Recently a Darkwood Brew viewer who also attends my church tried listening to her internal voices and recording what she heard there. The question she was trying to explore? Her pledge to the church! We thought it was so helpful we asked her to read it in worship. You may find it helpful, too – no matter what your question is.
“Beyond Compare” by Marge Bennett
The Question: It’s always about money.
When wanting to follow my bliss, I hesitate.
How much will it cost?
As I try to shape a full life, I am indecisive.
Is there enough?
Why must it always come back to the amount of coins jingling in the bank account?
Why does the dollar amount hold so much sway over me?
There must be another way to balance my longings.
There must be another way to give to others without the reluctance.
Why can’t I listen to my heart?
Why can’t I believe it when it tells me all is well?
The Parent: “What do you mean all is well? You didn’t listen to me when I told you that career wouldn’t make you any money. Your father and I knew we’d have to support you for the rest of our lives. Don’t you ever think about someone else besides yourself?”
The Free Child: “Oh come on, you can’t take it with you. What are you so concerned about? You only live once. Spend it where and whenever you want to! Ther’s plenty to go around! Chill out, kid!”
The Peer Group: “Hey, we all pledged 10% because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Remember what they taught us about tithing? You’ll get it back – um, seven-fold – or something like that. All you have to do is give more than you think you can. It’s good Karma!”
The Pragmatist: “I looked over your bank account stats yesterday. You aren’t saving enough. That new car made your insurance rates go up and winter is coming and you know what that does to your heating bills. You can’t be so giving anymore. There won’t be enough to take care of yourself if you continue being so generous. Come on, you know it’s true.”
The Pessimist: “There you go again. You made the mistake of following your instinct. That money you saved isn’t going to last you long unless you figure something out. You should have known better. You always do this. It never fails that when you act on impulse you regret it later. Man, are you a loser.”
The Hero: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Gandhi) “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” (Mother Teresa)”If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” (The Dalai Lama)
The Accuser: “Are you kidding me? You’re listening to Gandhi and Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama? YOU, the one who believes that all things work for your highest good. YOU, the one who believes that love will solve everything in the end. YOU have no idea of how things really work in the world. Your money is worthless. Why waste it on promoting peace? Why waste it here? Your paltry gift is inconsequential in the big scheme of things. You can do nothing for humankind. Don’t even try.”
The Holy Spirit: “I know that’s not true. And you know it to the depths of your being that it’s not true. And what I know for certain is that you CAN do something small and have it mean a lot. You CAN change much with a gathering of many who see “good” as inherent in all beings. Your offerings will be gratefully received. Your gifts are good, and acceptable and perfect. You will make a difference here. Give what you can.”
The True Self: “You listen to many voices. It’s time to step away for a moment. Take a breath. Breathe in and breathe out. Better?
Listen closer. Listen deeper.
Listen not with your ears but with all your heart;
with the deepest part of yourself; your soul.
Listen for the truth.
There is enough. There will always be enough.
You will make wise choices and your choices will fill you with contentment.
Your bliss cancels out the potential debt.
Let your life be filled with all that supports you,
with all that brings you laughter and all that allows you to expand your consciousness. Calm the voices.
Return to your breath, to your own truth.
Return to who you long to be and already are.
And in doing so, your life will be rich,