One of the most insightful sentences in the first scroll of The Greatest Salesman in the World is found on page 53, “Nature already has supplied me with knowledge and instinct far greater than any beast in the forest and the value of experience is over-rated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.” I laughed when I first read that but also realize how true that is. As a Senior Minister for 32 years I have experienced some of the most racist, homophobic and utter foolishness uttered while old men and women nodded wisely while speaking stupidly. Whatever ‘experience’ they had in life it was not based on timeless or Godly principles but on prejudices they picked up on the way. They are still impacting a generation despite no helpful insight being offered to live well.
Successfully navigating channels of life involves knowing yourself, your potential and skills to discern what is useful and principled. Our subbies are being charged while sleeping and awake. I am now learning that timeless principles are not marked by years lived or positions gained. Rather it is simply a matter of standing guard over your thirsty mind and filling it with life enhancing instructions.
I have a a scar on my left knee as a vivid reminder of my fourth birthday. That was back in 1955 when kids rode in the back of pickups and got toy metal trucks with sharp edges for their birthdays. The ‘What were they thinking’ concept or the “Duh” factor was not yet in vogue. With in 10 minutes of opening the gift, my Mom was holding a towel over my gushing knee and my uncle was driving us to a nearby emergency room. Each time I see the scar, I can almost completely recall the scene, the smells and the pretty nurses, 59 years later. On my fifth birthday I received a small toolbox and soon I was explaining to my father why I was knocking mortar from between the bricks on our neighbors front porch. “It’s my birthday. I can do what I want.” Not often you get grounded on your birthday. Can’t blame the gift giver for that one. You have to get creative to get in trouble with a toolbox. Many years later, on my 55th birthday, I had surgery on my right knee for a torn meniscus. Not sure who to blame for that. “God, what were you thinking?” 🙂
This Saturday, 10-25, is the fourth anniversary of my 59th birthday. On that day, our daughter made dinner and my 3 year old grand daughter chose a smurf birthday cake for me. I generally abstain from such but could not disappoint such a cute little child. I had always eaten healthy foods so when I felt nausea coming on I told my wife the smurf cake was making me sick. Four hours later one of the top cardiologists in the world put 5 stents in my heart. I was stunned. I am totally grateful for renewed health (That I did not expect needed renewing).
I have learned much from these events. The last incident especially taught me that what I do not know can hurt me. In regards to our class, I am learning the power of our sub conscious mind. I am very aware now my life has been impacted by my lack of understanding of that power. I eliminate fear, feed my sub conscious and have placed my conscious mind as the gatekeeper granting access according to my instructions. I do not expect Smurf cake on Saturday. My grand daughters are into reggae so who knows?
The story goes that a young mother approached Mahatma Ghandi and asked him to help cure her son of his addiction to sugar. He instructed her to return in 30 days and ask for his help then. She agreed and returned 30 days later to ask for his favor. She was curious as to why the 30 days was a condition for his help and asked him such. He responded that 30 days earlier he was addicted to sugar and had nothing of value to offer the child. The self awareness and principled life he demonstrated made him useful and effective. That commitment made for a powerful transformation to take place in 30 days.
I have learned that it is quite easy to offer opinions and criticism when like Ghandi in the first encounter we had little to offer. Week 3 has provoked a thought process that makes me realize when I learn to discipline my subconscious mind I will be a much more effective trainer, friend, family member and adviser. Help is formulated in the crucible of struggle, focus and disciplined learned from fixing our own ‘way of thinking’. The purported value of ‘just do it’ or ‘just say no’ campaigns is diminished by the underlying fear/uncertainty most people are unaware of but totally controlled by. Helping people to ID the source of fear and failure is an incredible gift for a wonderful life.
On a recent afternoon, I was rocking my 4 year old grand daughter. She wondered out loud what she would be like as a grown up. I said she would certainly be sweet, smart and very kind. “I look forward to knowing you then!” She reached up and touched my face with such a sweet look on her’s and said, “How do you know you will not be dead by then?” Well that is a reasonable question I had not considered.
Actually I am quite healthy and think in terms of another 3 decades or so. I do know this, that I am not interested in spending one more moment of my life with a single negative thought permeating my mind. The second week has opened my eyes to the clarity of how the conscious and the subconscious work. How my conscious mind is the gatekeeper for the much more powerful subconscious mind. I choose to be a more informed and vigilant gatekeeper for what I permit to permeate my ‘subby’.
I have been thinking quite a bit about what I will be like six months from now. When you master the input it would be hard to comprehend just what can/will happen when the ‘gloves are off’ and your mind is free to maximize your gifts. I know it will be better and it will be fun!!
I guess an ‘older dog’ can learn new tricks. Learning new technology (to me that is) is both intimidating and exhilarating. Not sure how I got here or if I will ever find my way back but I’m here now. I really know I will get the hang of this and will love everything about this venue. Writing is both cathartic and stimulating. I’m pretty sure I have an account and have set up my profile with a gravatar. I will be much more long winded in the coming posts. Just used up lots of brain power and ‘will’ to get this far. I respect everyone on this journey along with the guides who are incredibly patient. I’ve got your backs!!