It’s the story of an older woman whose suicide attempt is thwarted when a stranger rescues her from the waters of the Seine. So she decides to set out on a journey to the sea, and the suicide, of course, gets put off day by day, week by week, until she finds a new life worth living.
I would guess that many of us have been affected by the suicide of a loved one, or at least a friend. With mental health issues increasing this year, it is something we need to be aware of, and to be willing to reach out and ask, “Are You Ok?” and “Is there anything I can do to help?”
Suicide is the result of getting to the end of HOPE.
Jesus’ teachings are very much based on hope, and more than hope, faith – faith that our hopes will be fulfilled. What a difference it would make to the Christian world if we truly believed the promises of Jesus.
We find these promises in 3 of the Gospels. I like the Matthew version, known as the Sermon on the Mount.
The word translated as “ask” is better translated as claim –claiming something that is already ours. Jesus said in the previous chapter, that the Father already knows what is for our highest good, and the universe makes it available for us. If it feels like that good is lost, go to the lost property office and make a claim!!
Jesus’ promise is that what we claim WILL be given to us.
In Matt 8:24, we read:
Eric Butterworth, in Discover the Power, wrote: “The same force that creates [us] is a perpetual potency to sustain [us].
So the thing that blocks our good, is our own lack of belief in the possibility. However, be careful that what you are claiming IS your highest good. There’s an old saying in Unity, “This or something better Lord”.
We can waste a lot of energy “claiming” a particular outcome, that turns out to be not for our “highest good”. Always be open to the “something better”, that perhaps you haven’t considered or don’t know about.
I personally find that affirming Divine Order and Divine Timing works for me. Perhaps it sounds too much like relying on an external force to do it for me, but I am willing to follow my guidance as to what I need to do to manifest that good.
Jesus also said, in Matt 6:8
Eric Butterworth’s comment is, so “Why ask?”
He explains, in Discover the Power: (P 112-113).
“God is Spirit, not a Supreme Being out there who can help us in our times of need if we ask him and if he is in the right mood. When we endow God with human qualities, our asking implies the possibility of a yes or no answer.” …
God doesn’t have what you need, God IS what you need, eg God IS life, we are the projection of life into visibility. God IS wisdom, our mind is an activity in Infinite Mind.
He says we don’t have to ask the sun for sunlight – we just need to get out in it. We don’t ask electricity to boil the kettle, we turn on the switch.
The language is outdated, the wisdom still fresh. Perhaps if he were writing today he would write something like this:
“Omnipresence expressing through you knows what is your highest good, because it is Omniscience – all knowingness, so your mind, as an expression of that all-knowingness, guides you to that good.”
Let’s just know our needs are met today, and be grateful.
Also in the Gospel of Matthew is a very important directive that sets the foundation for claiming our highest good.
The kingdom is of course the kingdom Jesus said was within us, our spiritual awareness that we are spiritual beings.
This quote follows the lovely passage in the Sermon on the Mount telling us to Consider the lilies of the field….
I call it the “don’t worry, be happy” passage. Read it for yourself in Matt 6:25-34.
In this time of challenge, how much of our mental/emotional energy are we wasting worrying about things we can’t control? Better to live fully in the now moment and make the most of the opportunities that are open to us.
Emmet Fox in his book The Sermon on the Mount, writes that scientific prayer is in the present tense, that prayer is about adjusting consciousness, which can only be done in the present tense. There’s no point in wishing we’d said or done something differently in the past, because we acted back then from our consciousness back then. And we haven’t reached our future level of consciousness, so we cannot impose our present thoughts and feelings on the future. Emmet Fox tells us to deal with what is going on in the present moment.
That’s what Jesus meant when he said don’t worry about tomorrow, we will face tomorrow’s challenges at tomorrow’s level of understanding.
Fox writes, “Always remember that the only thought you need to concern yourself with is the present one. … The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to make today’s consciousness serene and harmonious. All other good things will follow upon that.”
I’ll end as I began – with the wisdom of Nina George.
How true it is that we can slip into complacency when life goes on too smoothly!
And the opening quote: When a friend referred to the two of them as old… “I’m not old, I’ve just lived a little longer than some people”.
The reply was: “You know the tragic thing about long life expectancy? You have more time to be unhappy”.
Let’s turn it around… The wonderful thing about living longer is that we have more time to be happy!
So, did Jesus really mean it when he said, “Ask and you will receive”?
His teachings would not have survived 2,000 years if he didn’t mean it – and if it wasn’t provable!
So let’s follow his advice: Claim our highest good, believe that good is ours, and live in the awareness of the kingdom of good within us, knowing that good in all its forms will be added to us.