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Henry Bates

Henry Bates

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The Way to a Wonderful Life Message for January 4, 2015

          Someone once came to Dr. O. C. Smith and asked him how to be happy ... and he said it is simple, just tell yourself that you are happy ... make the choice to be happy no matter what is going on.  And in these simple words he spoke to a profound truth; we be-come what we choose to be for we are the only one that can choose for us.  And this ability to choose happiness has been taught throughout history.  Yet, so many people confuse obtaining "things" with obtaining happiness.  Happiness is realized with the absence of worry and anxiety ... in all their differing forms.  

  " So never worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ... in these words attributed to the Master Mind Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 6:34. This wisdom is repeated in these words from Paramahansa Yogananda, "Forget the past, for it is gone from your domain! Forget the future, for it is beyond your reach! Control the present! Live supremely well now! It will whitewash the dark past, and compel the future to be bright! This is the way of the wise."  And from the Talmud we can read, "A person who has today's bread in his basket and is worried, 'What will I eat tomorrow
?'—is a man of little faith," declared Rabbi Eliezer. The Lord stands behind our own endeavors, and as He provides for the raven in the field, He provides for man also. In the words of the rabbis: "He who created each day provides for the needs thereof."   And so we realize that each is teaching that we are to have an absolute reliance upon the Love and Law of G-d ... an "active confidence and faith" that our good is assured and therefore our happiness.

           Anxiety can even be a part of our prayers and spiritual treatments, especially when we are praying for something specific or far-reaching in our ability to demonstrate it.   In her classic book, Unity teacher Ruthanna Schenck provides us with some wisdom regarding demonstrating happiness: 
"Sometimes a person mistakes immediacy for importance; he puts too much energy into satisfying petty needs which "look large" because they are at hand.  A little more generality in his prayers will remedy this fault.  Few persons suffer from being too general in their prayers; most persons are far too specific, and they hinder their good thereby.  Try to have a "large vision" and see your needs with understanding.  Often a person can help himself a great deal if he will analyze his desires.  Here is a story that aptly illustrates what a little analysis will do for one's understanding about one's real need.
                A man once told his friend that he wished he had some coal.  "Why do you want coal?" the friend asked.  "Why, for heat," he answered.  "Then," the friend reminded him, "what you really want is heat, not coal, isn't it? But why do you want heat?" "Oh," the man said, "to keep my family warm."  "I see," said the friend; "you don't want heat after all.  What you really want is warmth for your family.  And why do you want them to be warm?"  "So they will be happy," the man replied.  "Then you really want not their warmth but their happiness," reasoned the friend.  "But why do you want them to be happy?"  The man answered, "Because I cannot be happy unless they are happy too."  "I see," said the friend.  "What you really want is not a load of coal but happiness!"  And the man agreed that was what he really wanted.
        You should be sure that you really understand your needs before you become too specific in your prayers. ... Before you pray for specific things duly consider what the things stand for; doing that, you can include in your prayers desire for the reality rather than for the symbol.  You can then more readily recognize the good that is trying to come to you in hundreds of ways and you can more understandingly cooperate with God in bringing about that good."

       And so we can find in this wisdom from Dr. O. C. Smith, the Master Mind Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda, The Talmud and Ruthanna Schenck, that our happiness is ever-available for us to choose it.  And that our prayers are guaranteed an affirmative answer when we pray with understanding and think beyond the symbols of our desires.  After all, isn't happiness always the result we are seeking to experience?


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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"spiritual ... not religious"

"Even God could not have created a perfect individual.  We must go
through the experiences of evolution." -
Dr. Ernest Holmes


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