Musings On The Path: Daily Spiritual Reading; March 1-7
March 1: The Promise of Spring
“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophesy of what you shall at last unveil.” James Allen
March offers the promise of what shall one day be; spring. On the day the calendar flips from February to March, we are filled with renewed hope that spring is just around the corner. Freezing howling winds are no matter. Mounds of snow ignored. This month promises that spring will come. In March, we willingly look beyond what is seen, straining our vision for the hope of what we know will arrive.
You can begin looking now for what you will become. As you dream, so shall you become, if you do not lose heart. If you dare to dream a bigger dream for your life, immediate results may not be apparent.
Like losing weight or saving money, living a greater vision for your life takes time and commitment. Small changes are not instantly noticeable. The accumulation of small changes, performed consistently over time, creates life changes that reveal your true character.
I love to drink hot tea. Sometimes, attached to a tea bag, I find inspirational and motivational sayings. Recently, I began to question the necessity of rising out of my warm bed at 4:30 in the morning to read, study and write. I wondered if an extra hour or two of sleep would benefit me more than writing time. One morning, during these mental machinations, my tea sent me a message. Actually, God sent me a message, using my tea bag as the messenger. “Patience gives the power to practice; practice gives the power that leads to perfection.”
As you wait for the promise of spring and the promise of a greater life for yourself, be patient. Patiently practice those things that will take you closer to your dream. The small steps taken together will take you on a path unknown.
Practice patience today, working in small steps to your goal. Whatever your goal, remember that those small steps add up to enormous changes. Allow yourself the time and space to practice, and the freedom to hope for greater things.
March 2: Lighting The Way
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer
We are all spiritual beings, currently walking human paths, robed in human bodies. For some, this idea is frightening. To embrace the role as a spiritual being seems daunting and unmanageable. It can feel much safer to limit your being to a human body with no greater purpose.
You are the light of the world. God has created you to share that light with everyone. There is no greater task, no greater purpose, no higher ideal than to embrace who you are created to be and share that with the world, in fact, with The Universe.
In her book, ‘A Return To Love,’ Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. We were born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us.” (©1993, Harper Perennial, New York)
As a spiritual being, you are called to share your gifts with those around you. But what are your gifts? How can you manifest God’s glory? What’s so special about you?
These questions plagued me for years. What is so special about me? The answer is nothing. And everything. The one thing that sets me apart and makes me special is God’s love. We all have it, but we do not all express it.
I like to bake, and when I bring cookies to work, it is sharing love with those around me. Even something as simple as taking a moment to listen to a friend and offer a word of encouragement, is sharing God’s love. You don’t have to give money to every homeless person holding a sign, but when you pause and acknowledge the diving spark that dwells in every person, then you are sharing light.
You are the light of the world. Do not let fear or unease cause you to hide your light. Be bold. Be daring. Be uniquely you. In that moment, as you express your true diving nature, you will reignite the spark for someone else. Ultimately, that is your function.
Today, seek to share God’s love. Look for ways to bring light, hope and love to the people around you.
March 3: The Gift of Forgiveness
“All major religions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.” Dalai Lama
What is forgiveness? Some believe that to forgive another is to excuse the wrongs they have committed and forget the past, moving on as if nothing really happened.
Forgiveness is a much different gift. I remember a time in my early thirties when I felt it was time to forgive my parents. I had harbored anger and resentment against them since my teen years. I was angry they got divorced. I resented my dad and his new family. I felt abandoned and unloved by both parents, and I felt completely justified in my bitterness.
One day, sitting alongside a swimming pool in Medina, Texas, I realized that the only person hurting from my continued resentment was me. My parents didn’t really care. I realized that to free myself, I needed to forgive them.
How I wrestled and struggled with that idea. When the bible talks about Jacob wrestling with God, I understand exactly what that means. How could I possibly forgive them? Alcoholism, emotional abuse, poverty, abandonment, failure to love; in my heart, I harbored an extensive list of grievances. And besides that, they hadn’t even asked for my forgiveness.
Slowly I realized that the gift of forgiveness would free me. In a quiet moment, I spoke the words aloud, barely audible over my sobbing.
“I forgive you.”
I forgave them for not being the parents I wanted or needed. I forgave them for not loving me the way I expected. I forgave them for falling short of my expectations.
In that moment of forgiveness, I realized that they were doing the best they could. I felt the grip of anger release my heart, and I discovered that forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves.
Ponder the idea of forgiveness today, and search your heart. Do you harbor feelings of anger, resentment, or hurt from your past? Explore the idea of forgiving, not only for the people who hurt you, but more importantly, to free yourself from the burden you carry.
March 4: Igniting Inspiration
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly.” Langston Hughes
There was a time, when I was young, that I dreamed of being a writer. I believed I could write words that people would enjoy reading. In the sixth-grade, I wrote a fan letter to my favorite author, Stephen King. He kindly sent back an encouraging postcard that said, “If you want to be a writer, then keep writing.”
For many years in adulthood, I put that dream away. I needed a job that paid real money. I have a lot of children and they needed food and clothing and a place to live. One day, in the midst of toiling and struggling, I saw a small ad in the newspaper, requesting an editorial assistant for a book. Taking a leap of faith, I applied for and got the job. As I helped the author edit his book, I realized that I could still write. Although I had put that dream in a box and sealed it up tight, it was struggling to emerge.
Writers write. Dancers dance. Remember what you wanted to be and be that. Divine inspiration calls to your heart, reminding you of youthful passion and zeal. Now is the time to embrace inspiration and let your spirit soar.
I am a writer. A lifetime spent not writing did not enrich my soul. For years, I wrote for no one except myself. The writing was what enlivened my spirit. As I turned toward freeing my true self, I began to find ways t get paid for my writing. Your passion may not earn you a living, but your passion will ignite your soul.
Your purpose here is to discover the nature of who you were created to be. When you discover the things that make your heart sing, then you are fulfilling your purpose. Think back to when you were younger. What dreams inspired you then? How did you imagine your life? You do not have to abandon yourself. Take time t examine your dreams and inspiration. You can incorporate one or two small elements of who you want to be with who you are now.
Just because you aren’t living an inspired life doesn’t mean you are stuck. Find something small that makes you smile. Do that more. If you feel stuck or uninspired, as God or The Universe for help. If you ask for direction, Spirit will lead the way.
Spend some time daydreaming today. Remember what you really want, and take a few small steps toward achieving that inspired life.
March 5: Who Are You?
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.” Judy Garland
You were created for a unique purpose. You have unique gifts, talents and abilities that together create a beautiful image of you.
Human nature causes us to wish to be different, not only in our physical appearance, but in our personalities as well. We fear that people won’t like us or won’t approve of who we are. When you are able to relax and accept who you are, then others will enjoy being around you. There will always be people who don’t appreciate you. Spend less time around them and more time around people who love you for who you are.
I am very talkative. Throughout my life, growing up, teachers and adults were constantly shushing me and telling me to be quiet. I always knew there was something wrong with me. When I became “religious” later in life, I begged God to help me be quiet and demure. I tried so hard to be something other than what I am.
One day, while praying, God spoke to my heart. Suddenly I realized that he created me to be talkative, and rather than look at it as a curse, I could use it as a blessing. I now harness my speaking ability to encourage others. And sometimes I still talk too much, or too loudly, or at the wrong time. But, I am learning and practicing a time to speak and a time to be still. I, like everyone else, am a work in progress.
We all have unique skills, abilities and even challenges. Rather than look at yourself and wish to be different, find a way to use your gifts. You are a blessing to those around you, and God wouldn’t have it any other way.
Today, look for ways to use your gifts to uplift and encourage the people in your life. There is a reason you are the way you are. Find it and make the very best of it.
March 6: Don’t Worry, Be Happy
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” Corrie Ten Boom
When you are in the middle of conflict, tension and problems, it is easy to slip into a state of worry. It may seem impossible to face a difficult situation from a place of peace. The problem only grows bigger when you waste time worrying. Although it may seem impossible, it is important, especially during times of trouble or conflict, to face problems with a peaceful heart.
Through a series of unfortunate events and poor choices, I recently lost a good friend. I wasted an entire week agonizing over how the situation would resolve, what I should do, and how I should act. When I tried t turn the situation over to God, he calmly and consistently urged me to be still and trust.
Stillness and trust were not what I was looking for. I wanted action and answers. I worried incessantly about what I should be doing, and I spent sleepless nights tossing and turning n angst.
Finally, in the middle of one night, I decided there was nothing for me to do in the situation. With a deep sigh of resignation, I turned my troubles over to God. Although it took another whole day for me to completely release my fears, I finally got my life back. I felt released and free. The problems still existed, but once I acknowledged my powerlessness in the situation and stopped trying to force a resolution, then I finally gained access to God’s peace.
Whatever conflict, trouble or fear you are facing, remember that you can choose peace instead of worry. Surround yourself wit the positive power of The Universe: take a walk outside; talk with someone you trust; watch a sunset; view the moon and the stars on a cloudless night.
When you operate from a place of peace, you allow the Holy Spirit to work wonders. From that peace, solutions will arise. From that peace, your spirit soars. From that peace comes God’s strength. Today, seek peace instead of worry. If even for just a moment, breathe deeply and allow yourself to release your fear. Breathe in God’s love, breathe out peace.
March 7: Finding Fulfillment
“It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.” Denis Waitley
You are here for a unique purpose. Each one of us was created to fulfill an individual calling, that none other will answer.
When you find that unique, inspired purpose for your life, you will discover fulfillment. But you don’t have to seek in vain. Whatever you are doing today, whatever career, vocation or task you undertake, let that be your mission and ministry of love. No matter how small or insignificant, or how big and important your job is, it can be your ministry and it can help you find fulfillment in who you were created to be.
There were many days, while homeschooling my children and changing babies diapers that I felt unfulfilled and insignificant. Some days, the only people I had contact with were my children. And sometimes, I felt so lost and so uninspired. I remember God speaking to my heart during one homeschool lesson. He told me that my job was to teach these little ones about love and devotion. He reminded me that in that moment, there was nothing more important for me than to minister His love to those children. I realized that changing diapers, singing songs, and educating kids was about more than the mere task at hand. I finally realized that I was fulfilling a significant role, and that it would not last forever.
Everything you do in life, whether it is raising children, waiting tables, or writing books, impacts the life of someone else. You are not a minor player in your life. You are the star of your show. You are the main attraction. To find fulfillment, seek to perform in your life to the best of your ability. Use your life to minister to those around you. All of life is a stage and you play the leading role. You can fulfill your destiny today and every day when you remember that God called you to this place today, to share love with these people around you.
When you embrace the role that God has for you today, and when you give your best performance by showing up and sharing love, then you will fulfill your greatest purpose and highest calling.