Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s discussion, we discuss the last thought of a mortal.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Last Thought of a Mortal
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost." John, Chapter 19, Verse 30
Brothers and sisters, this morning we consider the last thought of a mortal. As I approach the end of my mortal career, I begin the review of my life, examining all of the salient points of it.
As the time draws near, as the mortal career enters its final stage, I feel as if somehow time has been accelerated in some respects. It feels as if the days are passing by rapidly. It seems like the times I do find a measure of relief from my physical and emotional difficulties, time seems to speed by while the time of my physical and emotional difficulties appear to slowly drift by. I suppose that is because my focus is on the physical and emotional difficulties while my focus on the time of eased difficulties moves on to some other area.
And this process seems to speed up each day. Of course the objective flow of time has not changed. It still takes 60 seconds to make a minute, and 60 minutes to make a hour, 24 hours to make a day, and so forth. It is my subjective experience of time that makes it seems this way. As the time goes on, I try to shift my focus away from the difficulties, but only with partial success as the difficulties keep bringing me back to the moment. At such time, I utter, “It is not my will but your will that I seek.
Each day, the battle for life rages on. The conflict between the desire to remain and the relentless pull toward the end rages on. And I am caught in the middle. Each day, I feel a little less capable. It is if someone has a noose around my neck gradually tightening it, slowly cutting off the breath. And there are times subjectively when it feels like it has tightened completely, but then it relaxes somewhat but never back to the original state. It is like a giant magnet drawing me towards it, and all my efforts are futile to oppose the strength of the pull. All my efforts while they make sure that the remaining functions are utilized efficiently, are powerless to stop the pull of the great magnet of mortal death.
Doing this slow relentless process, there are many episodes of flash back memories, some of them causing a great deal of remorse and sorrow over past deeds, that I have long repented and received forgiveness for; others are pleasant and bring reactions of nostalgic pleasure to my mind. Some of these memories cause me sadness as I realized that I will not be able to do them anymore. One example comes to mind. There is a private road that runs along side my house, that snakes its way through a forest terminating about a mile in the forest where one of my neighbors live. For many years I have enjoyed walking this private road both for exercise as well as for prayer, worship, and meditation. Recently I saw a photograph of this road, and it brought sadness to my heart, for I realized that the time will come when I will no longer be able to walk this road. Already I have noticed increased difficulty walking it, though not to such a degree that I must stop at this time. I was advised to think of it as a pleasant memory as opposed to a lost.
I also find that laying down for short periods of time during the day seems to help with my energy levels. But the down side of all this is that once I start a practice of laying down, it becomes necessary to continue it. Recently I began laying down for about 10 minutes after returning from my noon walk. This was very refreshing, but then when I thought about not laying down after this walk, it seemed that I felt tired, and so I continued with this practice of laying down after my noon walk. This little rest break is added to several more during the day.
As this process of being drawn by the magnet of death continues, I find that my isolation is increasing. Most of this isolation is the result of health issues, but then some of it, is due to the lack energy to pursue other options. Even talking on the telephone is becoming increasingly problematic, as the talking especially when emotionally charged, makes matters worst. Most of my interests have been intellectually, but now I find that there is a decline in my intellectual functioning, especially short term memory and concentration.
I do a lot of praying during the day, often wake up doing the night with the urge and desire to pray. My prayers are often of a nature seeking to understand or find a way to ease my intolerable emotional and physical state, but so far the light has evaded me. I often review in my mind my religious life, seeking to find what more can I do. My soul longs for a better answer. It wishes there were some other way of resolving this difficulty, but there is not one. Being subject to the Father’s will, I am doing my very best to accept that will emotionally. I have already accepted it spiritually.
My daughter recently married, but due to health issues I was unable to attend since the wedding was held in a distant city, and I don’t travel very far from home. How do I feel about not being able to attend my daughter’s wedding? Feeling terribly about it, I can not really describe this peculiar kind of agony that I feel. The most important event in a daughter’s life is her marriage, and I remained unable to participate in it, unable to give her away.
Sometime ago, I made the decision to dedicate my life to doing the Father’s will. As a part of that decision I made the decision or least expressed the desire that I would be translated from this life rather than leave this life through natural death. All of these years, I have been loyal to that decision, and there is no doubt, that I have progressed much further morally and spiritually by making that decision that I would have had I not made such a decision. I understood that by dedicating and consecrating my will to doing the Father’s will, and expressing that decision through loving service, that I would achieve this feat. But just when I felt that I was very close to achieving that service that would yield that feat, health issues forced me to cease them, and forced me on the sidelines of life. On my very last day at work, I asked Jesus to manifest himself through me at the highest possible level.
This sidelining has been very difficult for me, for I feel that I have been blocked from grasping those values and meanings that would make translation possible. But then the thought enters my mind, that material difficulty can not stand in the way of the wholehearted dedicated and consecrated soul from grasping the all powerful divine values and meanings necessary for such a feat. And yet I sit home unable to even approach the doorway of my former level of service. What is the meaning of this apparent contradiction?
There is only one consistent answer: I must have achieved the spiritual goal set for me, and that this period of decreased activity in the arena of service must be a time whereby the final touches of alignment of my will with the will of the divine spirit are being made as well as the final stages of self understanding and self mastery, the last obstacle to overcoming material realities. I have had many formal commune sessions with Jesus during this period where I have sought clarification of my difficulties. At the end of each session, I have reached the same conclusions.
This is a period where the need and desire for faith, trust and hope are paramount. Tranquility of mind and spirit requires that these qualities be foremost in my conscious mind. I must take one day at a time. I must cease to anticipate my human projections of being pulled towards disaster. I pray for the power to take one day at a time, and I am really beginning to appreciate the statement: “Uncertainty is the secret to contented continuity.”
This state of uncertainty when embraced fully solves the problem of anticipation in its positive form as well as its negative form, namely jumping the gun if it is thought that something positive awaits one, and dragging one’s feet if you think something negative awaits one. Each one of these states prevents one from living in the moment. Uncertainty forces one to live in the present, and it is in the present where whatever one is dealing with is real, and therefore one has all the spiritual and moral resources necessary to deal with it, by either accepting it or doing something about it if that is a possible wise option. One can not act upon something that has not occurred yet, and which may not occur. One’s worst fears are never realized.
And so as the process moves inexorably towards its completion, the thought enters the mind, “What more can I do,” but the final thought is “Not my will, but Your will be done.”
This concludes today's message on understanding the last thought of a mortal. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.