Saturday, December 23, 2017

What Will You Follow? Your Faith or Fears? | by Rev. Wendy, The Unity Center, San Diego

Published on Dec 11, 2017
Rev. Wendy continues her series, Your Spiritual Journey, as we look at the Christmas story, metaphysically and mystically. This week’s talk, looks at the challenges and opportunities of following your faith or following your fears. 

 Thanks to Mary Theresa Streck for Notes of Talk.
Topic: Faith

Faith or Fear – both are believing in something you cannot see – you choose.

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith!”
Margaret Shepherd

Listen deeply to the guidance that will come through you.

Faith is easy when life is easy, challenging when life is challenging.

Reading from Luke 2:8-20 Story of Shepherds

How do we look at the Bible stories?
Not as the infallible word of God.
We look at it through mystical, metaphorical, and metaphysical eyes.
Look to see what it might reveal to us of our own soul’s awaking and journeying toward enlightenment.

What are the elements in this story that I can learn and apply to my journey and growth?

1.   On the spiritual path, you must pay attention to what you pay attention to especially at night.
Especially in the dark, challenging times in our lives.
What gets our attention, get us.
Where attention goes, energy flows.
The truth does not change being the truth just because circumstances are more challenging.
What must we pay attention to? The sheep were important to the shepherds – their livelihood.
Pay attention to the quality of our thinking.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. 
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it will become your destiny.”
Frank Outlaw

Pay attention to the thinking and mental energy that we are holding, a certain feeling that we know is counterproductive to what we want to create in our lives. Stop it as soon as we notice it. Again, again and again!!

2.   We acknowledge our fear, but we move forward with our faith.
Anything significant or new that you have done in your life required you to move through a bit of anxiety, fear, self-doubt or worry. 
There resides in us a spirit of courage.

3.   You have to be present and available to Spirit. The shepherds recognized the angels that came to them. Angels are the Divine ideas, insights, guidance that we get – often in the dark moments in our lives – that tell us: “Don’t be afraid. Something great is about to happen.”
The shepherds - Not only did they pick up on the message, but they picked up and left where they were to follow what that Divine message told them to do. 
Not enough for us to be just available to that Divine message; we need to act on it.
Pay attention to that still small voice. Trust that in answering it, you will have the courage to take the next step. 

4.   You will be given signs that you are on the right path. The shepherds were told, “You will find a babe laying in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes.” When we are on a spiritual journey and we ask to be guided, it is really important that we keep our eyes and ears open. That we pay attention to the signs along the way.  Sometimes the signs are right there in front of you.  How do you know it is a sign? There are many ways that we can tell if the sign is on the right track. When I know that I am doing what I am called to do, there is something inside of me that just feels right. Does not mean that I may not have doubt or fear, but it still just feels right. 
Sometime the sign is accompanied by a sense of peace.  Or it can be accompanied by a new-found energy or creativity. Or the sign is a new door opens and you walk through that door and there is something magical on the other side of that. 

5.   On the spiritual path, it really helps to have a few companions to keep you moving along. Spiritual coaches and cheerleaders.  We are meant to be on this journey supporting one another spiritually. It is critically important in our lives, not just to have good friends that we enjoy doing things with socially, but make sure that in addition to that, whether they are the same people or not, we have at least one or two people who are our spiritual partners, our spiritual cheerleaders that we can turn to when we know: my faith is wobbly right now. I know mentally what I need to do, but I’m not doing it. Can I lean on your faith until mine becomes strong again? There are times when I need you to be strong for me and times when you need me to be strong for you. Jesus did this and the people he picked were not perfect. His disciples were not perfect, but they believed in him and tried to follow what he taught before he launched his ministry. And later on when he sent them out to further his teaching, he did not send them out alone, but by twos knowing that they needed each other.


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