I love the navigation system that came with my car. I love being able to type in an address and let it guide me. I remember the days of paper maps and written directions. After that came printed maps from the Internet, but finally came the electronic navigation system. I could use one of those in my spiritual walk—a system which tells me where to turn and how to get to my spiritual destination. And, when I make a mistake, to correct me and put me back on course.
My dash mounted GPS system would tell me it was “recalculating” when I missed a turn. That was its way of saying I’d made a mistake. What I like is that it didn’t judge me, condemn me, or “guilt” me. I missed a turn, I made a mistake. So what? The GPS simply went about the process of getting me back on track to my destination. Even though there was no moral judgment from the device, I often grew weary of hearing that word, “recalculating.”
My new navigation system doesn’t inform me that it’s recalculating. It simply does it and then gives me my next turn. No guilt. No shame. It doesn’t tell me that I’m on my way to an awful, horrible, painful destination. It simply gets me back on track.
The reason why we do something is just as important as the thing we do. The way we go about doing something is just as important as the goal we hope to achieve. Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “The end is inherent in the means.” If the goal is worthy, the means to accomplish that goal must also be worthy.
If our goal is peace, we cannot accomplish it through war. If our goal is freedom, we cannot accomplish it by enslaving others. If our goal is love, we cannot achieve it through hatred, bigotry, and judgment. If our goal is happiness, we cannot accomplish it if we are making others unhappy. If our goal is to return to The Divine, we cannot accomplish it by denying others their journey.
This is practical in all areas of life. One may want a promotion at work but go about it with the wrong motivation, hurting others by their reckless ambition. If the motivation is correct, however, then when the goal is reached, the reward will be sweet—not bitter—and they will have won over friends and adversaries alike. Love is the greatest motivation possible, and achieves the greatest results.
I read an illustration once that said a diamond cutter might strike a stone a thousand times or more before he makes the first cut. The cutter knows that the work is slow, deliberate, and intense. The cutter also knows the time he spends preparing and striking are not wasted. In the course of time the desired results will be achieved.
In the spiritual world I wonder if some people haven’t considered the enormity of the task they undertake. They look for a shortcut to spiritual growth, hoping to avoid the thousand “blows” of the master stone cutter. Before undertaking a task, be certain the rewards are worth the effort. Also be certain that you have the proper tools. In spirituality those tools include prayer, contemplation, and mediation. But, the most important tools are forgiveness and love.
We settle upon our task, we make sure it is worthy of our efforts, and we remember that we are in it for the long haul. Perhaps blow one thousand and one will be the one to bring about the face of the diamond.
From time to time we come to a crossroads on our journey home. We seem to have lost our way. Some call it a crisis of faith. We wonder why we seem to have come to a dead end. We question if we have lost our way, or if we were ever on the right path to begin with. We may look for help from The Divine and find that The Divine is silent.
This is the time when we don’t look around us as much as we look within. Where did I go wrong? How could I have been deceived? A faith crisis is a time of redirection. In many situations we discover that the road we've traveled has taken us this far, but can lead us no further. It may also be a time when we decide to forsake organized religion—at least for a time—and venture out on our own. When we do, we discover we are not really on our own, and we never were.
Angels surround us and walk with us. The presence of The Divine travels with us and within us. The darkness is merely a cocoon that protects us until we are ready to break free and venture into new Light.
We don’t always understand why things unfold the way they do. It’s not important to understand, only to allow. It is nice when understanding comes, and we enjoy those “ah ha” moments. But, even without understanding, we can still trust that the Universe knows what it is doing.
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