There were so many people there, and they were all as different and special as the next. Each was engaged in studying something. Some were flitting from one thing to the next, excited by the discoveries they were making, anxious to apply them in physical form. All things had to be learned spiritually first. That they knew. But someday they’d be born and have that chance. For “now” – even though forever doesn’t have a now and then – they were absorbing whatever it was that they were attracted to.
“That’s how it works,” He whispered, noticing my wondering about how freedom and choice and individuality came together to form a life – then and now.
“I know,” I said. “But how will I remember that and not blame you or thank you for things that you didn’t do?”
Freedom to choose, he said, was an eternal principle. It doesn’t get activated at birth. It has always existed. If that weren’t so, then everyone could blame God for things because he would have chosen for them, assuming that he knew better. Of course he would know better, they’d argue! He’s God! Well, he said. I trust my children more than you trust each other or me. I understand how spiritual growth works and why. It’s wrapped up in freedom and light.
I sat and reflected on what I’d witnessed forever, ’cause a lot goes on in the eternities before you’re born. You see a lot of patterns unfold, and I saw some that were starting to make sense.
Betsy, he interrupted, why do you like the things that you like – dancing, drawing, writing, swimming? Did I plant those “likes” in your heart? Am I responsible for those gifts, talents, loves? Or could it be that I am actually just watching you and supporting and guiding you? What’s your role in the acquisition of and growth in those things?
There was a common thread, or ingredient, I had to admit, in all of my experiences there – light and the freedom to move toward it or away from it. Whenever I was attracted to something it was because I was either searching for the light in it or it was calling to me with a brightness that connected to my heart – I felt joy with and in the expression of it in such a way that I stayed with the study and mastery of it in its spiritual form.
The things that I couldn’t understand – things whose light was less discernible by me and more difficult to understand, I’d study here on Earth because everything was important even if I couldn’t understand it. I’d started my education of things like compassion, forgiveness, worry, doubt, fear and the many faces of love there and then, and I’d search out ways to continue that education here and now. God’s only role was and continues to be supporter and guide towards the light of the truth of those things.
I find him when I find the light because he stands still in it. He’s steadfast and immoveable. It’s that simple. I’m not compelled to learn by loved ones’ suffering, natural disasters, illness, or financial struggles. My one and only “lesson” is to see the light of God in all of those experiences so that I can feel peace and love in them regardless of the outcome. I’m the one who started those lessons and they dissolve peacefully as soon as I see the light in them – when the part of them that has light in it becomes a part of me – when I have no need to resist it anymore.
When it comes to talents and gifts, I know that I’m responsible for those, too. I wasn’t given a basket full of things that God thought would do me well to try on and play with that didn’t fit my nature. He knew that only I could do that. He knew that by not getting in the way of my freedom to choose to follow what I’m attracted to was the only way for me to learn to find pure joy. It could not be forced on me or on anyone else. That way there would be room for applause for my brothers and sisters as they remembered and continued their studies here on Earth – there wouldn’t be any jealousy or comparing. There would be no desire for any of that because I’d be so in love with who I am, what I love and the freedom to spend my time uncovering truth, light, and God in everything that I’d be too happy.
With that perspective I’d be comfortable with who I am and the life I’m choosing (complete with problems that are the ones that I chose to get a master’s degree in!) and be a better cheerleader for my brothers and sisters.
maybe this is good example, maybe not….you decide:
James and Kenny were playing a video game and the competition was getting heated. Kenny is three years older than James, but he’s also very attracted to everything that games offer whether they be in the form of videos or sports. James can’t keep up with him half the time, but what’s funny is that he doesn’t really care. He just really loves hanging out with his brother.
The “problem” is that Kenny needs to “win”. He’s a finisher. He’ll work on the skills related to sports and games until he’s so frustrated I think he’s going to pop. But the joy that emanates from his face when he finally succeeds is overwhelming. That, whatever it is, is one of Kenny’s gifts or talents. Nobody gave him that gift. You can tell that it comes from a spiritual place by the look in his eyes when he gets lost in what he’s doing.
“My teacher said that no one should win -that it’s better to play and have fun. So, James, let’s just play. NO LOSERS!”
I was drawing in the dining room and I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t know if I was right or wrong, but something in Kenny’s statement rubbed me the wrong way - he was stifling his gift to make someone else (James) feel better, so I jumped in, “No! That’s the thrill of the game, Kenny! Someone has to win and someone will lose. But here’s the fun part: the loser gets to clap for the winner! They get to be happy for him and then play a little harder themselves!”
I wasn’t sure how they took what I’d said, but they were quietly playing and I went back to drawing.
Seconds later James squealed, “You did it Kenny! You won!”
Kenny smiled and laughed, “Yeah! I’m really good at this game.”
“Yeah, you are.”
And God watched, listened, and smiled with them. Kenny was comfortable with something he loved and James was loving him as James has a gift for doing. Someone just had to see and point out the light of the truth for them and it unfolded naturally.
They could have chosen a different way ’cause that’s the way freedom is.
This time they chose light….and it really made a difference.
Moral of the story ( there are many more, but I’ll get you started): Play your game full-out. You chose it.