Heaven is Fulfilment: Chapter 9
When the angel finished speaking, Janet and I seemed to see life with new eyes. “It does seem easy, after all,” I commented.
“Yes, but man will not find it so. The habits of years have to be overcome, the mind must be trained to dwell in charity. Then there are the other two aspects to be considered.”
“Tell us of these two,” Janet asked, leaning back against our teacher’s arm and gazing over the distant mountain peaks. “Is it not difficult to be free from care on earth?” Difficult, but not impossible.” “The Master said, ‘Be not anxious,'” I ventured.
“Yes, man has the teaching there as well as here. It needs practice, though, to live without anxiety. Men think they must do everything, that they must win from life the benefits they desire. Of course, effort is necessary. Man must use the talents, but their motive for using them is usually at fault. They want a larger house, perhaps, or the facility for travel. They want richer food or clothes, they want to have more than their neighbours. Therefore they build their strivings on a wrong foundation. God does not bless their efforts and they are burdened with care. “‘How can I be less anxious,’ they mourn, ‘if all my anxious striving fails to bring me my heart’s desire?’ If they would but turn to the Word, they would find the answer. ‘Delight in the Lord and He will give thee thy heart’s desire.’ But suppose He doesn’t?’ they would plead. ‘What shall I do then to get my heart’s desire?’ “You see, they want their own way, and not God’s way. They have ignored the real desire of their inmost heart (which is always the same – to find rest and joy in God) and they spend their lives in agonised striving for some less worthy motive. Of course, they are burdened with care!”
“Heaven on earth comes when a man yields his heart to the Father, desiring to live His way, wanting what He wills. Then things begin to move in a wonderful way! Not at first-there is a time to test himself first, but the reward follows quickly on the heels of it. If he continues to strive with a good motive – that of loving and serving his fellow-men – his life will lose its burden of earthly care. There will be trials, still, or he could not grow, but his burden of care will be rolled away. Do you remember what the Apostle said about that?”
“Yes, for it was my favourite text on earth!” I cried. Janet smiled at me, remembering how many times I had quoted it. “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose.”
“Any more?” our angel asked, smiling at Janet. “You next!”
“‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee.'”
“Good. And another?”
“‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you?'” Janet quoted.
“‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee,'” I added.
Now that brings us to the third aspect,” said our angel-teacher, “for the mind cannot be stayed on God unless His Presence is felt in the soul.” He rose up, then, and spread his wings. At the same time he clasped our hands. “Let us continue our journey and we will talk as we go.”
In a moment we were winging our way over the mountains, skimming the snow-covered one and wheeling high above the valley.
“Just as life must be recognised as one continuous whole, so must the Spirit of God,” he continued. “God’s Life-Spirit is in all that lives and it is never cut off or withdrawn. How could it be? Without Him the universe would fall into fragments and live no more. Therefore, a spark of that great Spirit is hidden in the soul of us all. Men have to live on earth, their inner spark hidden by the veils of earth-sense, and strive toward knowing until they reach the consciousness of which the King of Love spoke.”
“What did He say?” Janet whispered.
“‘That they all may be one, as Thou, Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us.'”
“It is a stupendous thought,” I said.
“It leads to a consciousness of His bliss while still on earth. Think also of the words, ‘Know ye not that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom ye have from God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body.'”
“How can man on earth achieve this consciousness?” I asked.
“Only by thinking of it,” our teacher said firmly. “If he reads or meditates and seeks within himself, he will all at once come to a glimpse of it. Within him is a narrow path with many turnings. If he continues faithfully, he will at last turn the corner and find the truth revealed. But he must persevere If he pauses, and gives up the search, how can he be sure that the very next corner is not the last?”
“Suppose he is a busy man,” suggested Janet, “and has little time for meditation. What then?”
“He can read one simple text and carry it in his heart. Who has not a moment to turn the treasure over in his mind from time to time? Yes, he must persevere, and if he does, the consciousness will come to him as though the music of Heaven were sounding in his heart.”