I think it’s important to constantly evaluate our spiritual assumptions. We should take care that our quest for Truth does not become the opioid that makes us feel better but offers no cure. Do I actually believe that I am a spiritual being, or do I just like the sound of it? What does it mean to be a spiritual being at this place in my life? What does it mean to be a spiritual being with this problem that confronts me now? What does it mean to be in this body? Is prayer, as I practice it, effective or does it feel like a hit and miss proposition? Am I always having to rationalize things to make them fit into the spiritual ideas I’ve adopted? Can I close my eyes, go within and know the freeing presence of God? Is my understanding of God my own, or am I trying to make sense of borrowed concepts?
One of the most striking features of my own direct experience with God has been that it is different from anything I expected. God is pure energy, a living, quiet intelligence that lifts me above my storehouse of human thought. Perhaps it was described to me in this way but I could not grasp it, especially against the anthropomorphic backdrop of concepts of God that I had been given. There is no higher or more clarifying action than coming to this quiet center where the universal life force of God seeps into your awareness. But each one must have his or her own experience to appreciate such a statement.
A direct experience with God brought me into the ministry. I do not mean this in the conventional sense of a religious calling. I mean it in the sense that the experience is accessible to all and is so beautifully simple that I wanted to share it with the world. Stepping into the realm of ministry, however, is stepping into the realm of countless religious preconceptions. Many are seeking to recover from the weight of teachings that insist on their sinfulness, the need for salvation, and the way they must go to achieve it. In this sense, New Thought is no different from the mainstream. An adopted belief that is not yours by experience is a weight you will eventually want to shed. Theological problems do not exist in God. No religious exposure or education is required to go within your inner closet and commune directly with the living Presence. These, in fact, may prove to be the very barriers that keep God at an experiential distance.
I can spend time thinking of myself, taking pride in my successes and yearning for other choices in those situations that culminated in failure. But none of this matters when I come to God. It is as if the slate is wiped clean. I have not come to this place over a long and winding road. This place is new, clean, not the least bit affected by my realized or unrealized dreams. This breath I take now is the one that matters. This step I take right now is my life. Is it a good step? Is it a step that is in harmony with this life that stirs deep within the core of my being? Am I drawing this breath from the pristine heights of my living Source?
Have you ever felt like you wanted to walk away from your life and start over? This is what a direct experience with God offers. There are times when I go within and say, “I don’t know anything. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know anything about living a successful life. Now I am willing to be taught. I lay down this burden of unknowing. I am a child ready to be shown a way that is clean and clear and full of light. I want freedom. I want peace. I want to feel the vigor of youth and become immersed in the joy of creativity. I am nothing but an empty vessel ready to be filled.”
We are designed to know and live from God. The mechanism is in place. The time is right. The door is open.