Going for Joy

by | Sep 8, 2020 | Pastor's Desk | 0 comments

One of the more involved activities I have undertaken this year is to realize, for myself, a new consciousness. A new realization of my relationship with God.

I’ve already taken over a dozen Unity courses, I read dozens of books, I’ve watched hours and hours of YouTube videos, and I’ve listened to a year’s worth of audio.

Yet, it is the experiential aspect of consciousness I seek. I don’t want to just read about higher consciousness; I want to live it. I want to breathe it. I want to bathe in it.

Why do I seek a new consciousness? Am I unhappy where I am? Not at all. In fact, I’m probably happier now than I have ever been in my life. Thanks to this relationship you and I have right now, I am experiencing a new level of fulfillment I never imagined.

But I am not fully joyful. I don’t live every minute of every day in the full expression of Divine Joy.

Again, I’m not unhappy. I don’t have deep anxieties and I don’t have real fears of anything. Thanks to my daily meditations and prayers, my continued readings and study, and thanks to an amazing partner, I have everything for which be to be thankful.

But, I’m not completely joyful. And that’s where I begin my spiritual journey. By recognizing today, this moment, that I am not surrendered to the Divine Love of my creator. God is not waiting to give it to me, either. I don’t have to ask for Its love, nor is it something I have to seek out.

Divine Love is right here, right now. The Love of God is the substance of all creation. Love is the expression of the Christ Consciousness. It is the source of everything I need in this existence and beyond.

The Joy I am seeking is the emotional consequence of experiencing Divine Love.

I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

John 15:11

I started first grade in Oklahoma City. We had just moved there from Lubbock and in Lubbock, there was no kindergarten at the time. So, this was my first time to attend public school. The move had gone fairly easily, but the stress of Dad’s new job, mother creating a new home, and my attending school for the first time — all of this combined to make my sixth year of life rather busy and a bit stressful.

But, I remember one particular time that still stands out to me this day. I’m sure my Dad doesn’t remember this, but it impressed me a lot.

On my first day of school, we learned to go quickly into the hall if the tornado siren blew because, as it so happened on that first day, the siren did blow. My mother’s first child was ducking against a hallway wall because a huge twister was swirling about a mile away. She was so frightened, as you can imagine.

Everything that day turned out just fine, but I could sense from Mother that thunderstorms and tornadoes were bad. She had grown up in Oklahoma and spent many a night in a storm cellar when dark clouds came around.

So, when one night later that fall another thunderstorm came crashing through our neighborhood at night, we all — my parents, my little brother, and I — immediately went into fear mode. I remember the lighting illuminating the living room through the curtains as the crash of thunder shook the house a second or two later. We were listening for the sirens to let us know a tornado had been spotted nearby.

And yet, even though they were perhaps as frightened as my brother and I, Mother and Dad lifted us onto their shoulders and danced around the living room. When the lightning flashed, they would freeze until the thunder roared, then commence with galloping around the living room. My brother and I howled with laughter. They took us off their shoulders and tickled us, and kept us laughing until the storm passed.

I recall that night because that’s how I feel the Christ within me wants to help me cope with all that keeps me from being truly joyful. When I feel worried or anxious, I like to imagine the Christ lifting me on Its shoulder and running around while I giggle against the storms outside. Instead of cowering in darkness and allowing my mind to craft all types of bad outcomes, I allow myself to be tickled by the Divine Love within. When I see a worry come to mind, I look at it and laugh.

This may sound strange, but when I feel a pain in my body, I touch it and smile. Yes, I note the pain, but when I touch it and smile, it feels so much less.

You see, THIS is why I want Joy. I want joy to shut out all the storms raging in my life, aiming to rain on my proverbial parade. Joy does that.

When I am joyful, nothing — and I mean nothing — is more important. Nothing is threatening. Nothing hurts. In fact, in the brief times I experience true Joy, time and space disappear.

So, how do we go for Joy?

It may sound easy, but I’m not going to fool you. It’s a challenge. Just like anything worthwhile in life, it takes discipline and a commitment to take on the quest for Joy.

When you get a chance, listen back to the earlier meditation. Use that or some flavor of that.

The key is to recognize and honor whatever is challenging you. Then, you must take the Power of the Divine granted to you by your inheritance as the Child of God to dissolve it. Press it against your heart light and allow YOUR power to melt it into nothing.

That nothing will be replaced with Joy. Smile as you do this, too. That’s very important. You must be happy to rid yourself of whatever is causing you pain, discomfort, or anxiety. You must recognize that it really is only fear.

My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4

And you, dear one, are fearless. You are God’s child! Think about that for a moment.

Did you ever wish you had been born into a royal family? Oh, I did. Prince Bret! Heir to the kingdom. Just by the good fortune of my birth, I would have riches, respect, and power. I didn’t have to lift a finger; I just had to be born.

Well, you were born into royalty. You and I are princes and princesses of God. We are of royal, holy blood and we have all the ordained power and riches of this high honor.

If you close your eyes, you can even imagine yourself regaled in the robes of the holy family crest.

You are invincible. And when we realize that — fully realize that — we are joyful.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff — they comfort me.

Psalms 23:4

Step out into Divine Love. Know your place among the holy family as the Child of God.

Begin with me, this day, a journey for Joy. It will be a glorious trip.

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Pastor Bret

Pastor Bret

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Our mission as a progressive Unity congregation is led by “Pastor Bret,” as he’s known in our community. A serial entrepreneur and life-long student of New Thought, Bret brings an energetic and evolutionary approach to the Spiritual Journey.

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