The Preparation of Self
The realization that we are ever in His presence is not always easy when we allow the cares of the world to creep in and draw us away in body and mind. As we are in various stages of growth, во we are in different states of consciousness. What might be absolutely necessary for the preparation of self for one of us, for another might be secondary. It is well, however, for all to observe:
1. The laws of righteous judgment and clean living.
2. Special hours for meditation and prayer, that we may be strengthened during times of severe temptation and trials.
3. The realization that He is ever with us, whether we are in sorrow or joy, for mind is the builder.
4. Such standards of conduct that others may know that what we profess with our lips to believe is in keeping with that which we hold as our ideal.
We should be living examples of what we profess. Many of us follow from afar and our actions are not in keeping with the Christ Consciousness. We often give others the wrong impression of His attributes manifesting through us.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." What are His commandments? "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my little ones, ye have done it unto me." "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am [in consciousness], there ye may be also."
Finally, as we abide in His presence, though there may come tri als of every kind, and though tears may flow from the breaking up of the carnal forces within, the spirit is made glad, even as He in the hour of trial smiled upon him by whom He was denied.
Let us remember that physically, mentally, and spiritually we continually reflect our understanding of His presence. Let us study to show ourselves approved unto Him day by day; for in so doing the light of His presence shows forth in our precepts, in our examples, in our words, and in our works.
As we look upon our fellow humans, we find that their activities, in whatever sphere they may be, are expressions of the attitudes they have builded regarding God. Their life reflects what they worship. Their actions show the spirit which is within them. Are they not using the same measure for us?
In the physical body, good health is a reflection of our observance of physical laws. Even the small details involving the care of the body are important, for they are either in accord with laws that bring a finer type of expression or lead to inharmony. The physical surroundings, the type of companions sought, and every physical action express to others our concept of how near God, law, and love are to us.
As the activities of the body reflect the strength of the physical person, so the activities of the mind reflect the strength of the mental body. The question of controlling our actions physically is in part answered by laws and customs made by mortals; but the problems of controlling our thoughts, which truly maybe just as harmful and out of tune with the Infinite, are personal matters which must be met by each individual. Thought vibrations go out, words are spoken, deeds are done, and all carry to others their influences and their impressions of our understanding of God.
How spiritual are our lives? How often do we seek through meditation and prayer contacts with our Creator? Do our attitudes and our philosophies of life center about a spiritual ideal? Others look for these signs and are influenced by them. We believe, but do we express our belief in our words, thoughts, deeds, and attitudes?
Experiencing the Abiding Presence
The consciousness that He walks and talks with us, and that His promises are ever present, brings abiding peace. This makes for joy in service, even though it requires that there be greater and greater sacrifices of the carnal forces within our experiences. Joy does not come through service that benefits self. One that serves through kind words, thoughts, or deeds, gives of oneself, even as He, the Master.
With the realization of being in His presence comes that peace which casts out all fear and loneliness. There comes a feeling of being a part of the scheme of things. This is recognizing the God within as well as without. With this realization the way is easier. We will have more consideration for others. Condemnation will be cast aside and we will have a desire to bless.
"My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." The protection of the Holy Spirit is His promise, if we are faithful. As we use what we know, not waiting for physical results before going on to the next step, we will find-when we least expect it- that which we desire has been granted. We are children in faith, knowledge, and understanding; we have to be taught and disciplined. Could a child be trusted with a live wire? No more could we be trusted with divine power until we, through love, discipline, and faith come to understand the divine law. It is the Father's good pleasure to give us the kingdom. It is ours only when we learn through patience to possess our souls.