SPIRITUAL MATTERS: The seven S’s of spiritual living

Many years ago now I was called to serve with a church that seemed to be a wonderful new opportunity to establish our vision for spiritual community. It began divinely. Everyone seemed to be excited by the possibilities. We engaged in visioning together, we set goals to work toward that vision of being all that we are created to be and set out a program of action to meet those goals. All seemed grand for about a year and a half.
From early on I had become aware of two strong personalities in the church, the kind of people who were prominent members holding a certain amount of influence over others in the group. These two individuals were in many ways in direct competition with each other. I attempted to integrate these individuals into the vision believing that we could build it together. Long story short, it didn’t work.
After a turbulent year, I wound up without a church. Following a month of soul searching I was called to work with a remnant of the group who had decided they were ready for spiritual community. In addition, we had connected with a greater community of likeminded individuals who supported the greater vision. For many years I have had the opportunity to serve a more inspiring and soul satisfying work.
This evidences the spiritual principle of Serendipity: the act of finding valuable things not sought for. We have to make room for the unexpected. We have to go through what we have to go through in order to get to where we are to be. As Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “If you are going through Hell, don’t stop.”
The term serendipity comes from the tale of The Three Princes of Serendip which is the English version of an older Persian fairy tale. The princes were “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of.”
This is the fifth of my Seven S’s of Spiritual Living. The first four, which I wrote about in the June 22nd issue, are: Synchronicity or meaningful coincidences, Synergy “Where two or more are gathered,” Synthesis or a higher order of being together, and Simplicity; keep it simple. You can access this article at peaceunity.net/articles.
The sixth principle is Saturation. The eighth limb of Raja Yoga is the experience of Samadhi or absorption into the infinite spirit. When we are devoted to spiritual living we come to realize that not only is God all in all, but that God is all in me. As Rumi said, “You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop.” This is a consciousness where all that we think, say and do is in an awareness of the presence and power of the infinite, unlimited, eternal existence that is God.
The seventh principle is Serenity, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7. When I am aware that God is all in all and that God is all in me, then I am in that Christ consciousness where I know that all things work together for good.
Not only is this an intellectual understanding of truth, but a spiritual realization, and a physical experience of calm and tranquility.
Spiritual living is conscious living. We are conscious of our intimate connection with a greater reality: God. It is having a personal relationship with God where we experience peace, love and joy as our daily walk. We can know peace in the midst of chaos, love in the midst of conflict, joy in the midst of sorrow, when we know God/Spirit/Truth as our ground of being, the place in which we dwell. “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” 1 John 4:16
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. May you realize the abundance that God is in your life here and now!
Blessings of peace, joy & love – Rev. Matthew E. Long, Peace Unity Community

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