These words on the nature of faith are from the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy:
Science reveals the possibility of achieving all good, and sets mortals at work to discover what God has already done; but distrust of one’s ability to gain the goodness desired and to bring out better and higher results, often hampers the trial of one’s wings and ensures failure at the outset.
There is a kind of faith that empowers a person to live a happy and fulfilled life. It takes more than a belief in God to achieve this kind of faith. You can believe that there is a God but that may not change you, because simply believing in the existence of a God doesn’t necessarily change your life.
There has to be a faith that speaks to my relationship to the cause of Creation, to God, by whatever name you want to use. Ultimately, to be empowering, there has to be the kind of faith that contains the knowing that the source of Creation is available to me. It can work through me. I can open to that reality of creative power, and if I do, my life will change. Creation will be born from that engagement and that will bring fulfillment and happiness.
This is faith that comes from knowing the One Law of Creation. The intellectual knowing of the Law may be helpful. But what I am addressing is real knowing in actual experience.
This One Law is the law of cause and effect. When you truly know this One Law, you know that as you express the creative character of what life is, of the God that is within you, there is Creation. You know that if you allow that reality of the Creator to come through you now, in this moment—and you live, you continue to open and to give continual expression to that creative power—there will be creation. You know that there is good that comes from creative expression of the life that’s within you.
When we have that kind of faith and that belief—the belief in the goodness of what life is and the opportunity that we have to express that goodness and have something good come from it—we set ourselves on a remarkable life path. This is what creative people know. This is what happy people know. This is what people who are living a fulfilled life know. It is a profound faith in the goodness of what life is, and my ability as a human being to bring that goodness, the goodness of Creation into the world.
That faith has to be large enough and strong enough to see a person through all the cycles of Creation that occur in a human life in the world as it is. So this faith has to be something more than a belief that is intellectually held. It has to be something that lands deeply within the heart. It has to become a way of life, a way of being, a knowing of yourself. It is knowing the goodness of life. It has to see you through heavy rain in the spring that washes away your seeds. It has to see you through a hail storm that hurts the corn. It has to see you through all of the ups and downs of a human life. It has to see you through watching other people who don’t have the same kind of faith, who are living their lives on a different basis and impacting you in the process. It has to see you through disappointment. It has to be the kind of faith that you can keep coming back to, no matter what happens. It’s a profound faith in the creative spirit within any human being, but most importantly for each of us, in ourselves.
When I was in my late twenties, we lived in California, at Glen Ivy, and I ended up taking a teaching job. It was a marvelous experience—seven- and eight-year-olds are a trip! I loved working for the principal of the school, Ralph Martinez. We became fast friends. After two years, it just felt like the cycle there was coming to an end. Ralph was moving on; he’d been replaced, a victim of the politics of that school district. We felt called to move to the East. So I went out and I interviewed for a job in the Bronx, in New York City. The principal there told me I had a job. So we made plans, packed up and moved to Woodhaven, Queens.
After we moved, the principal told me that the Board of Education in New York, for its own political reasons, had somebody else who was next in line for the job, despite the principal’s promise. So I didn’t have a job.
I did some painting of apartments in Manhattan with a friend. I had gone to school at the University of California at Riverside and received a master’s degree in educational administration. But I was painting apartments. I remember thinking, as I was painting the trim with a brush, of the wonderful peace of it; and, as opposed to seven- or eight-year-olds, trim doesn’t talk back.
After a while I took a temporary job in an IBM product center. It was their retail outlet, just as personal computers were being introduced, and I worked at the cash register, ringing up the computers or whatever else we were selling. But that was a temporary job for three months. As that was coming to an end, there was another job that opened up with IBM, which was an entry-level administrative job in a branch office down in the Financial District. So I went down there, and I ended up administering the sales of multimillion-dollar computer systems to the large money-center banks in New York—something my master’s degree and teaching of second-graders hadn’t really prepared me for. At first, I made a relatively paltry amount of money doing it.
Over the course of twenty-one years working for IBM, I ended up working in finance for the credit department. I worked on issues with our customers who were in financial trouble, particularly large corporations, such as Continental Airlines, Bank of New England and Kmart. I ended up working on some of IBM’s largest problems in the United States, and also around the world, and got paid well for doing it. In the last several years of it I telecommuted from Sunrise Ranch.
I have reflected on how I not only enjoyed success in my career, in something that I had no training for, but I also learned skills that have proven very useful as I’ve been a leader for Sunrise Ranch and for Emissaries of Divine Light, even as my second-grade teaching was quite a benefit. I thought of how, all along the way, I had faith in the creative power that was in me and I had faith in the unfoldment of life. I probably wouldn’t have done what I did except that I never thought that my career was my priority. It was actually quite a secondary thing for me. There was something larger, which was a spiritual calling that I knew I had to fulfill in my life. Wherever I was going to be, I was going to express my finest. I was going to express the truth and the integrity that was in me, and find people who shared the universal love that was in me and them and who wanted to bring that to the world. I had faith that life would take care of things—and it did, and it does, and it is, for all of us, now.
When I think of where I am in my life, with others, and how we are poised on the brink of manifesting so much in the world, and I reflect on all the ups and downs and all the challenges that I’ve faced—even at Sunrise Ranch and as leader of the Emissaries—all those challenges mean very little to me because I know what is happening. I know that the great life that is in me and within all things is having its way. The great God of the Universe is expressing Himself through me and through others. I have the ability to open to that. I know I have some already, and I’m really interested to know how much more I could open—how much more of that great God I could allow to come through me and into my world; how much more I could rally with other people, drawn together by that great love, and together reveal oh so much more of what can be created by that great God.
As far as I’m concerned, every moment is a moment to begin. It was a moment to begin in my late twenties when I moved to New York. It was a moment to begin in the year 2000 when I came to Sunrise Ranch. And this moment is a moment to begin. As far as I am concerned, any moment is a moment to be on the brink of greatness. It’s a moment to bring all of what I have to bring into the world. It’s a moment to initiate Creation.
I have faith in the working of the One Law of Creation, knowing that this One Law requires something of me. I have no faith in a God someplace else, saving me from my own worst tendencies. And I don’t care very much about being swooped up into some heaven when I die. But I have all the faith in the world in the Law of Creation—that if I open up and reach out to the great God of Creation, and welcome that God into me and into my life and into my expression, if I welcome His love and His truth and His light into me, and if I’m willing to share that with you and with my world, and do so consistently no matter who does what, I have faith—I have faith in the power of that to bring great goodness.
With that faith, I see all of Creation around me—all the people and all the circumstances—as being in process. It is all the process of Creation. Some days it looks promising. Some days it looks dreary. Some days it seems desolate. Some days I want to go home and cry. And some days I feel like celebrating. It’s all just in process. Whatever it is, I’m here to bring the one great God of Creation into expression through me, to do my part in the working of the Law of Creation.
How do we have faith in what life is and the unfoldment of life? And how do we have faith in that unfoldment in other people and in the world in which we live? I don’t think a person has to live very long before they experience what they could interpret as betrayal and disappointment, and all the things that go with that, from other people. That can lead very quickly to a lack of trust and a lack of faith in that person, or even in oneself. Or in life itself. How do you have faith and trust when there are challenges and disappointments?
I have faith and I have trust in the one thing that I have total control over: me and my relationship to the Creator that is within me. No matter what happens, I am here for that reality, which I serve, no matter what anybody else does or doesn’t do, no matter what happens with the snow or the rain or the hail. Whatever transpires in the process of life, it’s just the process. Whatever someone else chooses to do, that’s their choice and their process. But I have a choice. I have faith that as I make the right choice in my life now, in this moment, to express who I am, to give who I am, it all works out. I have faith in that same creative power through you. And I have faith that, as we come together in that power and in that truth, we can create together. I have faith that the one great God of Creation can come through us in oneness, in togetherness, in shared faith, and that there’s greatness that comes from that coming together.
I have faith that as I am opening more and more to what has value to me, there are those who are with me in that same opening and in that same faith, and that we have something great to share together. I have faith in the One Law of Creation, because I’ve never seen it fail, and I know it never has.
I am here for this. Any person may take exactly that same attitude: I am here for this. This attitude creates the kind of faith that leads to a happy, fulfilling life.