By Gary Eby, MSW
Look around and you can sense the beauty, wonder, and majesty of life. However, it is a mystery to me why there also appears to be so much pain, suffering, confusion, frustration, and a plethora of unhappy or harmful experiences.
Some people would say there is only One Power; that duality is an illusion. Be that as it may, when bad things happen to us, it hurts. All of us need a system or process to get through the rough and hard times.
Those of you who known me through my articles, realize that I truly believe in the power of the Positive over all that is negative. Unfortunately, for inexplicable reasons I have not been spared from possibly experiencing more than my fair share of set-backs, problems, and personal challenges. In this article, I would like to vent about a major life problem that really threw me for a loop. Then I will do my best to discuss how the resolution of this conflict from a spiritual perspective suggests a process that all of us can use to overcome any challenge.
The Bible does give us some clues about how to use faith to conquer anything that might be thrown our way. I could refer you to the story about Job; or Noah and the Ark; Daniel in the Lions Den; Jonah and the Whale; David and Goliath; the list goes on and on. Let me start by sharing the saga about my fireplace.
I love my fireplace. A few years ago, I actually wrote a poem about the mystical allure of the fireplace. I like sitting by the warm glow of the fireplace almost as much as I enjoy walking the beach by the ocean. Thought you might enjoy for a moment the last lines of my Fireplace poem: "Spend time with me at the fireplace. Lay your troubles down. Discover the mystery and a secret profound: firelight reflects the life-force that inspires, protects, and sets us free to live on in a cool, purple flame of forever more."
My fireplace is actually one of those new, electrical devices that simulates burning logs and blows out heat to any room you place it in. To my dismay, it broke down in August; but I was revealed to realize it was covered by a five-year-extended warranty. So, I contacted the furniture store to get it fixed. But representatives of their repair department told me they didn't service the fireplace, and I would have to put in a claim to a separate warrenty company. Frankly, I was somewhat disappointed that the furniture store didn't have the means to repair the fireplace; that's kind of why I bought the extended warrenty to begin with.
Anyhow, I filled out the claim forms and faxed them to the warranty company. A week later they sent me an email explaining they had hired a sub-contractor in our area to do the repairs. I was pretty excited things were getting worked out. Then I went through more frustration and delays as one sub-contractor after another cancelled on me.
The good news is that several weeks later a sub-contractor did send out a repair person to our home. He said we needed to replace the heater and blower assembly, which costs about $300. He explained I shouldn't worry because his store owner would order the part and our warranty would cover all of the costs. He also reminded me that it would take about fourteen days to get the part.
Fourteen days later, I still had not received the part. In confusion with some righteous irritation, I contacted the warranty company again. They had no idea why I hadn't received the part. After they investigated it further they discovered that the sub-contractor store owner had forgotten to order the part. But I shouldn't worry because the part was definitely ordered now. Of course I needed to wait 14 more days.
Well, the lessons I had learned from this whole troubling experience was not to wait the full 14 days to take action. Therefore, I contacted the manufacturer directly. I found out that the part had been ordered, but since nobody had paid for it, they could not ship it! Can you imagine my frustration at this point?
Now with some real anger brewing, I called the warranty company back. They said they were sorry, but their policies and procedures prohibited them from paying for the part directly. They offered to further investigate.
A week later, (now it's the middle of October) the warranty company calls me back. They apologized again for the delay. They explained the sub-contractor hadn't returned their calls, but eventually he did respond to them. He said that in a week or so he would "probably mail a check to the manufacturer." He didn't explained why he failed to do so earlier, or why he just didn't pay for the part with a credit card.
Now I felt like I was caught in a strange catch 22 : I had purchased an extended warranty; my fireplace was broken; but nobody responsible for fixing it would pay for the repairs. It was the end of October. I had advocated, complained, shouted, and done everything humanly possible to get my fireplace fixed, but nothing was happening. And of course I was waiting for the "check to be put in the mail."
Needless to say, I didn't sleep very well that night. I was upset, angry, anxious. It seemed I was hopelessly trapped in a bizarre warranty fraud that nobody had the will or power to resolve. Time for me to pray: I counted to five, and went through the steps I explained in my previous articles about how I use prayer and meditation. Finally, I just surrendered, embraced stillness,and simply turned the whole shebang over to Spirit. Thankfully I was finally able to get some sleep that night.
The next morning, as I was waking up, I had an amazing experience. I heard a voice in my head saying, "One Mind; One Consciousness." At first, I couldn't figure out how these ideas would help me resolve the catch 22. Then it occurred to me: it wouldn't hurt to contact the store manager of the furniture company where I had purchased the fireplace.
I got a hold of the owner of the store and shared my nightmare saga about the fireplace. I explained the history of the problem, all the faux-pas, my disappointments, and frustrations.
The owner really connected to my story. He assured me he would advocate for me and take care of the problem. The next day he sent out a service man who inspected the fireplace and ordered the the part. Since November the 5th, the fireplace is working again, shining with it's ancient flames and mystical warmth in the spirit of One Mind and One Consciousness.
When you encounter a problem or challenge, after you have tried everything humanly possible to resolve the problem, don't despair. Turn to Divine Mind: pray, be still, listen, and in the spirit of the One Loving Consciousness, take the new steps that will occur to you to fix the problem.
We have complete access all the time to everything we need in this material realm to overcome any challenge. Just go within; remember; affirm; feel; visualize; and surrender to One Mind and One Consciousness.
That is the process I recommend for us to overcome any challenge. If it can work for me, it can work for you you too.
Oh...and one last thought: If you are interested in checking out the evidence regarding this information, please read "One Mind" by Larry Dossey, M.D. It is amazing and comforting. Didn't I tell you there is beauty, wonder, and majesty in life?