?>

Gratitude, Exultation and Joy

David Karchere

Is your week going just the way you wanted it to? Is it perfect in that sense? Is anybody’s life going like that? By now, most of us have come to the realization that that’s not the program. If perfection exists, it isn’t that everything goes according to the way we think it should. And it’s clear that by some measure, what is happening is not perfect. What is happening on the world scene isn’t perfect. And then there is the course of our individual human lives. There are things that happen that, by some assessment, are wrong. And I mean that in a legitimate kind of way: you look at them and think, That just shouldn’t happen. And yet it is.

From the standpoint of what is ultimately created, there is perfection in what is happening in our lives and in the world. It’s clear enough that the life that we are living, and life on Planet Earth, has birth and death. We might imagine another kind of world, but this world in which we are living has life and it has death. And yet there is the ongoingness of life that is reborn and reborn, and evolves and becomes something more. There are things in the human world that, of themselves, don’t look anything like perfect or ideal, and yet they are part of the whole process of the evolution of humanity, coming to its destiny.

That includes things that are tried, things that are learned, and things that don’t work and that ultimately fall by their own weight, passing away in favor of what does work. In that sense, it is all perfect—not perfect in the sense that in the frame of an instant it is all of what we think it should be. It is perfect in the sense that it is taking us to our destiny.

When we live with the faith that what is happening is perfect and leading us to our destiny, it opens the opportunity to be in a state of gratitude, even in the midst of things that don’t look perfect. I am grateful for what is happening, for the wonder of it, for the delight of it. Even in the terror that can be part of the process of Creation, and the awfulness of it, I am grateful to be here.

I am grateful, and with gratitude comes something else—celebration and exultation. The world might look at you as a bit strange, given the state of the world, and given the state of your life, which perhaps to the average person does not look perfect. And so, they might look at you as being strange: Don’t you know how your life is unfair? Can’t you see the obvious? It didn’t go as you wanted it to. You didn’t get all the things that you wanted. You’ve been given a raw deal. So why would you be grateful? Why would you be exultant? Why would you be celebrating?

The simple answer might be Because that’s how I’ve chosen to live. I’ve come to understand that is the only reasonable way to live. It is the only good way to live. And it doesn’t mean that I’m so blind that I don’t see the world as it is. I do. I see amazing things happening in our world at large. And I see my own life. And I’m here, exultant, because in the middle of all that, I know the glory of life itself, and the life I get to lead, and all that I get to do and experience. Who would try to manipulate it so that it would be anything other than what it is?

There is glory in embracing one’s life exactly as it is. Yes, this life. We are here for this. And when we embrace it, it is glorious. And then we have the opportunity to know the supreme value, which is Love. And in the face of it all, we have the opportunity to affirm that we are each a loving Being. How do we affirm it? Very simply: by loving; by being present in the power of who we are.

There are two faces to Love. There is our own positive action in the world. Sometimes we are not aware that this is a loving act. It’s a loving act to show up in the power of who you are—not to wimp out but to be of service. When a person shows up at nine o’clock in the morning for the work that they do, it can be an act of Love. When a person does something that is courageous—when they stand up for what they know is right and true—that is a loving act. So, there is a face of Love that is positive and declarative in that way. It’s bringing the urge and the impetus of Creation into the world.

If we don’t do that, Love’s creative urge goes into shadow. If the creative urge that is meant to come out clearly and cleanly as an act of powerful Love in the world doesn’t come out that way, it can leak out as a reaction in anger, railing against the world.

This is a lesson for any man coming from boyhood and young adulthood into manhood. His anger towards his father and his anger towards authority is a cheap version of his own power that ultimately leads to his own disempowerment. Any man has to realize that that reactive anger is taking him no place. It isn’t allowing him to mature, or to fulfill his destiny, or to know the full power of Love inside himself and his own creative ability. And while there can be some kind of cheap thrill in reactive anger, it doesn’t ennoble a man.

For us, as men, that’s part of our path of learning—to understand that who we are as a man is not primarily known in relationship to others. It’s something that is known in relationship to what is within us. We are ennobled when we have the courage to positively express the creative power from that source. That creative power is huge, and it’s calling us to great things. It’s calling us to service. Yet, if all that power goes into shadow, it works for our own destruction and for the destruction of the world in which we live. We are seeing some of that on the world scene. I’m sure something similar works for women. I have less direct experience of that, so I’ll stick to the area where I have the most authority from personal experience, which is my own experience as a man.

So, there is a face of Love that is powerful action in the world. There is another face of Love that is the surround, enfoldment and care. This is part of the profound nature of what Love is. We have this amazing ability to allow the energy of Love to pour out of us and let it fill our world. And if it fills our world, it is then surrounding the people in our world. It’s enfolding them in the cloud of creative energy that we are pouring out.

An immature form of this face of Love is deciding who we like and we don’t like. It’s the middle-school pattern: I don’t like him or I don’t like her. I do like him and I do like her. I’ll pick and choose. It’s a manipulative form of this face of Love.

Yet the reality of Love, by its very nature, is no respecter of persons, meaning that it’s not picking and choosing. If we know ourselves as a Being of Love, we are bringing the face of Love that enfolds and surrounds, without respect to who the person is that might be so enfolded and surrounded. And sure, we’re closer to some than others; there are some who are drawn to be in our lives and in the surround that is natural for us to give our world. In that sense, it’s not indiscriminate. But the discrimination isn’t on the basis of personal preference. No, I’m a Being of Love, and because I am a Being of Love, this is what I do. I am an expression of that Love.

When you look out on the world scene, what do you see? It is amazing what is happening. When seen from the standpoint of faith in the perfection of what is happening, our eyes begin to open and we say, This is miraculous!

I’ll tell you some of what I see. I see that there are those who seem to be making a great last stand for some kind of autocracy—a world governed by human greed; a world that is, in the minds of the people involved, being bent to human will to serve human desires and purposes, apart from the creative evolution of this planet and of humanity. And it seems that those voices are becoming louder and more strident. Lies about what is transpiring abound. So there’s that, on the one hand.

And then… There is what is true and what is beautiful and what is righteous being born. There is the Christ being born, the Light of Truth, through people—some well known, with some kind of public bullhorn, and others unknown, leading lives of quiet, private integrity. And the clarity of that voice as it’s coming forward is stronger and clearer and more and more loving, and more absolute and more unwavering, even in the light of all that is going on that seems to fly in the face of it.

You might well say, “It’s always been thus.” But by the very nature of our destiny, things are escalating. The population of the United States is more than one hundred times what it was when this country was first formed. In my lifetime, the population of the planet will triple. Those simple facts point to an escalation. But there is so much more.

Should that strike fear and terror in our hearts? Or is there gratitude, exultation and joy in the middle of it? Our destiny is being fulfilled. None of us has a script for how it’s all going to go. But where there is a deep faith in the source of it all, there is joy in what is happening. Our part in it is to bring the birth of what is new, the Living Christ.