Miracles News

July-September, 2019

How Much Do You Want?

by Rev. Stephan Mead, O.M.C.

Let’s start with money, since most course students seem to be over fifty years old. Do we have the amount of financial security we think we need? (Rent/mortgage, health insurance, retirement income, discretionary fund, and whatever else we can come up with.) How much money do we really want? Remember, when our budget spreadsheet is complete, if, (deep down) we would really like more, then we don’t have as much as we want.

What about our intimate relationship(s)? Are they what we want? Do we wish they were different? Perhaps if our partner was willing to change even a little bit, (for their own betterment — of course) we’d have the companionship going into our golden years, which would support our spiritual journey in the exact manner we’re certain we need.  Are our relationships good enough? Do we want more?

In addition, what about health? Do we want to experience our physicality differently than it is? How much “health” do we want? Again, if we wished our bodies were different, then we aren’t content with how we are now.

What else do we want?  What does any of this have to do with ACIM? How many of us have said/heard at Course meetings, “Above all, I want salvation, or a spiritual awakening or the Atonement?” We’ve all said/heard/thought that, right? Do we mean it? (I’m talking about the, “above all” part.)  Is there a litmus test for our resolve? 

A couple of days ago I was visiting a friend in a suburb of Seattle and feeling pretty good about it. My friend recently was paroled from prison and in the months before his release, all he could talk about was how he was going to live his life differently — once paroled. I felt I could be of great help to him. I sincerely believed if he followed even some of my suggestions, every aspect of his life would improve. I really, really believed that thought.

Ha, of course every single suggestion I offered was immediately dismissed, most of them rejected before I even completed the sentence my fabulous words of wisdom were in.

How much did I want him to live as I think he should? On my drive home I wondered what happened to my peace of mind.

Turning off the radio where the Seattle Mariners were getting massacred by 11-1 by the damn Red Sox, it seemed like a good time to quiet my mind and seek some help.

I did have to get past the part where I was defending my insane thoughts with the rationalizing that, “I only wanted to be helpful.”

As always happens when I get in a truly receptive to guidance state, calmness returned. How much did I want my friend to do as I think he should vs how much do I want to mind my own business, maybe by asking myself,  “Do I really know what is best for him?” 

As I was walking up to my home, experiencing gratitude for seeing how damn judgmental I still can be, I realized I didn’t have my wallet. How much did I want my wallet?

I tore my car apart, even looking in the back seat — which I have never sat in, all the while trying to remain calm but thinking of the tremendous hassle in front of me — credit cards, debit card, drivers license, social security card, VA identification etc. Plus I was low on gas and no cash. I never would have lost my wallet if I didn’t meet my ungrateful friend at a Starbucks — where we sat at an outside table, and, (of course) the coffee shop was in a sketchy part of town.

ACIM assures us again and again that the Holy Spirit can use any situation to help us heal. I wasn’t completely crazy, but wherever that line is, it was in sight.

Again, how much did I want my wallet? My desire, my focus, all my attention was on finding the wallet. Suddenly, (and it was sudden!) I thought, “What if I wanted to follow Spirit’s guidance with the same fervor I wanted to find my wallet?”

How much do I want to have? Money? Relationship? Health? Security? My wallet? (ha!) 

Who was I fooling? Instead of thinking in degrees about, “How much do I want?” I saw the truth. I wanted “it” all.

I called the Starbucks and someone had turned in my wallet. On my drive over to get it, instead of thanking Spirit for me not losing it, I thanked him for the experience of seeing what I was truly valuing. I no longer cared that it was found (but I am glad it was). I wanted the connection I felt with Spirit to continue. 

Okay, finally a quote from the Course,“To have, Give All to All.” (T-6.V.A)  Yes, I want “to have” and the Course tells me exactly how to accomplish it. All the Holy Spirit had to do was show me the confusion I had over what I thought I wanted.

Since my egoic thoughts are really nothing, giving them up to Spirit for correction and true guidance is having it All!

Rev. Stephan Mead, O.M.C., is a Pathways of Light minister living in Seattle, Washington. E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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