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Sunday, June 10, 2001

"Fear is the child, of an undeveloped consciousness."
            - Dr. O. C. Smith, Founder and Spiritual Director,
                   City of Angels Church of Religious Science
                                
                      A couple of weeks ago I went to a funeral service at Inglewood Mortuary in Inglewood, California.  I went to observe the service as Dr. O. C. Smith, my ministerial teacher, was the minister giving the service. It was a beautiful Celebration of Life and a wonderful learning/growing experience for me.  Since I did not know anyone at the funeral personally, my mind was wide open to learn from the experience.

                     
The funeral was for a man, who had been a general in the U. S. Army and then had gone on to work for the Southern California Gas Company and had retired from there.  There were other particulars about his life but the most important to me was the fact that he was an only child, and he was 77 years young at the time of of his transition.  His mother, 95 years young, was in the audience and appeared to be in fine health.  As I sat during the service I wondered what must be going through this mother's mind as she sat in this service for her son, her only child.  Without a doubt, I am certain most parents do not expect their children to go before them.  But there she was, and there he was in the open casket.  She appeared to be very calm and throughout the service there was a deepening of compassion and respect in my heart for her.  He had lived a full life, he had several beautiful, educated, successful children.  He had been married twice.  His mother had witnessed this life and was here today witnessing the end of this one and the beginning of the next.  I could imagine that like most mothers she had always wanted only the very best for him and I am certain that in her mind she believed that he would be with her throughout her life.  But that was not the case.  "Life is subject to change without notice," and this statement I am certain applied to this beautiful woman's experience.

                     
How many of us are living our life as if we have years ahead of us to do something different or plenty of time to experience more love, joy and freedom?  How many of us are living with the idea that there is plenty of time to make changes in the manner in which we live?  As you can see from this woman's life, we are not guaranteed that the things we think will happen will turn out the way we think they will.  We must begin living today, like today was the last day we have.  We must stop procrastinating, stop living our lives to the judgments and ideals of others, and begin to partake of the love, the joy and the happiness that God has for us NOW!

                      According to Dr. O. C. Smith, "we must free ourselves from the belief that Life can be anything but Good!" 
We must or otherwise we live in bondage, without freedom to experience all the Good  that God is so lovingly providing for us.  What is blocking us from living a more expansive life, a life filled with greater Good?  IT IS FEARFear that comes from a lack of Faith in the Good, or God.  NEVER YIELD TO FEAR.  FEAR DENIES GOD.  FEAR IS FAITH IN THE WRONG THING.  It is faith in the negative and it will demonstrate itself in our lives, somewhere -  in some way -  and we may never know where or how - until it appears.  It is no respector of persons and it works automatically, just like the law of gravity.  For a person who is financially affluent, it may appear as ill health.  For a person who is healthy, it may appear as depression.  I REPEAT - NEVER YIELD TO FEAR.  It blocks us from growing, from expanding our experiences of love, joy, happiness and harmony.  FEAR IS FAITH UPSIDE DOWN.  It robs us of the most wonderful and exciting adventures we can imagine for ourselves.  It stops our spiritual growth and emotional development.  We must not allow this to happen.  We must know that GOD IS THE SOURCE AND SUBSTANCE OF ALL THERE IS AND IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO STAND IN THIS TRUTH!  We must know that DIVINE LOVE (GOD) DISSOLVES ALL THINGS UNLIKE ITSELFThis is the Faith in God that Jesus stated could "uproot the mountain."

                     "Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death," even though fear is tightening its grip on me, I will PREPARE TO LIVE and do the thing that I fear, for as I do, the death of fear is certain.

                                 
 And So It Is!           

Letting Love use me in Its own Good Way,
Henry Lee Bates