STONE THIRTEEN CONTINUED
Love: I learn to deepen my ability to love when I learn to tolerate, accept, embrace, and forgive. I choose to employ these attributes to my spiritual walk, to my personal relationships, and to my world view.
Instruction: Choose love.
In every decision we make, we will find our world more peaceful if we stop to consider what love would do. Love doesn’t choose sides. But, it does discern and recognizes when someone has been hurt or abused. Love defends the one bullied while also having compassion for the bully. In a spirit of love, it attempts to correct the offender. It considers the needs of those offended and offers healing, but love also considers the needs of the offender. Both are in a place of needing our love, understanding, forgiveness, and compassion. Both are in need of grace.
I have lived most of my life in Cincinnati, Ohio, and as such, I have been a Cincinnati Bengals’ football fan. I have to admit there have been times when the Bengals weren’t playing well, and I would send up a prayer on their behalf. The majority of the time, it didn’t seem to work. Does The Divine have a favorite sports team? Is The Divine swayed by our prayers to help one team over another? Consider this on a higher scale and think about religions and nations. Does The Divine favor one nation over another or one religion above another? If so, then The Divine would seem to have human characteristics that can be manipulated. If The Divine favors one nation or one religion above the others, doesn’t that mean The Divine loves one more than another, or that The Divine seems to reward one over another?
Some claim that we are a nation under God, but don’t other nations claim the same thing? Perhaps they use a different name to refer to their deity, but still the claim persists and seems to imply that because we believe we are “under God” that we are granted some kind of special favoritism — or that we are loved more. Divine love is not only unconditional, it is also equal. The Divine loves each nation, each religion, and each individual equally. The Divine has no favorites, doesn’t back any particular football team, and loves us without conditions. May I be so bold as to suggest that Divine forgiveness, if even necessary, is also without conditions? We are forgiven not because of our actions or behavior, but because The Divine loves us like a parent loves His or Her child, and we are all created and formed in the image of Love. Perhaps the thought that The Divine loves all people and nations equally is new to you. If so, give it a chance to resonate with you.
Today’s Assignment is to consider how big your Higher Power is. Do you believe in a supreme being who shows favoritism? Perhaps it is time for you to enlarge your vision of The Divine. As you consider how readily The Divine is to love and forgive you, may you can find it easier to love and forgive yourself and others.
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Congratulations to those who have read and applied these lessons. My hope is that you have found new insights, a better understanding of love and forgiveness, and perhaps a measure of help on your personal journey. Spiritual growth is often like watching a tree grow. We don’t see a lot of movement, but, over time, a small seed can turn into a massive tree. Spiritual growth isn’t something that happens overnight. We learn a little bit every day, and over time, we grow into spiritual giants who bring love and healing to our planet. You are on your spiritual journey. Stay the course. Watch for course corrections. Listen to the voice of Love.
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