Monday, November 26, 2018

Surrendering to Divine Will

            The following is a homily presented at the Institute for Spiritual Development in Oneonta, New York on Sunday, March 3rd, 2019:
           What do you think when someone says it must have been God’s will for a loved one to get sick and die? Or when a friend says, “God needed another angel” to explain a tremendous loss? And how about the insurance companies that refer to natural disasters as “Acts of God?” Why do we blame God when bad things happen? It’s no wonder some people balk when they think about submitting to divine will. Doesn’t that mean giving up control and letting bad things happen? God gave us free will for a reason, so why should we let it go?

If there is any aspect of traditional Christianity that metaphysicians agree with, it is that God gave humanity free will. When the earth was first created, it was truly a paradise, as symbolized by the Garden of Eden. People chose to live within divine will because it was a blissful existence of beauty, peace, harmony, love, and light. This heaven on earth existed at a higher vibratory level than the dimension we live in now. This is why archeologists will never find the remains of those advanced civilizations, nor the dragons, unicorns, and other so-called mythological beings that have always lived at a higher frequency.

Having free will allowed people to experiment, and eventually our experimentation led us away from divine will. The allegory of Adam and Eve eating the apple from the Tree of Knowledge symbolizes their taste of self-will which they found to be seductive and titillating and led them away from God. We were not kicked out of the Garden of Eden. We chose to leave our state of perfection in order to experience the physical delights of this three-dimensional existence. Eventually we forgot what it was like to be in divine will, and some of our free-will choices led to the poverty, sickness, and violence that we know in this world. When bad things happen, they are the result of our choices, not acts of God.

Jesus reminded us to pray: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” In my version of the Lord’s Prayer I wrote: “We give thanks for your blessing of the kingdom within and ask that you help us to know it is here and now when we choose your will over our own.” I wrote this because I realize we have to do more than ask God that divine will be done. We must choose divine will in our own lives if we hope to see the manifestation of God’s plan for the earth.

How do we know when we are choosing divine will rather than our own self will?
One way to know is when we surrender something we thought we had to have, and then something better comes along. This has happened to me on a few occasions throughout my life. The event that I refer to most often as an example of divine will is the conception of my daughter 34 years ago. Mark and I had been trying to conceive for three years when I finally got pregnant and miscarried two months later. Nine months after that we decided to give up on the fertility treatments and apply to adopt a child. We realized that we would love any baby that God put into our arms. When the adoption agency promised we would have a healthy baby within a year our hearts brimmed over with joy. A few months later I conceived Vera and told the agency they could give our baby to another couple. I would never say that it is not divine will for any child to be born, but I’ve always felt that Vera was a special gift from God because we had surrendered our need and desire to have our own biological child.

            Another way to discern that a choice is in harmony with divine will is to have absolute certainty that the guidance is clear. We often doubt ourselves when we make a decision, wondering whether or not we took the right path. Diana can tell you that I spent much of my life wrestling with the problem of what kind of work to do that would use my gifts and talents and also provide some income. Diana always encouraged me to write, but free-lance writing was such a frustrating and often thankless occupation, I felt sure there had to be something else in my life contract, if only I could remember what it was.

            In 2007, when I was 54, my father gave me a copy of Money Magazine because it contained an article about jobs for people over 50.  I put the magazine aside, since I was in the middle of a good book at the time. Maybe I was reading Write It Down, Make It Happen because one morning I decided to write in my journal: “Today is the day that I will discover my life’s work.” After that I proceeded with the day’s chores, not thinking very much about what I had written. When I sat down for lunch, I picked up the Money Magazine to look at while I ate. The third suggestion on the list of great news jobs for people over 50 was “life-cycle celebrant,” something I had never heard of. I saw that the job involved working with clients to create unique ceremonies, and that I could become a celebrant by studying with the Celebrant Foundation and Institute which was seeking students who had an interest in ceremony and ritual, public speaking experience, excellent writing abilities, organizational skills, basic computer skills, and a love of the arts and working with people. When I read this description of the institute’s ideal student, I knew that my prayers had been answered. Just a month later I was accepted into the program and today I am entering my twelfth year as a life-cycle celebrant having written and performed nearly 300 weddings, several memorial services, and one baby naming. It is the only job I’ve ever had where I feel that I truly shine, and so I know that it was God’s will that I do this work.

            I was pretty far along in this life before I found the work that has been the most meaningful and rewarding for me, but that doesn’t mean I hadn’t done God’s will in different aspects of my earlier life. I had been a stay-at-home mother for 15 years and I’d held a variety of jobs that I at least tried to do lovingly. I believe that when we act in love; when we choose to do that which is for the highest good of all, not just what we want for ourselves, we can be pretty certain we are in alignment with divine will. Often there is more than one possibility for a divine will decision, just as there are many paths to Oneness with the Divine.

As Edgar Cayce’s readings tell us: “We are capable of choices that are truly free because we are children of God, spiritual beings, and as cocreators with God, capable of truly creative expression.” Sometimes our choices lead us away from our soul’s mission for this life, which is the same for everyone: Christ consciousness - the return to Oneness with the soul of God. Cayce said that all souls were created in the image of Love, and it is our destiny to be conformed to that image. In other words, it is our destiny to surrender to divine will, but we can take as many lifetimes as we want to fulfill that destiny, and we can do it in whatever way we choose. Some choices lead us through difficulties from which we can learn and grow. Eventually Divine Love changes our stumbling blocks into stepping stones that lead back to the path of Oneness. This is the slow and painful method of spiritual growth that all of us have chosen – or we wouldn’t be here, in this school of life.

Maybe when we think about doing God’s will we imagine a narrow, rigid life, like that of a nun or a monk who does nothing but fast and pray. We forget that God is a Creator who made us in His and Her image, to be co-creators. God gave us free will so that we could be creative! “Divine will” implies choices in harmony with universal law which give us greater freedom to create and express ourselves.

I used to think that there had to be a specific plan for my life, and if I could only learn what God’s will for me was, I would know what to do. I can’t tell you how many psychic readings, attunements, and horoscopes I had in my search for the answer. According to these readings I could have done any number of things with my life. People used to go to Edgar Cayce for vocational advice, and he would tell them to choose! Like me, they wanted to be told what to do, so they wouldn’t have to make a decision. But like me, they learned that being in divine will doesn’t mean we don’t have choices. It just means we have to make our choices based on love, and there are many ways to do that!

Whatever you choose to do with your life, do it in love, and you will be in alignment with divine will. One of my favorite channels, Sanaya Roman, channeled these words from the higher light being, Orin: “As you align with Divine Will and allow your life to change for the better, you make a wonderful contribution to humanity. One life well lived, aligned with the soul, guided by higher energies, and in harmony with the souls of all life can impact thousands of lives in a positive way. You do not need to be famous, give speeches, change professions, or do anything differently with your life to serve humanity and to make an important contribution. It is your vibration, your inner light, and the qualities that you embody that are your greatest gifts to humanity.”

But, we might ask, how do we know if we are aligning with Divine Will? When faced with a decision, if we automatically choose what we want without considering whether it is for the highest good of all concerned, it is probably not in alignment with Divine Will. 

When I discussed Divine Light in a previous talk, I mentioned that the First Ray of Blue Light, that is strongest on Mondays, is the Flame of the Will of God. The Master El Morya, whose physical embodiments included those of Abraham, King Arthur, and Sir Thomas Moore, is in charge of the First Ray. According to El Morya’s transmission to Aurelia Louise Jones for her book, The Seven Sacred Flames, “The First Ray has a unique position in this great evolutionary plan of Creation because this ray represents the initial impulse by which the ideas, born of the Heart and Mind of God, are given to Life.”

Most of us in the third dimension do not like change, even if it is for our benefit, because we are used to our lives the way they are. How many of us would be willing to pack up and move to a new city if we knew it was God’s will for us to do so? Would we be willing to change our beliefs if we learned that some of our cherished ideas were not in sync with divine will? Will we give up some of our leisure activities to spend time on the spiritual disciplines that will help us to pass the initiations of the First Ray?

In addition to our surrender to divine will, the divine qualities we must develop in order to pass the initiations of the First Ray are courage, faith, initiative, dependability, constancy, self-reliance, and self-trust. This is a tall order, especially for those who claim, “I’m only human. Nobody can be perfect except Jesus, because he was God.” That’s what my Christian friends tell me, and we, too, are so often caught up in the conflicts, ailments, and tragedies of our daily lives, that we can’t focus on the work we must do to become masters like Jesus was.

In order to ascend, to be admitted into the fifth dimension, we must be willing to make the changes necessary to express our unconditional obedience to the great Love, Wisdom, and Power of God. El Morya says: “When an individual dedicates himself to becoming a ‘candidate for Ascension’ or a ‘Teacher of the Law,’ and his motive is to spread the light with purity of heart and transparency, not simply to make a living, we immediately enfold such a one under our Wings of Love and offer protection and guidance. One must learn to become a disciple before becoming a master.”

Jesus said: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” To deny ourselves means to choose God’s will over our own. The cross represents the intersection of our ego with our divine I Am self. It can remind us of the choices we must make to raise our vibration each day. So yes, choosing divine will can make life more difficult at times – but the rewards are great, and when every member of the human race surrenders to Divine Will, we will know what it is to dwell together in peace and harmony, as the children of God we are.

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