Jesus Part III: The Law, The Love, The Liberty
Do not look over there, or over here, or in some other direction, for the Kingdom of God is within you (Jesus, sort of)
“No strength exists that can interrupt or break the chain of causes; and Nature is conquered only by obedience.” Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
Jesus told his disciples to become as little children so they could enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What did he mean? Kids in his day were doing all kinds of menial labor by the time they were five or six years old. Girls were betrothed, married, and mothers by 13 or 14. Boys were plowing fields, hauling water, gathering and piling up camel dung, and more. Unless you were of the ruling classes, which Jesus and his followers weren’t, your life was tough. Life span average was around 30. So, what could Jesus have meant? Trust? Openness? Curiosity? No, that's how we think of childhood today. He more than likely meant obedience, as Bacon reveals in the above quote. Obedience to what? To some outside and distant god? Hardly. Jesus, as always when referring to obedience, means obeying and working with the Nature of Things, that is, the Natural Law of Cause and Effect. (Some might refer to this law as the Law of Attraction but with all due respect, that doesn't serve the purpose here.) He repeats it in parables and other teachings so often that missing it can only be by the reader's failure, innocent though it may be, to observe and pay attention.
Understanding and obeying the Law of Cause and Effect can keep you young. Here are a few ways to work with Law and enhance your life and those around you:
- Magnify what’s best. Treat yourself with respect, no criticism. Praise yourself and forget perfection. “Waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence. It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetent to mediocre than from good to excellent.” (Peter Drucker, leadership guru)
- Focus on what’s next. Practice as if no one is judging. Set your sights. Start from where you are. “You’re old when you look backward more than forward.” (Unknown)
- Look for the gift. In spite of the trauma, pain, or disrespect, there is a gift in each situation, if you will look for it. “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of suffering.” (Helen Keller)
Working consciously with the Law of Cause and Effect is less like obeying rigid rules and more like adopting a powerful discipline. As you magnify what's best--in your life and in your world--and as you focus on what's next--in both your personal and professional life--and as you look for the gift in everything, you are placing the universe at your command. It literally, as the saying goes, rolls in ecstasy at your feet.
“If you put everything off ‘til you’re sure of it, you’ll get nothing done." Norman Vincent Peale
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People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.
(Attributed to Mother Theresa)
(This series will enlighten some, anger others, be of no interest to even more. No matter. My job is to lay it out as I see it. If you think I am going to hell for what I write here, so be it. I've heard that many times before. It didn't bother me in the past; it doesn't bother me now. There is no hell, no devil, no eternal punishment. Those who believe the Bible teaches all that simply have misunderstood the writings. The great theologians who believe it are wrong; if you believe it, you are wrong. But you see, that's OK. I'm not condemning you. You'll be fine. Me, too. Much love.)