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 and master the trifles of living.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Trifles of Living
" . . . and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called
Mary, which also sat at Jesus’’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much
serving, and came to him, and said, ‘‘Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve
alone? Bid her therefore that she help me’’. And Jesus answered and said ‘‘Martha, Martha thou art
careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good
part, which shall not be taken away from her.’’" Luke, Chapter 10, Verses 38 through 42
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we shall consider the problem of the trifles of living, those
small material things that begin like sparks of a flame and when left unchecked soon mushroom into
a raging and consuming fire, engulfing the entire soul, and destroying spiritual insight in the process.
It is a fact that so many of us "spend so much time and thought on mere trifles of living, while we
almost wholly overlook the more essential realities of everlasting import, those very
accomplishments which are concerned with the development of a more harmonious working
agreement between our souls" and the Father’’s spirit through His Son, Jesus.
Our great goal of human existence is to attune to the Father’’s spirit, while our greatest achievement
of mortal life is the attainment of a true and understanding consecration to the Father’’s will that
waits and works within our minds. But that does not mean we have to be weighed down with
solemnity and a life devoid of joy. "A devoted and determined effort to realize eternal destiny is
wholly compatible with a light-hearted and joyous life and with a successful and honorable career
on earth. Co-operation with the Father’’s spirit does not entail self-torture, mock piety, or
hypocritical and ostentatious self-abasement; the ideal life is one of loving service rather than an
existence of fearful apprehension."
We walk under the spiritual light of the Father’’s love as if we are walking in a very dark forest with
occasional light from the moon of spiritual insight when it breaks through the clouds of our material
preoccupation. Now our problem is real, and there is no easy solution to it. We are material beings
and that is a fact, but we also have a spiritual nature, a future destiny as spiritual beings. We, by faith
accept that our future destiny is as spiritual beings. We cannot ignore all the trifles of living. Those
small material thing have a just claim upon our attention but not on all of our attention and certainly
not our supreme loyalty. Sometimes in our material struggles these trifles of living overwhelm and
displace our spiritual purpose. How are we to put the trifles of living in proper perspective and the
worrying that goes along with them?
There is no way we can wave a magic wand and become spiritual beings. By the time our spiritual
nature begins, our material natures are in full gallop, racing towards the challenge of the material
existence: Making a living, raising a family, and every so often snatching moments of pleasure. The
momentum of our material natures cannot be abruptly stopped anymore than we can safely stop a
speeding vehicle. It takes time to change our direction. So the spiritual drive has to slowly and
almost imperceptibly, gradually change the direction of the material drive. This becomes known as
the self submitting itself to the Father’’s will. This requires time.
While the decision to submit to the Father’’s will can be made instantaneously, learning how to do
that will requires lots of time. And even though in our minds and souls, we can visualize ourselves
perfectly executing that divine will from day one, in reality we must contend with the delays of time
and the handicaps of space as this will manifests itself in our day-to-day lives.
From a practical point of view, this means a shift in our supreme loyalties. While we must pull the
wagon of material existence, it is not necessary that we fall in love with that task, that we should
dedicate all of our efforts, hopes, and dreams to pulling the material wagon of material existence.
We must grasp that desire of the divine spirit and make it our own. The desire to be perfect even as
the heavenly Father is perfect must become our supreme desire and our supreme purpose. The best
way for trifles of living to remain on the back burner of our loyalties is to lose interest in them. I
don’’t mean that they should be ignored, but they should not govern our attitudes, and we should
certainly not worry about them. But such a thing is easier said than done. How do we stop worrying?
No magic wand exists to replace worry with assurance. But what does exist is being true to our
desire to do the Father’’s will. If we remain true to becoming perfect even as the heavenly Father is
perfect, the spotlight of loyalty will shift from the trifles of living to the inspiring and soul satisfying,
worry- destroying spiritual living.
In this struggle to achieve spiritual living, above all we must be true to ourselves. If we don’’t truly
have a supreme desire to do the Father’’s will, than we deceive ourselves, and we make no progress.
But if our desire is true, and we are true to that desire, our purpose, attitudes, and our actions will
reflect that desire. It can’’t be any other way. No matter what we say to ourselves, we pursue that
which we love. To discover what we truly love, we have to look no further than what activities we
are pursuing in place of loving and merciful ministry to our brothers and sisters. Discovering that
doing the Father’’s will is not our supreme desire can be devastating, but it need not be. It can be a
blessing. So many things in our inner life, motives are unclear, and the spotlight of discovery helps
us to see clearly and consequently walk without stumbling in the ditch of derailed spiritual hopes and
Will determines the desires we pursue and make supreme. So a better question to poise in trying to
sort out the problem of the trifles of living is to ask: Why is the Father’’s will not my supreme desire
and purpose? The answer to such a question requires blunt and frank honesty. Perhaps the answer
to such a question may be that the desire for material purposes is the supreme undertaking of this
life. Identifying with material reality could be because of erroneous teaching during our formative
years, or could be a reaction to being deprived of basic material needs. It also could be the lack of
spiritual capacity as seen in psychopaths and sociopaths; but such is not likely since lack of spiritual
capacity would hardly be a concern in such a one.
The next important factor in maintaining the desire for a supreme spiritual purpose is the faith that
we can actually acquire and accomplish it. For we are not likely to pursue anything, much less an
intangible purpose, if we don’’t feel like it is real or obtainable. This faith must be grasped and held
onto at all costs. Only this attitude propels our faith to supreme levels, where we find the Father’’s
presence. And having found that presence, we must have regular meetings with Him. Sometimes the
meeting may be occasions of petitions, but it soon becomes true communion where words are
unnecessary. Only desire and faith are necessary. And this happens because once we dedicate
ourselves to doing the Father’’s will all of our petitions are answered so there is no need to ask, and
no other petitions can be answered that are not the Father’’s will.
Regular meetings with the Father accelerates our spiritual development. In the Father’’s embrace,
we experience his love, truth, beauty and goodness. It is here where we experience the matchless
superiority of spiritual reality. This regular meeting with the Father orders our lives, prioritizes the
trifles of living so that they become a function in and not the totality of our lives. Meeting with the
Father on a regular basis gradually diminishes the worry associated with the vicissitudes of material
living. After all, death is the greatest fear that a mortal can have. In the Father’’s presence, the reality
of eternal life effectively antidotes the consciousness of being mortal. And as we continue with our
regular meetings, the Father’’s spiritual influence begins to influence other areas of our life. We
relate ourselves to others not for reasons of selfish gratification but for revealing the matchless love
and mercy of the Father. It is easy to see that when we want nothing from other people other than
to help them, all the interpersonal conflicts generated from our end ceases. There may be conflict for
others only as they grapple to deal with the divine affection bestowed on them.
Dwelling within the Father’’s embrace glorifies all relationships with that all-eclipsing divine
sentiment: love. And all normal-minded people are built to respond to genuine love if only we will
shower them with it for a sufficient amount of time to thoroughly inundate them. If we take a dry
sponge and begin to run water over it, initially the water will roll off the surface of it. We have to
break the surface tension first. But as we continue to run the water over the sponge, it begins to
absorb the water, and eventually water will begin to pour from it after it becomes saturated. This is
what we want to do with our brothers and sisters--to inundate them with the divine affection until
it comes pouring out of them.
Finally the trifles of living are replaced with that high spiritual insight that allows us to use every
single thing of moral significance as a stepladder to even higher spiritual insight, even to the insight
that ““the Father and I are one.”” Such a one is no longer troubled with the trifles of living, for he
has relegated these to their unimportant place.
This concludes today's message on understanding and mastering the trifles of living. 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.