In the religion of my childhood, God seemed to be waiting to catch you messing up so he could wag a heavenly finger to remind you that you’re just not good enough. Thank heavens (no pun intended!) I held a lot of those teachings in high suspicion from an early age, though it still took me a while to move entirely away from the clutches of the judgmental and punitive God-figure; you know, the one that looks like an old white dude with a long beard. Today I know that God exists within me (and in every person and being) as an energetic presence of Life, Love, Light, Peace, Power, Beauty & Joy. I’m not angry about the old God concept, and I’m even somewhat entertained when I re-read Bible stories through a metaphysical lens which makes much more sense.
One Biblical passage that brought me particular joy (once I revisited it) can be found in Luke 16:10 “One who is faithful in small things is also faithful in great things, and one who is dishonest in small things is also dishonest in great things.”
This was usually quoted at me when I had screwed something up to let me know that I was sure making it clear to God and everyone else that I wasn’t capable of handling that, so forget anything more important, more expensive or more fun.
I was sitting quietly with my thoughts a few days back and this verse, the movie The Secret and a few random spiritual principles popped into my head. In The Secret, one of the featured speakers encourages people new to the concept to start small. I believe it’s Bob Doyle who recommends that you begin by intending to receive a cup of coffee. If you’ve been living in a New Thought paradigm for any length of time you know that “demonstrating” or “manifesting” based on a change in your thinking takes some practice. There is a serious learning curve to effectively demonstrating your Good, and it involves getting right in the head about our own stuff, so starting small is a great idea!
Getting right in our heads about our stuff can be challenging. Some of it has been buried very deep, for very long and was reinforced by people who played important and influential roles in our early years. Clearing this out of our default vaults takes practice, study and dedication to spiritual principles. When we practice regularly with the little things – those things we can imagine we deserve or can believe are possible for us – we begin to clear out some of those old beliefs and strengthen our faith. As we continue to work with these principles, and bring increasingly more complex demonstrations of Good into our lives, we begin to shake loose some of the bigger “stuff” that blocks a larger flow of Good. Each demonstration strengthens our self-worth and builds a belief in our ability to attract into our lives whatever it is that we desire. We also open the door a little wider to bigger and better demonstrations because we have the opportunity to identify and clean out deeper, more entrenched old thought patterns – beliefs that are blocking even greater Good from flowing to us.
I had just such an “identification opportunity” this past week when I was getting my lunch in the cafeteria at work. I had stopped at the condiment/utensil stand to pick up a plastic fork and some napkins. A few weeks back I had begun taking 5 napkins because they are so thin and small that 4 of them just weren’t enough. As I pulled napkin #5 out of the auto-dispenser an older gentleman came up behind me and said, “Do you mind if I share something with you?”
“Oh great,” I thought. “He’s going to scold me about landfills and waste and ask me if I really need all these napkins.”
I turned toward him waiting for the lecture and he said: “I’m not getting fresh or anything, but you have a beautiful smile. Thank you for sharing it so generously today.”
I thanked him for saying so and he winked and went on his way as I headed back to my office.
I was grateful for his compliment but even more so for the revealing of my default assumption. I was sure he was coming at me to scold, which means I’m unconsciously scolding myself for taking 5 napkins and some long-ago-recorded “tape” is playing in my head about being selfish, wasteful and generally “less than” someone is expecting me to be. I could almost hear a scolding voice quoting that verse from Luke 16:10
“If you’re faithful in small things,…tsk-tsk-tsk! How can you expect to be blessed with [insert life dreams & desires here] when you take 5 NAPKINS for Pete’s sake?!”
Now that I have uncovered this previously-hidden belief, I can heal the deeply-held thoughts that are surely blocking bigger and better things in my life.
This profound incident has made me so thankful for the many “little” miracles I have demonstrated since learning these principles. In that moment I saw that without the steady stream of smaller demonstrations, I may have never shaken loose the deeply-rooted belief that bubbled up at the napkin dispenser in the cafeteria that day. In the same way that water can cut its way through the hardest rock if given enough time, seemingly “small” demonstrations are carving a path of deeper awareness in our souls that will eventually disrupt the boulders of old beliefs and move them up and out to clear the path for a continuous flow of Good in our lives.
For as the wisdom of the Bible reminds us, if we are faithful in small things (when we know our value as individualized expressions of the Divine, and demonstrate our faith by attracting the “smaller” miracles into our lives), we will be faithful in great things (we will lay the foundation to demonstrate great things through our faith), but if we are dishonest in small things (if we can’t or won’t see our value as Divine expressions of the Infinite so to allow even small positive changes in our lives), we will also be dishonest in great things (our lack of love and self-worth will continue to block our flow of Good in every aspect of our life).
As you demonstrate your faith in the laws of the Universe by bringing small miracles into your everyday life, you are laying a foundation; fortifying your belief that you can bring whatever you desire into your life; healing, love, abundance, peace, joy. So if you’ve seen the movie The Secret, or have read and tried to incorporate these spiritual practices into your life, but your big dreams still haven’t materialized,…get back to basics and “start with a cup of coffee“.