The Pathway of Roses/The Winds and the Waves Shall Obey My Will
THE WINDS AND THE WAVES SHALL OBEY MY WILL
Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, what manner of man is this that even the winds and the sea obey him.—Mat. 8:23-27.
We all come to places at times when the sea of life is tempest-tossed, and the winds of adversity are mercilessly raging about us; we are all placed in circumstances at times when everything seems to go wrong, when everything seems to be against us, and when we fear lest we perish; but at such moments we should remember that the Christ is in the ship. No matter what the ship of life may be; no matter what manner of men may be sailing in that ship, or what their purpose may be, wherever man may be found sailing upon the sea of human existence there the Christ will be found also. Wherever we may be or wherever we may go, the Christ is in the ship. "For, lo, I am with you always." And it is our privilege, under every circumstance, to awaken the Christ. When we do, he comes forth invariably, and the winds and the waves will obey.
Whenever we enter into that higher and more sublime state of being where we meet him face to face, the consciousness of the Christ within us is awakened; we are in the Christ state; we are in the presence of Supreme Power; we are at one with God; and upon us comes a beautiful calm. The winds and the waves in our own minds are stilled, and upon the great sea of thought within us the billows are tossing no more; the storm has ceased; the black clouds have disappeared; all is beautiful and still; and the peaceful waters seem radiant with joy as they glitter in the sunbeams from the smile of God. We have opened our minds and souls to the strong and peaceful presence from on high; thus we have placed ourselves in the beautiful calm; and when we are stilled, all that is about us will be stilled also. As man is in the within, so will his life be in the without. When he can still the storms of his own mind he can also still the storms of adversity in his outer life. It matters not what is taking place in our own circumstances, all must change when we change; all must be stilled when we are stilled; and whenever we awaken the consciousness of the Christ within, upon us comes a beautiful calm.
When we know that the Christ is within at all times; when we know that whenever we call upon the Christ to come forth, the winds and the waves will obey; and when we know that the very hour the Christ is awakened, everything in life will be stilled, harmony will come out of everything, peace will come out of everything, good will come out of everything—when we positively know this, need we have any fear whatever concerning the future? Need we fear opposing circumstances or adversity? Need we fear any condition that might arise? Nothing can happen that need disturb us in the least. The Christ is always in the ship; we may call upon him at any time; he will never fail to come forth, and when he does, there will be a great calm; peace will reign once more, and all will be well again.
Those who do not know that the Christ is in the ship, are living constantly in fear; they reason that almost anything might happen to place obstacles in their way, or that certain conditions might arise to upset everything they had undertaken to do; and the things they fear usually come upon them; but when they know that there is a power within that can be awakened at any time—a power that is greater than anything in the world, fear may be banished for all time. When this great truth is realized we need never be concerned about the future any more, and anxious thought may be banished forever; whatever may happen in the future there is a power within that can change anything as we may desire, and turn anything to good account as we may desire. We may thus live in the conviction that all things will work together for good—for greater and greater good, and we may know that this conviction is based upon nothing less than eternal truth.
The Christ is always in the ship, always in every ship that may pass upon the sea of life; and he may seem to be asleep; we may not be aware of his presence within us, but our unconsciousness of his presence does not prove that he is asleep, or that he is never there. The Christ is never asleep. The only begotten son of God that is within all, within everything, that is the ruling power in every soul, the Supreme I am in every soul, is never asleep. The statement that the Christ was asleep in the ship is metaphorical. It is not the Christ that is asleep, but our own consciousness of the Christ. When our own consciousness of the Christ is asleep we are not aware of his presence, and he seems to be asleep to us. When we are not aware of this great spiritual power within us, we are unconscious of that power; we are asleep, so to speak, as far as the existence of that power is concerned, and therefore will never think of awakening that power. But when we have attained sufficient spiritual discernment to know the power of the spirit in our own soul, we shall begin to call forth that power. From that moment higher power will be with us, and we shall no longer be victims of the tempest-tossed sea; whenever the billows begin to toss or the storms begin to rage, we may call forth the Christ; he will always be with us, and will always respond to the call; he will answer our prayer with his own presence, and in his presence all is beautiful and still.
This same unconsciousness of the presence of the Christ within also explains the seeming loss of the soul. The soul is the Christ individualized, created in the image of God, and therefore can never be lost. The soul is co-existent with God, always is with God; and that which is eternally with God can never be lost. But the personal man is sometimes so engulfed in materiality that all view of the soul is lost. The soul is always there within us, ever abiding in the shining glory of the kingdom of God within us; the soul is safe, always was safe and always will be safe—safe in the life eternal; but if we are living in materiality, we do not see the soul, we do not feel the soul, we are utterly unconscious of the soul and therefore conclude that there is no soul. Or, if we are sufficiently awakened to feel the soul, but not sufficiently developed in spiritual discernment to know the divine nature of the soul, we may conclude that the soul is weak and imperfect as the flesh, and that it may go down into pain, bondage and misery at any time, now or in the future. And thus has arisen the seeming need of the doctrine of future salvation for the soul. Such a doctrine, however, is not based upon the spiritual conception of the soul, but was formed when we looked upon the soul through the confusion of materiality. The soul is never lost, never can be lost; and as you are the soul, you can never be lost. The soul is always safe with God, therefore you are always safe with God. Realize this truth, and you will find the soul; you will find that you are identical with the soul and that all is well with the soul now as all is well with God now.
To save the soul is not to save the soul, because the soul needs no salvation, but to restore the power of the soul as the supreme ruling power in your whole life. Enthrone the soul in every thought and action, and you save the soul, not from sin, because it is free from sin, but you save the soul from your own personal neglect. The power of the soul is no longer neglected but is saved for actual use in the realization of health, freedom and mastery throughout your entire being; thus you gain emancipation for every element in your being, and that is the salvation we seek. We are saved in the true sense of the term when the divine power of the soul reigns so completely throughout the mind and the body that all the ills of life are completely banished from mind and body. We are saved in the true sense of the term when the body is filled with the power of health and wholeness, when the mind is illumined with the light of eternal truth, and when the soul is abiding forever in the splendors of the cosmic realms. And such a salvation is realized when we no longer ignore the soul, but place the soul upon the throne of being as complete master of everything that we may ever think or do or say. To enthrone the soul, the principle is to follow, not the desires or the tendencies of the person, but the supreme purpose of the spirit, and to depend absolutely upon the power of the soul in all things, knowing that the power of the soul can see you through no matter what your life, your work or your purpose may be.
The belief of the many is that whatever we may wish to accomplish we must depend wholly upon ourselves; and that we must depend upon ourselves as far as our ability and power may go, is very true, but it is not true that we should depend "wholly" upon ourselves. We can receive power and aid from sources that are above the personal self; and what is equally true, no one ever scaled the heights in life that did not depend constantly upon these higher sources. The best ideas, the noblest thoughts and the greatest truths that have ever appeared in the world, came to man when his mind was in the upper regions, in touch with the spirit sublime; and the power with which all great things have been wrought, has come from the same source. Men and women who depend wholly upon themselves—their personal selves, are weaklings; they come and go without doing anything aside from sustaining existence; but men and women who depend upon Supreme Power as well as their own ability to work out their purpose in harmony with that Power, invariably become giants in mind and soul. It is the deeds of such minds that become lights on the path to greater things; it is the lives of such souls that reveal to the race what true, spiritual existence has in store; and it is the work of such men and women that has given us the light, the freedom and the happiness that we now enjoy.
You may live in absolute darkness to-day; you may not know where to turn; your sky may be black and a raging storm may be almost upon you; you can see nothing but destruction as you have no idea what to do; you are about to give up and perish, but as this thought passes through your mind you remember the "last resort;" you remember the great statement, Call upon me and I will answer thee. You then call upon that power that should be sought first, but that men usually seek last when in trouble. You turn to the Christ that is asleep in the ship. You open your mind to light and power from above, and almost at once there is a rift in the cloud. You are in absolute darkness no more, and the threatening storm is beginning to "break." You pass more completely into the spirit of the Christ, and you realize the beautiful calm. The clouds are gone; you are in the light! you can see everything clearly, and you know what to do. You are now in touch with that upper region from which you may receive better ideas, greater thoughts and more valuable truths than you ever received before; in consequence, you will find precisely what you may need in securing emancipation from external adversity, and in building for those greater things that alone can satisfy the aspirations of the soul.
The belief that the Christ within can still the winds and the waves of every condition that we may meet in life, and change every circumstance into one of calmness, harmony and well-being, is a truth that can be taken into every event of daily life. No matter what may come; no matter what the obstacle or the difficulty may be, there is something within us that is greater than anything in the world. The Christ is with us in the ship; we may call him at any time; he can still any storm, change any circumstance, and remove every obstacle that we shall ever meet. His power is not applicable to conditions of mind and soul alone, but to physical conditions and circumstances as well. There is nothing that will not respond to the ruling will of the Christ within, and there is no place in practical life where the power of this will may not be applied to the greatest advantage. He who lives in constant touch with Supreme Power, is always in possession of the most power, and he may apply this added power in body, mind and soul. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;" but this added strength does not simply appear in the spirit; it appears also in the mind and the body. Therefore, it is always profitable to be in touch with Supreme Power, and to depend upon Supreme Power, whether our work be physical, mental or spiritual. It is not wisdom to depend solely upon the lesser things of the person when we may constantly receive power and aid and inspiration from the greater things of the spirit. All things are for man; and the use of all things should ever be his purpose, no matter what his work may be.
We have found a perfect remedy for fear, because he who knows that the Christ is always in the ship will fear nothing. To him no ill can come whatever. Though the approaching storm may sweep everything before it, its fury will be dissipated into nothing when it comes to the ship where the Christ is awake. But the Christ is in every ship, and he will come forth in every ship and utterly put to naught the impending danger. Whatever our position in life may be, or whatever we may be called upon to do, when we know that the Christ is with us we may proceed calmly, peacefully and serenely in the full conviction that nothing but good will come. We need fear nothing because there will be nothing to fear. The turning of the tide may sometimes be delayed until the eleventh hour, and even until the fifty-ninth minute of that hour; but the turn will come without fail. We may continue positively in that faith. "I will not forsake thee or leave thee." This is the truth, and we can, under every circumstance, demonstrate this truth, providing we never fail to call the Christ. We must go to the Christ first; then he will come to us and answer our prayer whatever that prayer may be. We must place ourselves in touch with Supreme Power first; then that power will come with us; and when Supreme Power is with us we have nothing to fear. When the power of the Supreme is on our side all things will be on our side; and God will go with us the very moment we choose to go with God.
When the day is calm, it is well; but if it is not calm, it is also well; it will soon become calm if you call upon the Christ, for "the winds and the waves shall obey my will." If the future seems bright, you may rejoice; but if the future seems dark, as dark as the blackest night, you may also rejoice; there is a power within you that can put adversity to flight and turn misfortune and sorrow into the glory of a cloudless day. When all that is good is coming into your life you may be grateful; but when all that is good is passing out of your life you may also be grateful; the Christ that is within you can not only save your ship from every threatening storm and impending danger, but he can also guide your ship towards the shores of richer treasures and greater good than you ever knew before. Grieve not when in the midst of loss; rejoice with great joy, and be grateful from the deepest depth of your heart. Call upon the Christ and you will regain everything and more. There never was and never will be any real occasion for disappointment or tears; when the lesser disappears, turn to the greater; you will find the gates ajar, and you may enter at once into pastures green.
The power of that will that causes the winds and the waves to obey, comes invariably from the depths of spiritual existence. It is the power of the Christ enthroned in the soul, and whoever will recognize and call forth the reigning Christ within, will gain possession of such a will. But we can never gain such a will so long as we try to dominate the lives of others or try to forcefully control external circumstances or events. Nor can we gain such a will so long as we try to will with the outer mind. The real will comes from the great spiritual depths of being, and as it is coming forth it causes the being of man to become deeply calm and enormously strong. The difference between the man of real will power and the man of mere external force is readily discerned. When you meet the latter you find a great deal of domineering effort expressed through the most superficial of action; but you find the man, himself, weak and easily overcome by almost any adverse condition; when you meet the former, however, you will find yourself in the presence of a truly strong man, a man who is strong and alive all the way through to the very depths of his inexhaustible being, a man who is actually conscious of irresistible power; and, you inwardly know that such a man cannot be moved by any power in the world; he has gained possession of that something that is greater than anything in the world, and wherever he may journey upon the sea of life, the winds and the waves must obey.
To depend exclusively upon the personality of Jesus and that power of the Christ that manifested through him twenty centuries ago, is to ignore the present power of the Christ within us. Thousands are doing this, and, in consequence, continue in sickness, trouble and sorrow. To depend upon any personality, no matter how sacred or how highly developed, is to depend upon the outer form and ignore the interior spirit. Such a practice leads into materiality away from spirituality, and materiality means bondage. To follow the Christ is not to worship the person of Jesus but to follow absolutely the light and the spirit of the Christ in your own soul to-day. The power that can calm the waves on every tempest-tossed sea does not come through any external personality; such a power can come only through the great spiritual depths of your own soul, or, to state it differently, from those sublime spiritual heights within where the Christ reigns eternally. When we follow the Christ that is here to-day, the Christ that reigns in the spiritual kingdom within to-day, we shall steadily grow in spirituality, emancipating mind and body from every form of bondage and from every condition of materiality, until that freedom that comes from the truth divine has been realized in its greatest measure. Then we may also say, My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Then we may also speak the great word, Peace, Be Still, and to us shall come the beautiful calm.
|Rock of Ages, truth divine,|
Strong foundation, ever mine;
Safe, secure, I here remain,
Free from evil, sin and pain;
Living ever in the right;
Fixed on high with souls of light.
On the rock of truth I stand,
Destiny at my command;
Filled with power from on high,
Boundless good forever nigh;
Far above the world of wrong,
Safe with truth, so firm and strong.
Every height in truth's domain,
I shall reach and thus obtain
Every wish within my heart
For no blessing can depart;
All of good is ever mine,
On the rock of truth divine.