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21 STEPS TO A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Step 13: Gaining Perspective 

We are coming to appreciate the inevitabilities and compensations of life as we begin our endless exploration of God’s creation.

From the human perspective, much in life seems unfair or tragic. An automobile accident, an unexpected letter–the slightest twist of the kaleidoscope and all is changed. Spiritual perspective is the broadened horizon that recognizes God’s absolute control over the invisible world that underlies and supports physical creation. God’s ways seem mysterious only because the limitations of our perspective prevent us from understanding the true nature of events. The day-to-day events of our lives are easier to accept once we understand that God’s hand either causes, or permits, all that happens. Such a perspective gives us comfort in the crush of sorrow when we come to understand that our Father can turn even heart-wrenching pain into actual good. God gives us what is good, while what is hard he permits only when his plans require the removal of a thing, situation, or relationship which stands in the way of our soul’s expansion, or when such events will help build in us the tempered steel of real character. Our Father does not rescue us from pain, but endures it with us in loving companionship.

God never wants any of his children to be hurt, but he permits painful things to happen when they are necessary for us to learn the lessons of life, and even then he transforms the pain we experience into education that enriches our souls. With our cooperation, he transmutes even our regrettable experiences into ultimate good by infusing them with spiritual value, weaving our errors and neglect into his all-encompassing plan for the evolution of the universes.

Some of life’s tragedies are caused by physical circumstances inseparable from life on a planet governed by dependable physical laws, such as when an avalanche crushes an unprepared mountain climber. The rocks tumbled down because gravity, a physical law of God’s ordaining, always pulls down unbalanced and unsupported objects. The climber’s death is a tragedy to him and those who loved or depended on him, but it would be a far greater tragedy were gravity to become some whimsical force that could not be depended upon to work consistently. From another perspective, free will requires that the mountaineer not be prevented from climbing the dangerous route of his choosing, because God’s plan for our education and advancement requires us to be in uncushioned contact with reality and exercise relatively complete freedom of action if we are to grow.

Who can fathom the Creator’s majesty or second-guess his foreknowledge or wisdom? Who could have more perfectly designed his own life? Who believes his judgment more trustworthy or responsible, or his motivation higher? Whose intelligence better comprehends the consequences of events spanning galaxies and ages? The Father of lights lives astride creation in the timeless present, upholding and sustaining the existence of every thing and being through the unsearchable wisdom of his infinite mind. To see life as the Father does is to see it in truer perspective, wherein we detect his purposes through the variegated chatter of daily life and gain strength living as if seeing him who is invisible.

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The confusion and turmoil of Urantia do not signify that the Paradise Rulers lack either interest or ability to manage affairs differently. The Creators are possessed of full power to make Urantia a veritable paradise, but such an Eden would not contribute to the development of those strong, noble, and experienced characters which the Gods are so surely forging out on your world between the anvils of necessity and the hammers of anguish. Your anxieties and sorrows, your trials and disappointments, are just as much a part of the divine plan on your sphere as are the exquisite perfection and infinite adaptation of all things to their supreme purpose on the worlds of the central and perfect universe. 23:2.5

But inherent in this capacity for achievement is the responsibility of ethics, the necessity for recognizing that the world and the universe are filled with a multitude of differing types of beings. All of this magnificent creation, including yourself, was not made just for you. This is not an egocentric universe. The Gods have decreed, "It is more blessed to give than to receive," and said your Master Son, "He who would be greatest among you let him be server of all." 28:6.18

The universe of universes, including this small world called Urantia, is not being managed merely to meet our approval nor just to suit our convenience, much less to gratify our whims and satisfy our curiosity. The wise and all-powerful beings who are responsible for universe management undoubtedly know exactly what they are about; and so it becomes Life Carriers and behooves mortal minds to enlist in patient waiting and hearty co-operation with the rule of wisdom, the reign of power, and the march of progress. 65:5.3

You humans have begun an endless unfolding of an almost infinite panorama, a limitless expanding of never-ending, ever-widening spheres of opportunity for exhilarating service, matchless adventure, sublime uncertainty, and boundless attainment. When the clouds gather overhead, your faith should accept the fact of the presence of the indwelling Adjuster, and thus you should be able to look beyond the mists of mortal uncertainty into the clear shining of the sun of eternal righteousness on the beckoning heights of the mansion worlds. . . . 108:6.8

Patience is exercised by those mortals whose time units are short; true maturity transcends patience by a forbearance born of real understanding.

To become mature is to live more intensely in the present, at the same time escaping from the limitations of the present. The plans of maturity, founded on past experience, are coming into being in the present in such manner as to enhance the values of the future.

The time unit of immaturity concentrates meaning-value into the present moment in such a way as to divorce the present of its true relationship to the not-present--the past-future. The time unit of maturity is proportioned so to reveal the co-ordinate relationship of past-present-future that the self begins to gain insight into the wholeness of events, begins to view the landscape of time from the panoramic perspective of broadened horizons, begins perhaps to suspect the nonbeginning, nonending eternal continuum, the fragments of which are called time. 118:1.6-8

Do not become discouraged by the discovery that you are human. Human nature may tend toward evil, but it is not inherently sinful. Be not downcast by your failure wholly to forget some of your regrettable experiences. The mistakes which you fail to forget in time will be forgotten in eternity. Lighten your burdens of soul by speedily acquiring a long-distance view of your destiny, a universe expansion of your career. 156:5.8

Human beings unfailingly become discouraged when they view only the transitory transactions of time. The present, when divorced from the past and the future, becomes exasperatingly trivial. Only a glimpse of the circle of eternity can inspire man to do his best and can challenge the best in him to do its utmost. 160:2.9

"Let not your hearts be troubled; all things will work together for the glory of God and the salvation of men." 182:2.1

He taught men to place a high value upon themselves in time and in eternity. Because of this high estimate which Jesus placed upon men, he was willing to spend himself in the unremitting service of humankind. And it was this infinite worth of the finite that made the golden rule a vital factor in his religion. What mortal can fail to be uplifted by the extraordinary faith Jesus has in him? 196:2.10

 



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