Miracles News

July-September, 2017

Reconnecting to Our Call

by Rev. Lorraine Merritt, O.M.C.

Rev. Lorraine Merritt, O.M.C.“Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy.” (ACIM T-1.VII.2:1)

So what exactly is ‘a teacher of God’? What exactly is ‘our call’ to be a minister of God? What exactly is ‘reconnecting’?

A Course in Miracles tells me: “A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. …. somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else’s. …The Call is universal. It calls for teachers to speak for It and redeem the world. Many hear It, but few will answer. Yet it is all a matter of time. Everyone will answer in the end, but the end can be a long, long way off. It does not matter who the teacher was before he heard the Call. He has become a savior by his answering.” (M-1.1:1-2;2:4,6-9;3:7-8)

And how many teachers of God are needed to save the world? One.

Everyone who chooses it is a teacher of God. Everyone. Every minute of every day. That is exactly who we are and will be. We are provided with pupils who have been waiting for us. These pupils are not only students. They will be friends, family, people we work with, shop with, and interact with daily, weekly or monthly. We do not choose whom we will serve. When we are ready to learn, opportunities will be provided.

I have a story to tell: I was at Pathways of Light in Wisconsin. Rev. Jane Stewart from Milwaukee, whom I was ordained with, picked me up the day before I was flying back to New Jersey. We decided to go to the local mall —Jane had some shopping to do. I finally got tired of following Jane around JC Penny and told her I would be sitting on the bench right outside the side entrance. So there I was “people watching.” I had jeans and a shirt on, with sandals. A middle-aged man approached me and asked: So, are you a minister or a nun? I answered him immediately, “I am a minister. Would you like to sit with me and talk for a while?” “I certainly would if you don’t mind.” So here we were — him talking and me listening, commenting when I was guided.

Finally Jane came out of the store. She saw me sitting there with this man and smilingly says as she is walking toward us, “I can’t leave you alone for 10 minutes without you picking up some guy, can I, Lorraine?” I replied, “No you cannot and just wait until you hear the pick up line.” And I told her what he had said to me. Of course, Jane started choking and coughing and the man got up and said “Thank you so much Lorraine, you have helped me more than you know”” and went on his way.

I am a teacher of God. Every minute of every day. Just like you and everyone. The ‘call’ was that the opportunity provided to speak with this man in Milwaukee who needed help.

We all have stories to tell. My friends and students will remember stories I have shared over the years before and after I was ordained. And you will each remember opportunities that were provided you to be a teacher of God. Pupil and teacher seem to come together in the present, finding each other as if we had met before — and the man knew exactly where to find me. I was at a mall, all alone on a bench in an alcove, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy.”

Some of us make choices to take a break from — I don’t know what to call it — our spirituality, our path, people, learning, teaching, performing ceremonies. Sometimes, we, as we perceive it, leave it all behind. We choose an entirely different existence for a while — any length of time at all, a day, a week, a month, a year or more. Then somehow, somewhere within, a yearning occurs. What is that? I just can’t put my finger on it. Ohhhhh, yes, I remember now. That’s the perceived burden I set down yesterday, last week, last year….

Do not believe that you lay anything at all down, being a “teacher of God” for that length of time. You are and were a teacher of God in casual encounters, chance meetings like mine. You found you had no separate interests — your interests were the same — large, small, walking, talking, driving — during the time of your break. Each person is given certain learning partners. Every level of the teaching-learning situation is part of God’s plan. Each person involved will learn the most he can from the other person at that time.

So getting back to reconnecting to our call as a teacher of God, there was no ‘disconnect.’ Obviously then, there would be no reason to ‘reconnect.’ You and your pupils each showed up when the opportunity presented itself, time and again. We answered the call to give and receive. We saw in another person no interest different from our own.

How can there possibly be a disconnect when each teaching-learning situation involves a different relationship at the beginning, although the ultimate goal is always the same, to make of the relationship a holy relationship, in which both can look upon the son of God as sinless. God’s teachers work at different levels, but the result is always the same. All who meet will someday meet again, for it is the destiny of all relationships to become holy. God is not mistaken in his Son. No teacher of God can fail to find the help he needs.

So this helps me to understand another meaning of “reconnecting” to our call as teachers of God. When I realize that all who meet will someday meet again — to become holy. I often find that someone I knew when I was growing up in North Bergen, New Jersey, or when I was in high school in Union City, NJ, or in the ceramics business in Ridgefield Park, NJ, or living upstate in Walton, New York, circles back round again.

I was living and working in Wilmington, Delaware, and was going to Radio City music hall in New York City to see the Rockettes in the Christmas show. Who was standing next to me in line but a woman I knew from Walton, NY. We spent the rest of the day together — there was a definite reason we met. I always do say, “We must have unfinished business with each other or this would not be happening.” And it happens quite often.

I am among the teachers of God and repeat the characteristics of God’s teachers here: Trust; honesty; tolerance; gentleness; joy; defenselesness; generosity; patience; faithfulness; and open-mindedness. (M-4)

“It is the function of God’s teachers to bring true learning to the world. Properly speaking it is unlearning that they bring, for that is ‘true learning’ in the world. It is given to the teachers of God to bring the glad tidings of complete forgiveness to the world. Blessed indeed are they, for they are the bringers of salvation.” (M-4.X.3)

We are teachers of God within and without every moment of every day. In my ceramic studio when a prospective student would walk in to ask questions, they often would say, “I don’t know anything at all about ceramics.” And I would answer, “That’s the best news. You do not have to unlearn anything at all.”

It’s not always easy to be a teacher of God. But — nobody promised me, and I never expected, a rose garden if I became one.

“Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy.”

In the middle of writing this sharing I checked my email and saw an article by Rev. Myron Jones on facebook. I must quote myron here:

“In truth we all teach all the time. We teach with our words, with our actions, with our thoughts. We teach to learn, and though we seekers study and study, it is really only through our practice (which is our teaching) that we learn. So what we do every day, what thoughts we entertain, are very important. They are teaching us what we are, or they are teaching us what we are not. My every word, every thought and deed is teaching me and everyone else. The question I want to ask myself today is this: Is what I am doing, saying and even thinking, what I want to teach?”

And am I truly listening to the guidance I am receiving? Sometimes I feel like I am the ticker tape on an old teletype machine. The teletype machine was silent for perhaps hours, and then it would spew out messages from whomever was sending them — and then it would go silent again —until the next time. My guidance is always from Holy Spirit, one way or the other.

I was visiting a friend in Florida and I was reading until it was time to pick him up from work. All of a sudden “I wonder what’s new at Barnes and Noble” pops into my head. I kept reading. “I really should take a drive over to Barnes and Noble” pops in. I could not stop thinking about “Barnes and Noble.”

I finally drove over to Barnes and Noble. When I stepped inside the doors I asked, “Okay, I’m here, what now”? I had such an immediate yearning for a cup of coffee. I looked around and found their coffee section. There was only one person — a woman — sitting in the entire coffee section — straight ahead of me. I started down the aisle and as I reached her I saw she was reading John Edward’s book that was hot off the presses — the cover was really great, but I do not remember it at all.

As I reached her I said, “Wow, that’s really an interesting cover on your book.” She put her book down, stared at me and seriously asked, “Are you the minister I have been sitting here praying for?” Well, I don’t know if I am that minister, but how about I get this cup of coffee I seem to need and we talk about it. She started crying and said, “Thank you, God.” And talk we did. For three and a half hours. And then we communicated for about 4-5 years.

Am I hearing the guidance? Am I listening to the guidance? Am I following the guidance I am hearing? How many opportunities have I missed?

Excuses: I am too busy all day working, with the kids, taking calls, doing housework — why don’t I just get the list of different kinds of resistance we have a new student read when they are beginning the training. That’s an excellent list. I am not too busy for my coffee break — at work or at home. I am not too busy for my lunch break — be it 15 min., 30 min. or more for me to be able to do some shopping. I am not too busy when I just want to take a break. That is precisely when I should “be still and listen.” Oh yes, I have that sign hanging on my living room wall. You should know that I live in a mobile home and the walls are filled with windows — there is very little wall space. But, “Be still and listen” hangs there.

I also have a sign that says, “Dear Lord, please put your arm around my shoulder and your hand across my mouth.” And, that’s enough said about that sign. Ask anyone who knows me.

“Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy.”

So, at this exact point of putting together this sharing, my student Deb was supposed to be calling me at 10 a.m. I checked the time and it was 10:07 a.m. Very unlike Debbie who calls exactly on time every week. I quickly closed the computer and called Debbie. It rang four or five times and then came the timid voice asking,” Lorraine?” Clang, clang, clang was ringing in my ears. I said, “Yes, Debbie, it’s Lorraine — what’s wrong?” She said she just received a call from her doctor — “there’s a problem with my tests and I need to have a procedure done. Will you please pray with me?” And pray we did.

Am I hearing the guidance? Am I listening to the guidance? Am I following the guidance I am hearing? This was an opportunity I did not miss. I am a teacher of God every minute of every day. And so is Deb.

I was getting the March, 2017, teleconference group in order for their final training of the Accessing Inner Wisdom Counseling course and their ordination ceremony, when I was at this point in putting together a few words to share with you. I kept seeing a little yellow ball bouncing at certain words — words to repeat? Words to stress? To impress? Words to erase from my memory bank?

And now, as I type this out I know there is nothing I need remember because all there is, is “this present moment.” And where I am in this present moment is the subject of teacher of God!

There is no one who is not a “teacher of God” — that is one thing I do need to remember. I need to remember this because I do not want to miss or skip the lesson that I am involved with in “this present moment.” Large or small, astounding/joyous or teeny tiny specks of information — they are all lessons I was put here in this moment to take my part and commit to hearing the lessons.

And then I — all by myself — make the choice to listen to the lesson and follow the guidance from Holy Spirit on how to use the lesson for myself and my brothers. Or not. Well, that’s okay too — it’s just that I will have to listen to this exact lesson, maybe the lesson is wearing a different set of clothing, with different brothers and sisters, again — and again, maybe 10 x 10 until I ‘get it’ that this lesson was for me. Do I take advantage of this opportunity or blow it off because I don’t have the time now? If not now, ‘when’? I have asked myself that question many times. And then as ‘when’ arrives I feel as if ‘dawn has finally come’ or ‘a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders’ or ‘my feet do not feel as if they have suction cups on the bottoms any longer.’

God gives us all the leeway we would like because God does not see us having a problem — otherwise known as being in ‘fear’ or ‘calling for love.’ God created us as Love and will always see us as Love.

A quote from ACIM, “Reason and perception — The Responsibility for Sight,” on page 448 of the Text.

“I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.” (T-21.II.2:3-5)

“Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy.”

Another thing I have found is: I do not even have to leave my home to be a teacher of God. I do not have to have a telephone to be a teacher of God. I do not have to have a computer or an electronic device of any kind, to be a teacher of God. When a lesson is to be learned by me, one way or another that lesson will be addressed. Someone will knock at the door or the window. A car outside will be honking its horn. I may hear a siren wailing, or a tire screeching. And Holy Spirit who resides directly within each and every one of us is serenely saying, “You’re on duty, Lorraine.” And automatically I open my heart, my ears and my mouth — in that order — asking, “What can I do for you?’

The brothers involved may be responding in a variety of ways. Some may be looking for someone with whom to share their joy, their love, their family. Some may simply be grateful there is someone there. Others may be in such fear they are unable to respond intelligently. Others may not be awake and alert. None of that matters. Fear does not enter my mind at all. I am willing to listen to the guidance within. I have asked Holy Spirit to take charge once he guided me to be “on duty” and have been extending God’s Love to everyone involved.

My cell phone is always in my pocket; I will do whatever Holy Spirit guides me to do. I will shake everyone’s hand, kiss everyone’s cheek, share a hug or a handshake. I will dial 911, I will offer my home, I will offer comfort, etc.

I will be the teacher of God that I would be searching for in that moment. All of this could happen in my 1,000 sq. foot mobile home in New Jersey or less.

I look at a moment like this as: My brothers are offering me an opportunity to bless them and myself along with them. My brothers’ perceived needs are mine. I need the blessing I can offer them. There is no way for me to have it except by me giving it to them. As a teacher of God, I would teach no one that he is what I would not want to be. In my brother I see myself.

You see, perhaps I needed to “reconnect to my call as a teacher of God.” I and my brothers all showed up when this opportunity presented itself. We saw in another person no interest different from our own.

No one is where he is by accident.

“You are not free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you learn it. You are free, however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned. God’s teacher speaks to any two who are joining together for learning purposes.” (M-2)

No teacher of God can fail to find the help he needs.

Am I hearing the guidance? Am I listening to the guidance? Am I following the guidance I am hearing?

I must remember that the lessons with my brothers are the same lessons I need to refresh for myself. “I will step back and let him lead the way, for I would walk along the road with him.”

“Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy.”

I was guided on my walk this morning, thinking about this sharing, to think about the many teachers of God who appeared to work with me during my journey to my awakening. There were my parents and siblings, school teachers and counselors, employers, employees, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, families — extended families, my children — I am almost blinded by the sight/memory of all of those people who served as teachers of God to me again, again and yet once again — always stepping forward until the purpose was fulfilled.

Some bring wonderful, loving memories. Some bring memories of being staunch allies. Some bring memories of being fierce enemies. Whoa — stop right there reverend Cookie. Staunch ally — fierce enemy? That’s my perception, not anyone else’s. That’s what happens when ‘I flip the coin.’ On one side they are a staunch ally; on the other they are a fierce enemy.

They have not changed one little bit. However, my perception of them has. After all this time the words that came to me when thinking about the hardest lessons were ‘staunch allies.’ Holy Spirit and I laughed out loud at those words because I had always thought of them as ‘fierce enemies.’

Today I appreciate their presence in my life for that ‘brief moment’ (however many years it was) to offer me the opportunity to see things differently. To see each moment as love or a call for love.

Sometimes I think I am ready to thread my needle — otherwise known as wrap up a situation, speak to someone about something, close the book, etc. So I get my needle and thread out and try to thread the needle. Well, first the thread is too thick to go into this needle’s eye so I have to get a larger needle. Then the thread keeps bending and just won’t go in the eye. Then the needle breaks in half.

How many times do I have to try again and again before I wake up and realize Holy Spirit is guiding me to be patient and the needle will thread itself? Dum de dum dum…

Some 600 lb. Gorillas who seem to be following me around every now and then
— when I finally address them in peace
— turn out to be playful chimps.

This day is April 12th, 2017 and the minister’s forum post is a quote from the ACIM workbook:

“God’s voice speaks to me all through the day. There is not a moment in which God’s Voice ceases to call on my forgiveness to save me. There is not a moment in which His Voice fails to direct my thoughts, guide my actions and lead my feet. I am walking steadily on towards truth. There is nowhere else I can go, because God’s Voice is the only voice and the only guide that has been given to His Son.”

Thank you all for your time — oh, yes, please remember:

“We were all created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy.” And , “We are all teachers of God.”

Rev. Lorraine M. Merritt, O.M.C., is a Pathways of Light minister living in Toms River, New Jersey.
Email: reverendcookie@ comcast.net

© 2017, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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