friends to live forever. The sun rises and sets. I get that. Even so, sometimes change really hurts. Sometimes it is difficult to let go.
It is natural to feel grief when we let go of something or someone we love. I know that Love never dies. Jeanette’s life was wonderful and she now enters a new experience with God. My grief over Jeanette’s transition was personal.
There was a collective shadow at the retreat. Religious Science has used the Asilomar campgrounds for more than fifty years and so there was some resistance to that change hovering over our activities and conversations. Not so much doubt about the decision, but nostalgia and foot dragging fantasies to protect our hearts from grief.
In Science of Mind, I have learned that what we call God is the Creative Intelligence of the Universe. It is Spirit and everything is created by this Spirit. What’s more, this Spirit is the Cosmic Energy or Life Force that shifts, recreates, renews, builds up and tears down.
Creating, tearing down and recreating is what Life does. It does this because it is the nature of Life. Our personal consciousness directs the Life Force to some extent, because our minds are connected to the Great Mind. But with or without our direction, change is what God does.
Most of the activity is impersonal. There is no Old Man in the sky who rewards or withholds blessings to good or bad children. These ideas were abandoned long ago. In New Thought, we envision God as the Creative Energy of the Universe in action.
This Creative Energy is Love working as Spiritual Law in our individual lives. We are living in God and constantly communicating with God because we are God. Science of Mind teaches us to pray so we can direct the flow of our lives. But try as we might, we cannot change the flowing. Life will continue to create change.
Changing locations for conferences is really a small matter. Several speakers at Asilomar pointed out that the magic is not in the grounds but in our personal consciousness. They said when you visit Asilomar at another time, it doesn’t feel the same at all. I know this is true because I’ve tried it.
We associate the campgrounds with love and joy but we created that experience ourselves. The setting is gorgeous, however it is our consciousness of love that really matters. Our loving consciousness will travel with us so wherever we go. We need not resist change.
Resistance is fear and resistance to change is common. Some people wear their high school hairstyles despite the wrinkles of time. Some people won’t change their diets after switching to sedentary jobs. Some of us won’t try new foods or abandon old beliefs. When we hold on and resist, we are confronting the Life Force Itself.
Much recent political activity is simply resistance to the march of time. The Tea Party seems to be all about holding on to an imaginary past. These right wing politicians who insist on ruling women’s bodies are deeply mired in the 1800’s. I have been quick to call these guys dinosaurs.
This week I got to see my personal resistance in my “good old days” conversations at Asilomar. It was also there in my grief about losing Jeanette. But I’m not stuck. I know I cannot remain in resistance and be happy or healthy. I thank God for the gift to see my foibles and love myself as I move into the new expressions of life.
I cannot defy the nature of life. I can influence my destiny through prayer but whether I want it or not, things will change. What makes me happy is that I know I can guide at least part of that change in my personal life.
I have choices and I have free will. I can choose to be happy and grateful as I live my life. Meister Eckhart, a mystic of the middle ages told us that “Thank You, God” was the prayer we needed. I believe that with all my heart. I am grateful for every day. My aim is to live in gratitude.
I appreciate the many wonderful years I enjoyed at Asilomar and I look forward to the new places for future conferences. I can appreciate the past and greet the future cheerfully.
I am deeply grateful for Jeanette’s, love, clarity, and support all those years. It was wonderful to serve God and grow together. It was wonderful to be prayer partners. She will live in my heart forever.
I am grateful for many other wonderful people as well. My trip was possible because of love and support from my daughter Kate. I was so proud of my student Lori Mac and her excellent dance workshop. I loved my talks with Dr. Nancy Anderson, Dr. Arlene Bump,and, Dr. David Leonard, There were many others. I appreciate them all.
One of the best parts of my Asilomar trip was driving along the seacoast at sundown of the last day. The familiar scenery of quaint, gaily-colored, Victorian homes were on my right. The gorgeous coastline was on the left. The Monterey Pines twisted in intricate beauty as they were waiting to pose for post cards.
On this evening, the sky and sea were silver and the village of Pacific Grove looked like a romantic fairy tale. I found great promise in that silvery sunset drive. Beauty takes many forms and this shimmering scene was so serene, and so full of promise that the world seemed to be born again – totally new and quite lovely.
It reminded me that we are spiritual beings having human experiences. We live in God and we are always surrounded by the Love of God. Wherever we go, whatever we do, God is always waiting to express more Love, Light, and Joy through us. It is always NOW in God’s time and we are always in the arms of Infinite Possibility.
What am I holding onto?
What do I choose to release?
What am I grateful for?
How can I express my gratitude today?