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. This morning we seek to understand the spiritual adjustment to change.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Spiritual Adjustment to Change
"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." John, Chapter 14, Verse 18
Brothers and sisters, in today broadcast we share some insights into the necessary adjustment to change. We explore some techniques and attitudes that are helpful as we go through these changes. We know that it requires time to adjust to all kinds of changes, be they physical, emotional, intellectual, moral or spiritual. The emotions require time to adjust to new realities. Our bodies require time to adjust to the changes that occur in them.
One of most difficult things to change is our habits, the conduct associated with a given experience that is no longer appropriate. When there is a sudden change in our relationships, in our status, or our bodies, we run into the inertia of change. We tend to resist change because once our loyalties our mobilized in a given direction, it is difficult to shift the focus of those loyalties. Even though the experience has changed, we still find that emotionally and attitudinally we react as if the experience is still continuing. And this retardation makes it difficult for us to adjust to the new experience. Our hope is that no matter how difficult it is to change, we can make the adjustment if that is our whole-hearted desire. Even though we cannot return to the old level of adjustment, we can move to a new level of adjustment where once more we experience stability. But even this level of stability is temporary.
Our lives are consumed with change. We are growing and progressing beings, and we are constantly having to adjust to the change associated with our status. ““Mis-adaptation, disharmony, and conflict, all these things are inherent in imperfect creatures. All conflict is evil in that it inhibits the creative function of the inner life--it is a species of civil war in the personality."
Change precipitates conflict. Sometimes the change is of such a nature that the conflict is slight. Sometimes the change is of such a nature that a major conflict of values is precipitated. For example, the values of health versus the values of illness create major conflicts, and the values of work versus the values of retirement from work also precipitate major conflicts that the self must resolve. "New religious insights arise out of conflicts which initiate the choosing of new and better reaction habits in the place of older and inferior reaction patterns. New meanings only emerge amid conflict; and conflict persists only in the face of refusal to espouse the higher values connoted in superior meanings." The failure to adjust to change creates sustained conflict. And sustained conflict leads to disintegration of the mind. The ultimate meaning of conflict is that we must choose to end it. It is a mechanism that prevents procrastination. We must make a decision. Once it becomes clear what the choices are, we must choose.
But what do we do when there is no apparent choice to make? We must wait while we ascertain the choice that may be temporarily hidden from us. Sometimes the choice may be so disagreeable that the mind refuses to recognize it. An individual who has dedicated his life to some worthwhile project may suddenly be confronted with the cold hard fact that he cannot continue with it. This is tantamount to the freight train traveling at a high rate of speed that is forced to come to a sudden stop. This creates havoc for the train. And the same thing happens in our emotional lives when we are forced to suddenly change directions. But there is something we can do when this happens.
"The human mind does not well stand the conflict of double allegiance. It is a severe strain on the soul to undergo the experience of an effort to serve both good and evil. The supremely happy and efficiently unified mind is the one wholly dedicated to the doing of the will of the Father in heaven. Unresolved conflicts destroy unity and may terminate in mind disruption. But the survival character of a soul is not fostered by attempting to secure peace of mind at any price, by the surrender of noble aspirations, and by the compromise of spiritual ideals; rather is such peace attained by the stalwart assertion of the triumph of that which is true, and this victory is achieved in the overcoming of evil with the potent force of good."
The first step in resolving the conflict is to accept the fact that a choice must be made. The second step is to choose the highest value. This is where doing the Father’’s will comes in. Choosing to do the Father’’s will "is an efficient solvent for most mortal difficulties; it is an effective sorter, evaluator, and adjuster of all human problems. It does not remove or destroy human troubles, but it does dissolve, absorb, illuminate, and transcend them. Choosing to do the Father’’s will unifies the personality for effective adjustment to all mortal requirements.”” And though it takes times to grasp insight into a superior value, seeking the Father’’s will provides the insight and the necessary moral and spiritual stamina to recognize the superior meanings of the new experience. It supplies courage to choose what the insight of the spirit has revealed.
Continuing to seek the Father’’s will in the face of every human crisis will lead us through conflicts such that we will emerge with quieted emotions and tranquility of spirit. Eventually we will pass through the conflict.
When we don’’t know what to do, we should continue to seek the Father’’s will until we do. This practice will ensure that we make the best decision that can be made in a given situation. When we have done our best, we can rest on this. Our minds remain uneasy and our souls in turmoil only in the knowledge that we have not done our best but have given in to the influences of fear and selfishness.
We must also remember that we must be patient during this process, lest we act prematurely and thus unwisely. We will know when it is time to act. We will just know! Possessing our souls in patience testifies to our faith and trust in the Father’’s goodness. Though time and space--with its temporal realities--may deal us a hand of life’’s cards that are difficult to play, no such realities exist when it comes to our eternal good. We know that all things work together for those who love God and seek to do His will.
We should allow our hope to transcend temporal difficulties and still ourselves for temporal realities while we diligently extract those eternal values and meanings of divine goodness. As hard as it may appear during a given conflict, our emotions will subside if we continue to seek the Father’’s will. Our physical bodies will adjust to new realities, and our spirits will soar, leaving the handicaps of the physical body and volatile emotions far far behind.
The Father is with us and has not forgotten us. He continues to lead and guide us. We simply must trust Him. Soon we will recognize and comprehend new values and meanings and leave the conflict behind. I tell you, brothers and sisters, that God is good.
This concludes today's message on understanding the spiritual adjustment to change. 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.