I was on my way to Unity in San Leandro to do some music ministry, first time at this church, when I spilled my coffee all over the front seat. Fortunately the java deluge missed drenching my clothes so I didn’t have to drive home to change my shirt. When I asked my angels, “That’s the only bad thing that will happen today, right?” perhaps they were laughing. For sure, they were helping me to laugh about it.
Sunday’s theme at Unity was “power” so the singer had chosen songs to reflect it. What a relief to be talking about spiritual power for a change, rather than the power of money or politics. While I waited in the spring sun for someone to arrive and open up the church, I meditated on the theme, power that comes to assist the believer from the Spirit within.
“Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship; it is an addition of power, not an added burden of life.” (The Urantia Book, The UB,
159:3.8) As Jesus taught, “my yoke is easy, my burden is light (Matthew 11:30).”
I sometimes wish I could help young people in our community who suffer from low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, even being unforgiven for their weaknesses. The culmination of such an inner darkness is depression, perhaps more commonly manic depression. We hope for the chance to tell them about the added power of faith.
I confess to a tendency to the belief, as an adult, that I’ve overcome phases of manic depression that I went through in my own young adult life. When honestly confronting myself, however, I realize there are still times I have to battle the demons back into their corner. One helpful attitude I have learned as a grown-up is to be unafraid to seek help from the indwelling spirit. But too many young people are afraid to look within. We must help them trust the process and pray for an opportunity when it feels right to offer it.
“The winds of grace are always blowing, but you have to raise the sail.” (Ramakrishna)
“When the flood tides of human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat about the mortal soul, you may rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the spirit, which is absolutely unassailable; at least this is true of every human being who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit of the eternal God.” (100:2.7)
In my early years of reading The Urantia Book, I made a pledge to follow the instructions Jesus gave to Fortune, The Young Man Who Was Afraid. I learned to “set [my] mind at work to solve its problems; teach [my] intellect to work for [me]; refuse longer to be dominated by fear like an unthinking animal. Your mind should be your courageous ally in the solution of your life problems rather than your being, as you have been, its abject fear-slave and the bond servant of depression and defeat.” (130:6.3) This requires progress in self-mastery as well as faith.
We can gain renewed confidence from prayer, being energized by “divinely creative” power (143:7.5) when we attain worshipful moments in our praying that add the power to transform. The UB compares our acts of faith to the action of a spiritual engine, a load-lifting lever. “In executing those decisions which deliver you from the fetters of fear, you literally supply the psychic fulcrum on which the Adjuster may subsequently apply a spiritual lever of uplifting and advancing illumination.” (108:5.8)
“… choosing to do the will of God joins spiritual faith to material decisions in personality action and thus supplies a divine and spiritual fulcrum for the more effective functioning of the human and material leverage of God-hunger.” (110:6.17)
Jesus taught his apostles that such a fulcrum could also be leveraged for social and economic solutions, “Religion is the exclusively spiritual experience of the evolving immortal soul of the God-knowing man, but moral power and spiritual energy are mighty forces which may be utilized in dealing with difficult social situations and in solving intricate economic problems.”(156:5.10)
This kind of faith is given a new term in the Urantia Book, a “power-presence,” as Jesus described it to Fortune, “Begin your deliverance from the evils of inaction by the power-presence of living faith.” (130:6.3)Such a faith as he taught is not passive, nor “a burden.” It is a powerful assault on what can seem like insurmountable problems, a spiritual force for solutions. Sometimes I can’t imagine how I would survive in this world without the added power of faith.
The rest of my Sunday worship at Unity went beautifully and as I’d suspected, nothing else bad happened beyond the coffee stain on my car seat. A Unity service will often quote from one of their founders, Charles Fillmore. About power he states, “Power is man's innate control over his thoughts [and] feelings. A quickening from on high must precede his realization of dominion. "Ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you" (Acts 1:8). God is All-Power, thus all things are possible with Him.”
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