Fear or Growth–Which Do You Choose?

“What you are is God’s gift to you.  What you make of yourself is your gift to God.”  I’ve always liked this saying–it makes me think.  Sometimes it also makes me uncomfortable.  It confronts me with the idea that I am responsible for participating in the quality of my life.  It’s easy to feel boxed in by circumstances, to get caught up in the “I can’ts,” to blame or focus on other people.  It’s both exhilarating and frightening to realize that at every moment what’s really going on is that I am making choices.  It’s both exhilarating and frightening to realize that those choices are having a profound effect on how I experience my life.  Many years ago the great psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote that every choice is either a fear choice or a growth choice—a choice to shut life out or to invite life in.

What is within our power to choose?  The direction of our thoughts–toward fear or toward growth.  “Big deal,” you say, “I thought you were going to tell me something useful.”  Well, hang in there—it’s coming!  Here it is.  Our thoughts help create the quality of our experience.  Our thoughts help shape the quality of our reality.  Charles Fillmore, co-founder of the Unity Movement, wrote about the “factory of the mind.”  It’s a bit like this.  Into our factory comes an infinite supply of incredible material—God energy.  In our factory we use the tools and machinery of thought, attitude, perception, focus, and belief to shape it into the quality of our everyday experience. The finished product–our inner experience, is as we have manufactured it to be.

Now as humans we often get things backwards. We tend toward the viewpoint that the finished product just landed on us out of the blue somehow.  We get annoyed when the product isn’t to our liking.  We try to fix it, or draft somebody else in to fix it, or give it away, or rearrange the parts.  We seldom think to send it back to the factory.  Actually we may not even realize that we have a factory.  We may not know that we are the owners of our own means of production. It’s worth a try.  Have you currently got a product, an inner experience, you don’t like?  Tell the factory to send you a different model.  Now admittedly this may require that you re-tool the factory.

What thoughts will create the inner experience we desire?  Faith in God works, belief that life is good works, and how about confidence in and love for ourselves?  A realization that God guides us is always useful.  And how about the idea that God loves us–all the time!  How about knowing that there is always a good solution.  No matter how difficult a circumstance may seem, a choice to use the power of our thought in a Godward direction is the beginning of a massive shift in our experience.  A simple choice to reorient our mind is the power that creates a constructive experience within us.  In fact it is the only thing that does.  From that simple choice spring all kinds of guidance, all kinds of movement in people, places, and things.  The universe rushes in to support us.  It really does—it’s just been waiting for the opening.  What are we choosing—fear or growth?  What is the gift we are creating from God’s gift to us?

In the Love and Light of the Christ,

Rev. Anna


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