Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

The other night before bedtime, I was reading the Gospel Luke and trying to make a connection between increased faith and getting our work done. From Luke 17:

And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’

It occurred to me that the human psyche has a habit of thinking it has done enough. “Did my job, good to go,” kind of attitude. However, was Jesus pointing out that this can indirectly lead to a feeling of unworthiness?

Christ Jesus lived a faith that reflected a worthiness of God’s great goodness, ever blessing us with health, joy, and courage. I think I’ll aim to do more than what is “required” or “expected” by human beings, and with great faith work for my God-given goodness.

 

The last couple of days I’ve been thinking about gardens. It started when I was asked to write an article about National Garden Conservancy Open Days. In my research, I visited a local participating garden. I also took a more metaphysical approach and discovered some references worth considering relating to gardens.

Here are a few pictures of the garden I visited.

Walking through fallen Magnolia petals

Walking through fallen Magnolia petals

Blooming helleborus

Blooming helleborus

Southeastern view

Southeastern view

The owner began reconfiguring his landscape in the 1980’s, proving we can reach stunning goals one step at a time. The owners of this garden are amazing people and graciously allowed me the opportunity to see a condensed version of intense beauty and respect for nature.

Fountain surrounded by fabulous stone work

Fountain surrounded by fabulous stone work

I laughed at myself as I drove home and looked at our lawn. No trees. No landscaping, just a sea of dandelions.

 

Below are excerpts from 21st Century Science and Health.

 

During his night of gloom, and yet success, in the garden of Gethsemane,[1] Jesus realized the absolute error of a belief in any possible human intelligence. Neglect, bigotry, and indifference pained and devastated him. His students slept. Couldn’t they care? Jesus was waiting and struggling in silent torment. He uncomplainingly was protecting a world. He asked them: “Could none of you stay awake with me for one hour?”[2] There was no response to that human request, and so Jesus turned forever away from earth to heaven, from sense to Soul.

 

Genesis 3:1–3.  Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

Mythical snake

Where does this talking conniving serpent come from? The serpent enters into the metaphor only as evil. We have nothing in the animal kingdom which represents the species described—a talking serpent. So be glad that evil, by whatever figure presented, contradicts itself and has no origin or support in Truth and good. Seeing this, we should have faith to fight all claims of evil because they are worthless and unreal.

 

Understanding the self-sustaining Life is the “plants bearing seed according to their kinds.”[3]

 

The pains of the body can be salutary, if they force the mind to dig itself out of false beliefs and transplant its affections in Soul, where the creations of God are good, “giving joy to the heart.”[4]

 

Mind made the “plant of the field”[5] before it appeared on the earth. The events of spiritual ascension are the days and seasons of Mind’s revelation, in which beauty, magnificence, purity, and holiness (the divine nature) appear in spiritual beings and the universe, never to disappear.


[1] Matt. 26:36; Mark 14:32; Luke 22:39

[2] Matt. 26:40; Mark 14:37 (REB)

[3] Gen. 1:12

[4] Ps. 19:8

[5] Gen. 2:5 (NASB)

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Science of Being

I ponder:

At what point do human beings shift from a loyalty to principle, to a loyalty to a party, or an organization?

At what point does religion stop becoming a pillar of stability, and in turn become a source of division?

At what point does our devotion to God morph into a devotion to a regime or church?