Here’s another “demonstration” story from a family member.
This family was getting a bed and a couch from another family member. It was free for the taking, but they needed a trailer to move everything from one house to the other.
They made a few calls and found a trailer that would fit on their hitch, and at a price point that was workable. The estimate was $36. They had about $50 in their checking account until the end of the week and would need gas and some groceries before it was over; but this was the only time that everyone’s schedules lined up, so it needed to happen.
The wife knows these principles and kept knowing that it would all work out. But very often, things “working out” initially take on the appearance of the exact opposite.
When they arrived at the store where they had made the arrangements, there was an issue with the trailer unit they had reserved, and they were directed across town to another location. This made her husband grouchy and cross, but she reminded him that “Spirit has this,…” and that everything would work out.
Unbelievably, the chaos in the second location was even more pronounced than it had been at the first location, and the $36 quote that they had been quoted for the unit they has reserved suddenly went up to $70 before taxes and fees.
This did not appear to be “working out” and any less of a spiritual warrior would have been certain that in their hour of need, they had been abandoned. But this woman is a spiritual warrior of the highest order and she held tight to the knowing that this was going to work out.
They continued to negotiate around the original price quoted to them and the second location finally relented, and charged their credit card for the $36, taxes and fees. They hooked up the trailer, and got on with their retrieval of the gifted couch and bed, grateful for the opportunity.
The next day, the husband received an email from the rental business apologizing for the confusion, the referral to another location and the mix-up in pricing. The email went on to say that the full amount of the rental ($36 plus taxes and fees) had been refunded on their card.
This is a wonderful example of standing firm in the knowing that all is well, when not only wasn’t there a sign that things would work out – but things kept looking WORSE by the minute. Instead of falling into a defeatist posture, and believing that “nothing works out for me,…” the wife stood strong in the knowing that it would all work out; and it did.
As part of the 40-day Abundance Journey, author of The Abundance Book -the late John Randolph Price – wrote 10 statements of principle. The 2nd statement sums this circumstance up nicely:
I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to be aware, to understand, and to know that the Divine Presence I AM is the Source and Substance of all my Good.
Or as Karen Drucker sings it:
“God is my source. God is my power. God gives me everything I need.
So I give thanks, for all my blessings. God gives me everything I need.”
And so it is.
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path
7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!Matthew 7:7-11
I stumbled on this redux from the 1970’s hit musical – Godspell – and it made me start to think about some things.
In New Thought, many lean toward the belief that we alone create our life experiences through our thoughts, beliefs and general mindset. To be clear, there is a wide continuum of belief around this in the movement – those who believe that it is mostly us, and those on the other end that are much more inclined to see the Universal Spirit as an entity that, while connected to us and expressing in, as and through us, still has some autonomy.
As I have finished my formal Practitioner training and had the great good fortune to interact and learn from many teachers and others in this movement, I have had the opportunity to think about this – a lot.
One prominent example that has been rumbling around in my head lately involves my job. About six years ago, I was in a well-paying job at a somewhat unstable company in a role where I was easily replaceable. I was doing a lot of soul searching and asking for guidance – seeking “divine intervention” or at least a hint about what I should do. I knew that I was at a point in my life and career where the right move would be a good thing and the “wrong” move could have life-long and negative ramifications.
As happens when we ask, I got an answer. It wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned: I took a significant pay cut, and went from working at home and having a Gold Corporate MasterCard to a Monday through Friday job with a commute and a hierarchy. So much for the good, right?
Funny thing though – that move – though not something I went looking for, or even welcomed early in my tenure there (especially on the bleak paydays) turned out to be the very best thing for me, long term. I now have a pension based on my time in the military and at this job; and some unique and solid experience that makes me a little harder to replace.
I can’t take credit for the incredibly good fortune that I landed in – not in the least. I didn’t visualize it; chant it in, or do affirmations for it to arrive. It came out of nowhere – literally. I got a call, and even then I was not aware of the tremendous long-term benefit that was involved.
It is this kind of demonstration that gives me pause on the “we make it happen” theories in New Thought. I’m not saying that they’re wrong, and others are right – I’m simply suggesting that it seems to me that I had someone/something looking out for my best interests when I wasn’t able to, and didn’t know which way to turn. I literally fell into a pile of mud and came up smelling like a rose with this job situation.
Is it possible that I was subconsciously “asking” for the help, and that this energy attracted the job and circumstance to me? Yes. And maybe it doesn’t need to be either/or. Maybe it’s both.
If we are connected to the Divine, as individualized expressions of the One – it would make sense that deep concern would extend into the Infinite Mind. Still, as challenging as this job was initially (in many ways), it felt like one of those things in life that our Mother tells us we need to do because it will be good for us in the end.
I don’t know which it is.
What I do know that this “good gift” of a job circumstance came from Spirit. Whether I attracted it, or the prayers of my mother and grandmothers sent it – I may never know. I do know that I am grateful, humbled, and blessed to have this retirement circumstance as a part of my portfolio – sent seemingly, from “heaven above“.
And so it is.
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path
As a part time church musician, I once again had the good fortune to be immersed in the music of the season this year as I played for another church who had reached out to me several months ago (just after I completed my time with the Christian Science folks).
As I listened again to the Christmas story, I was reminded that the birth of the Light of the Christ consciousness was announced to lowly shepherds and not to the kings, queens or noble people of the time. I wrote about the significance of this Light in an earlier blog and as I re-read that blog, I remembered an incident that happened last week.
I work in healthcare in a large, integrated delivery system. My office is on a campus where a long-term care facility in our system is located, and so any given morning when I walk from my office to the Starbucks to get some coffee, I pass a number of older Veterans (almost always male) sitting in wheelchairs in the central area of the building.
One morning last week I was feeling heavy of heart for a number of reasons, and as I passed by one fellow, he raised his hand to me, made the sign of the cross and said, “God be with you“.
He was dressed in pajama pants, slippers with no socks and a zip up flannel sweatshirt. He had long, unruly white hair and wore wire-frame glasses and a ball cap that said “Vietnam Veteran” on it.
I was deeply touched by this unexpected and sacred encounter and tears welled in my eyes as I hurried along to my office after thanking him and wishing him a Merry Christmas.
Almost immediately my cynical side popped up and I told myself that he sat there and blessed everyone that walked by – that I wasn’t special so I should stop trying to make something out of nothing.
Interestingly, as if in response to my own harsh thoughts, a couple days later I was passing through the same building and looked down the hall and saw the same man. There were many people around him, and walking past him; but when our eyes met, he straightened up a bit in his chair and once again made the sign of the cross in my direction.
It was at that time I remembered a verse from Hebrews that reminds us not to dismiss strangers as insignificant.
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”Hebrews 13:2
I’ve seen enough this past year alone to stop discounting such encounters. And when I thought about it, how truly apropos this seemingly random Christmas blessing was in its entirety.
Christmas Eve marks the end of Advent – that time of preparation for the coming of the Christ. One of the most haunting and beautiful Advent songs is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Emmanuel translated means “God with us“.
Is it not told that lowly shepherds spread the news of the Christ child? Shabbily dressed, at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum and certainly not members of the privileged classes, it was the shepherds that were tipped off by the angels to the great gift of the Light; it was shepherds who spread the word throughout the land.
“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.”Luke 2:16-18
Is a blessing given by an educated, ordained holy person in a freshly pressed, ornate robe a higher blessing than one given any other way? Do we garner more holy favor lined up in our wealthy suburban houses of worship, surrounded by the sounds and sights of the season?
The telling of the Christmas story every year reminds us, gently but persistently, that the Light of the Christ consciousness was sent through a homeless family; that the first news given by the angelic beings passed to lowly shepherds. We are reminded of the Truth of this Gift – that the Light belongs to the world – not the wealthy, the powerful, the prominent – the entire world from the least of us to the most exalted.
As I ponder the random blessing I received in what I now think of as my shepherd encounter, I know that I received a gift from an angel, appearing very much in the garb of a shepherd. This gentle, disheveled older gentleman reminded me of the important meaning of this holiday on a tough week; assuring me that God is with me – always and in all ways.
And so it is.
(C) 2018 Practitioner's Path
Even the most spiritually-aware among us can experience periods of great doubt, despair and difficulty. Walking a spiritual path does not inoculate us from the trials and tribulations of physical life, but it does provide tools that we can use to ease our way.
I recently had occasion to remember these tools. I drive a 2010 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with big (expensive) tires. I love my Jeep and am already having palpitations about passing it on to my grandson in 4 years when he gets a permit to drive.
A flat tire on my Jeep recently reminded me that I am ever in Spirit’s care. I was driving home at rush hour on the highway when my “Low Tire” light came on suddenly. Sometimes this light comes on when the weather gets cold, and I have my dad check the tires and add air as needed. I called him and reported the light, expressing my thoughts that it was the recent temperature drop after being warm that caused it. He told me to stop by on my way home and he would take care of it.
I drove on past 2 or 3 exits when I decided that something felt odd, and decided to exit 1 off-ramp early – just in case. As I slowed down to exit, I could hear that something was amiss, and several drivers pulled up to my car and told me I had a flat. I decided to keep moving and not stop mid-rush hour exit, so I drove to the end of the ramp, and pulled into an empty parking lot right off the exit.
Luckily I have USAA insurance and I submitted a roadside assistance request from my iPhone. I was in a safe area, out of the flow of traffic and the weather was reasonable. I settled in and listened to the early news on Satellite radio after updating my family.
When my father realized what had happened, he told me that it was lucky that I had not wrecked when the tire blew out, being that I was traveling in rush hour traffic
at highway speed (65+ mph). I knew that I was indeed lucky, and avoided telling him that I wasn’t sure if I had damaged my rim continuing to drive past several exits and into a parking lot with the tire in bad shape. I waited patiently for the tow truck and held on to knowing that all was well.
I was mentally preparing myself for the purchase of 2 new tires (they don’t like to put only 1 new one on these kind of vehicles), and that was going to be $500 before I paid for any labor or other work – and what if I had damaged the rim?
Gulp. Sometimes this faith stuff requires a lot of self-talk in the face of disturbing appearances.
The tow truck driver was a wonderful kid who loved my Jeep, and gave me a ride to my garage of choice. My daughter met me there and dropped me at home where I arrived a little more than an hour after calling the tow – a record turnaround time for a busy time of day and an event such as this.
I have the option of working from home when life happens, so I made those arrangements for the next day and settled in, knowing that whatever the garage had to tell me would be OK.
The next day I got the call: they were able to use my spare as the 2nd new tire (it’s a full size of the same kind) so I got out of there for a little more than $350 for mounting, balancing and aligning 2 new top end tires.
By the time I got that good news, I realized that the entire episode was a reminder that I am ever held in the arms of the Divine: I could have experienced a terrible accident, been stranded on the highway, torn up my rim, spent hours waiting for a tow, and gotten a much bigger bill for it all.
As it turned out, it was a minor inconvenience that reminded me of the miracles along the way that I wrote about in my previous blog – those touch points with Spirit throughout our lives that, if we let them, strengthen our faith, reinforce our connection and remind us that we are never alone.
And so it is.
(C) 2018 Practitioner's Path
“Spirit is never too late. I give thanks she has received the money on the invisible plane and that it manifests on time.” ~ Florence Scovel Shinn
In her popular book, The Game of Life and How to Play It, Florence Scovel Shinn tells the story of a woman who needed $3,000 by the fifteenth of the month or she was going to be sued. Mrs. Shinn did a spiritual mind treatment for her (prayed affirmatively) and the 15th of the month came, but no money showed up. The woman called her, concerned that it was going to be “too late” and that she would surely be sued. Florence assured her that “Spirit is never too late!”
As it turns out, the 15th was a Saturday, and in those days, no papers would be served on a weekend so she told the woman “It is Saturday, so they won’t sue you today, Your part is to act rich, thereby showing perfect faith that you will receive it by Monday.”
You can read the back and forth at the link above, but the long and the short of it was that the woman received the money she needed right on time.
My busy life has created more than a few mix-ups with money and I have avoided disaster more than once using these same principles. I’m not sure what it says for my life management skills that I have more stories like these than I could ever sit down and write, but I do – and here’s another one that illustrates some of the more intricate, time-independent fancy footwork the Universe does to support us when we walk this path of awareness.
About a month ago, I put in a request to change my work hours to an earlier time. I’m not sure why – I am certainly not a morning person, but one day I felt compelled to change my hours, so I did. In our timekeeping system at work, this takes a couple weeks to be processed so it didn’t start right away. This week was the beginning of my new start time, and while I groaned a little at the earlier alarm, I was sure happy at quitting time.
Over the weekend I had written a check for $400 toward contractor work done on my house. I did not expect the check to arrive at the company until Tuesday and figured I had until at least Thursday before it would clear. When I sent the check I had $438 in the account, and would be paid again on Friday morning, so all should have been well, but then an unwelcome surprise arose. During the day on Tuesday the $436 dropped to $236 as a check I had forgotten about cleared. I did not have time to go to the bank that day, and had to teach that evening, so I had few physical options. I resisted moving into panic mode and worked on channeling my inner Florence Scovel Shinn.
In truth I was less spiritual warrior and more calculating tactician as I felt certain that the contractor’s’ schedule and banking cycles would give me at least a day to work all of this out. I would have time during the day on Wednesday to make a trip to the bank.
When I left work that afternoon I discovered much lighter traffic at this new time and so on a whim, I decided to go home, feed my cats, get a snack and change into more comfortable clothes before heading out to teach my class at the community college.
When I got home, to my surprise I found a check in the mail for more than enough to cover the $200 misstep in my account. When I logged in to deposit it digitally using my iPhone, the notification said that deposits made before 6pm will be now credited by 6am the next day, which gave me more than enough of a buffer until my $400 check cleared, which again, I had estimated would take place on Thursday at the earliest – a full day-and-a-half later.
The next morning (Wednesday) I checked my bank account to make sure that 6am availability was still on track, …and saw that the contractor’s check had just cleared!
Previously on Tuesdays and Thursdays I left work and drove straight to the Community College where I would teach until 9pm. Had I not changed my work schedule; encountered lighter than usual traffic and decided at the last minute to go home before teaching – I would have come home Tuesday around 9:30pm, found the check in the mail, deposited it digitally and found the next morning that I had a $37 overdraft charge to my account because the after-6pm deposit would not have been guaranteed by 6am the next day.
No matter how often I experience the generosity of the Universe, I am awestruck with the precision of Its support. And it is usually only in hindsight that I can see the intricate machinations that came together easily and effortlessly to provide for me “right on time“.
Skeptics will poo-poo this as a random set of coincidences, but I believe that these occurrences are what Deepak Chopra calls episodes of synchrodestiny, or what happens when we “…live [our lives] with an appreciation of coincidences and their meanings, [and] connect with the underlying field of infinite possibilities. This is when the magic begins.”
I have been the grateful beneficiary of many “magical” happenings like this one: a found debit card, a family cat returned unharmed after being missing for more than a month, a lost check reappearing on my front porch, a bounced check being avoided (twice now!) and more.
I mention regularly in my blog posts that Florence Scovel Shinn said often that “God makes a way when there is no way“. She chronicled the evidence of it throughout her writing, and I can say with conviction that it continues to demonstrate in my life today.
(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path
When it comes to spiritual music, we are blessed with some great artists. Michael Gott, Karen Drucker, Faith Rivera, Rickie Byars Beckwith and Daniel Nahmod come to mind as I type this.
To be fair there are many more, and on a different day I’d likely have a different mix of names.
I recently found a video on YouTube that is too awesome to keep to myself. I hope you enjoy as much as I continue to…
“All that I am, all that I see; all that I’ve been and that I’ll ever be – is a blessing, and so amazing. And I’m grateful for it all!”
And I challenge you to walk away from viewing this video without feeling uplifted, enlightened, blessed.