I frequently listen to Max McLean, narrator of the Listener’s Bible, on my iPOD, especially at night before going to sleep. McLean does an excellent job of blending vivid expression and theological comprehension to make listening to the Bible interesting and rewarding.
Last night, I was listening to the Psalms and a picture of clarity popped into life. McLean read from Psalm 95, “For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’” This was supposedly God reminiscing about pulling the children of Israel out slavery only to have them not credit or respect God. So, the children wandered around in a desert for forty years while believing God was angry with them.
We interpret everything through the lens of our own mental attitude, and my attitude is such that I don’t have an angry God. Needless to say, the Bible appeared to contradict my sense of God as peaceful and just an all-around wise yet composed Being, able to guide all thought in a way that brings satisfaction, not anger.
Anyway, the picture of clarity was that as much as I view my own reality through my own mental attitude, the children of Israel did also. Their mental attitude however was whining about not having enough food consequently all they could sense was an angry God. God wasn’t angry. The human perception was annoyed, indignant, irate, therefore, that is what they automatically pinned on God.
Lessons learned: I can trust the view of a peaceful strong God that manifests an uncomplaining attitude. And, Max McLean did a bang-up job of recording the Bible.
Yesterday, Pete told me a story worth repeating. Not so much because we need to hear stories like this during this financial crunch, but because “the way” the story was told was poignant, done with respect.
Before Pete began his story, he was somber—no bragging, no thinking he deserved something special, but courteous to what he calls, “The Spirit that watches our back.”
Here’s the story: A while back, their family car was totaled and the insurance company gave them $4000. Pete stared at the check and wondered, do they use the money to buy a reliable used car or do they use the money to pay off the unpaid bills and then drive the clunker car parked in the back of the house?
The clunker car is not very well suited for their family of 4, but because it felt better to follow the intuition that led them pay off the bills, they quietly paid their bills and pulled out the car that did get them around even though with a lot of moaning and clacking.
Then a check for $1500 was given to Pete for work he had previously done. The same day, a friend from another state called and told him about a 1999 reliable car they had for sell. Pete asked how much the car cost. $1500 was the answer. So, they bought it.
Good things are happening and it is important to share the reasons for our hope because it helps to get rid of despair and complacency. The economy does not have the upper hand. Spirit has infinite resources of wisdom, ingenuity, humility, even health, that can be tapped into and experienced.
From I Peter 3:14, “give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
These are the flowers Doug sent me for our wedding anniversary, yesterday. A dozen roses, very beautiful. I would insert a picture of us on our wedding day, but we got married back in the olden days when they didn’t have digital cameras. And, I don’t have a scanner to scan the yellowing photo.
Doug and I are still going strong. But, being married hasn’t always been easy. The best advice that helped me see past the marriage troubles, is advice that I found in the Bible, although because practical wise advice is available to the universe, I’m sure this advice is found elsewhere. The advice is basically, what God joined together, don’t bother separating; which coincides with, don’t bother putting together what God didn’t.
Now, what God put together isn’t particular human beings. God is divine Spirit and deals with spiritual ideas and spiritual beings, therefore God put together compassion, humor, joy, appreciation, aplomb, tenderness, courage, and strength. God did not put together anger, arrogance, resentment, or impatience. And, because it is impossible to add a bit of anger to God’s creation, when I feel angry toward Doug, I back off and peace comes.
Doug has been living 3000 miles away from me since last October. He got a job in Seattle. I’ve been holding down the fort here in upstate New York. Thankfully, the advice I just mentioned above holds true even through space. In fact, divine Science teaches there is no space in Love, God. Marriage signifies an individual and collective path of spiritual unity with divine Love.