We seem to go through life on earth in a linear way. One day follows another. There is a beginning and an end. There is a past, a present, and a future, set up in a sequence with borders that we can cross mentally but not physically. But Life is not really like that.

Time is a construct of mind; an organizing device. It helps us to make sense of the vastness of life we cannot fully know. In truth, we are eternal Spirit taking form and residence in a physical body for the adventure of experiencing human love and human limitations.

The life that we have, is not the Life that we Are. The Life that we are is unlimited and eternal, and it is much larger than the life we live here on earth. This physical life is a wonderful adventure, a journey of discovery and experiences. Physically it has a beginning, and then an end. But the true life that is ours is not contained that way.

This physical life is not all there is, but it seems to be all there is right now. It is captured in the illusion of time, and it is all we have and all we know. Each human life is unique and each of us has a unique purpose; that’s why we came. Part of each one’s purpose is to learn, to grow in spirit (the true self) and to help each other to learn and grow. I believe that a part of this is also to share and to pass on whatever physical or mental gifts we have been given. These are the unique gifts that only you can give. I know and believe that each of us has a function and purpose that is essential to the human family of God. Even as we need God, God needs us too.

This life matters. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you have a calling in this life. You may not have recognized it yet, and some of us never do in a lifetime. Nevertheless it is there and functioning in the order of things. Your life matters, whether you accept and admit that or not.

Every life matters. We are souls traveling in timeless eternity, yet we are here in a world defined and limited by time. We are bigger than this life alone. We are much bigger than the day-to-day pursuit of time-bound things can show us, bigger than this lifetime allows us to fully understand.

When I was a small child, my grandmother taught me this little prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep;
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Even though I was only two or three years old, these words were sobering to my little mind, even frightening - because of the idea that (1) I might die and (2) my soul was not safe; I could lose it accidentally somehow, so I must ask God each night to keep it for me. But even if I asked, could I be sure He would?

But now we are grown. We know that God has already made our souls safe, and we cannot lose our soul because it is at the depth of who we truly are. We are not this personality, or this body, or this mind. These are just some of the tools and instruments we have been given to use and to enjoy while we are here on this wonderful and amazing life adventure.

We cannot lose our soul to the devil, for God has guaranteed our souls for us, eternally ours and eternally His. And Christ has paid every debt we will ever owe. If we ask sincerely, we will be forgiven. There is no real devil except the ones we create in our minds to punish ourselves when we forget we are all God’s own, and when we fail to trust Him. We do this because we are so caught up in the illusions and limitations of the physical world. And yet, we have only to turn to God in any place and any time, and He is there.

God is in control, and gives to each one of us as we have asked believing, whether unconsciously by habit, or consciously by prayer, meditation, or mindfulness. At any time we can speak to, and listen to, the Still Small Voice of God that is inside of us, always lovingly watching.

As beautiful as it is, and is terrible as it can sometimes be, this physical world does not control us - unless we believe it does. When we believe that it does, we are handing over our spiritual power to something outside of ourselves. We act physically, blindly or helplessly or violently out of our fear, our sorrow, our rage, and our pain.

There is no need to do this. There is another way, and an infinity of choices. But we can get lost in the illusion like a character in our own dream. Struggling to escape from some terrible danger that is really only a dream, we stumble and fall and try to run desperately, in slow motion, and in terror. Have you ever had a nightmare like this? We sometimes dream ourselves facing horrible dangers, doing terrible unthinkable things in a nightmare, and when we wake up in a cold sweat, we think to ourselves “How could I dream such a thing? I could never do that.” And we say to ourselves “Thank God it was just a dream!” with great relief.

In our world today, so many of us are living in a state of distorted reality and we believe it’s real. We believe violence and wars, crimes and atrocities are necessary. Many of us actually live the nightmare even though we don’t want to. By the power of our thought and the power of believing, we actualize and manifest these frightening things in our world and in our lives. We don’t have to manifest this - we can manifest anything - whatever we believe, hold in thought, and and speak in words.

Is there something you are believing right now that you wish were not true? Then change your mind. Correct and change your habitual thoughts about it from what you think it is now, to what you would rather have it be. As John Lennon said, Imagine. This alone sends a clear and powerful message to the universal law that is always working, and always listening. When our thoughts and beliefs change, the world we experience changes accordingly. That process begins immediately and goes on continuously. It’s the way God/the Universal Consciousness works.

But changing our thoughts and beliefs is no easy task. We may not even realize what we are thinking and believing. To change our mind, we must first open it to the truth. That takes a commitment to trust God and walk in faith. To do that, first we must wake up from the illusion that we “can’t help it” and that “It’s just the way of the world - we can’t change it.” or that “I’m just one person- What I think doesn’t matter.”

That is the illusion. That is the bad dream. The truth is, your thoughts and your beliefs matter enormously. They have more power than you know, more power than guns, more power than governments. Make no mistake about this - what you believe and hold in thought plays a powerful part in creating the world, minute to minute, hour to hour, and day to day. It determines what you allow and what actions you take, and even more, it influences the Universal Mind of which you are a part.

The challenge of this life and the challenge of these times we live in, is to wake up and see, and take responsibility for the power that we do have. And yes, it is a little bit scary to do that, but much more scary NOT to. Some of us will pass through this life, and “die before we wake.” Let not one of them be you.

Everything we really need has been given to us by God, to live joyful, peaceful, useful, loving lives here in this beautiful little blue and green garden where our Father has placed us to play. Wake up and see it. All over the earth, ordinary people are quietly awakening, even in this very moment. There is a reason why you came here to this page and these words on this day in your life. Awake, and help create a different world for all of us.

this Month's New Thought Essay, Poetry, and Blog. Darkhorse Press New Poets