Notes from the Minister 4/12/2017

Rev Charles's picture
Right now, it seems as if the events of my life are taking on a life of their own.  The sale of my home; the preparation of our church for my time away; tech week for Romeo & Juliet; the family visits and final good-byes as I prepare for my time in an increasingly volatile Middle East.  And it came to me this morning that it feels very much like being caught up in a tide – riding the wave, and the cycle of the currents in that ocean of infinite possibilities is one of visualization, preparation, and manifestation.
 
You see, at some level, everything that at the moment feels like a rip current that is carrying me of its own accord was once a thought I held in mind.  I have daily thought about how my house is too big for just me and Murphy.  I have long visualized our church home healthy, thriving, and seeing members of our community step up into service in new ways both challenging and rewarding.   I have seen our church being a center for many different groups to call home, like the Bards, our recovery groups, our Jewish congregation, and our doula.  And in all honesty, I have long held in the back of my mind the idea of doing one more tour of duty for my country before I retire from the Army National Guard.
 
And, contrary to the belief of some in New Thought, I don’t think our preparation ends with visualization.  One of my favorite sayings is, “If you’re going to pray for potatoes, you better grab a hoe.”  The amount of preparation required to send even one soldier overseas is staggering.  Ditto for what it takes to put on a Shakespeare play with mostly teenagers for cast and crew.  Preparing my house for market this time around – carpet, paint, tile, linoleum, cleaning, staging, pictures, web sites, and the list goes on has been a Herculean effort.  For our church – scheduling, communicating, hiring, training, documenting and PRAYING are just a part of what is happening right now.  And in the not so distant future, I will get on a plane, and then faith takes over.
 
The thing is, once we have had the vision, and put the pieces in place, we have to be willing to ride the wave.  I can assure you, having done this before, that once I get on the plane, things will happen which I did not foresee, and for which I will not feel prepared, but my choice in the moment to “go with the flow” will save me from drowning in a rip tide of resistance, anger, and fear.  My deployment will be as worrisome or as wonderful as I choose in each moment to allow it to be.  And we will have to let go of all of our preparations and expectations for Romeo and Juliet this Friday night at 7:00, as the lights go up, and the play takes on a life of its own, and writes its own story.  In similar fashion, Unity of Birmingham will walk through this next year without me, and as you all ride the wave of graceful manifestation, a year of spiritual growth and loving community will unfold.
 
Nearly 2000 years ago, our brother and Wayshower Jesus visualized the Kingdom of God, prepared his ministry, and then walked through the events that resulted in faith, even through his own death.  And while most of us have yet to master living in the Kingdom, what we still have is the Way that the ministry he manifested yet shows us.  This Easter week, I invite all of us to take a look at how we may be preventing our good from manifesting by attempting to cling to that which is not, and if necessary, allow our old lives to be “crossed out”, as we make room for a new life lived by trusting in Spirit, and riding the tide of infinite possibilities.
 
Hanging ten,
 
Rev. Charles