2002-07-01-IC 02 Ascension & Trust
Topic: Ascension & Trust
Group: IC 02 TeaM
TR: Michael Painter
I am your friend and Teacher, Welmek.
This evening I would like to take you on a journey. Our journey will be to climb a mountain; it seems appropriate, given the setting that you are in. We all start at the base of the mountain. As you look up, you cannot see the top; it is so far away. You begin to climb and there are many with you — there are parents, families, relatives, friends — and the journey is not too hard, for when you are not sure where to step, they tell you, they give you guidance.
As you continue on your journey, you find that each person begins to find a unique path, a unique trail that will lead them up the mountain. The goal for everyone is to reach the top of the mountain, but the path will be different for each person. As you continue to climb and you find that your path seems to separate from others, you begin to grow more fearful. What do you do with this fear? You try to remember all that you have been taught by your family, your friends, all of your experience, your education, and you trust your intellect to guide you, and you use reason to decide which way to move on your path.
Sometimes you stumble, but it is not too severe, so you trust your experience and your mind to get you back upon the path. But as you continue, the path becomes more difficult, there are more obstacles, there are more sheer faces of the mountain that you must climb, sometimes not even be able to see where you are going. This creates more fear. As you get stuck and are not sure which way to move, you look around. To your left and right, you can still see others, also climbing, and you call out to them, "Where is a ledge that I might place my foot to be safe?" And they answer you, giving you their best advice. Or perhaps, you see someone, slightly below you on their path, and they can guide you, tell you which direction to move. Or perhaps someone is slightly ahead of you, and they look down and they can tell you which way is the best road to take, the best path to continue your climb.
And so, you continue, you listen, you follow their advice. Sometimes again you stumble, but you continue on your path. But as you continue, you see fewer and fewer of your fellow travelers, there are fewer and fewer to give you advice, there are fewer who can see or understand where you are on your path. There is one who can see all, one who can see from the very base of the mountain, to the very top. You have heard of this person, called "God," but you were never quite sure if this person really existed.
But as you continue on your path, you find fewer to advise you, you find often that their advice is mistaken. And so you are again, filled with fear. What will you do? Your friends, your fellow travelers, cannot always advise you correctly. Your own judgement, your own intellect has sometimes faltered, and you have fallen. How can you possibly continue on this path to reach the top of your mountain? In moments of despair, in moments of great fear, there is sometimes a "still voice" that comes into your mind, "I am the way and I can show you the way." Now you face your greatest decision of all, and this decision is, "Will I trust this voice?" Your intellect struggles, your intellect says, "Trust me, do not let go of me, I have guided you this far, and I can take you the rest of the way." But you are not so sure, because your intellect has failed you at times; it has not always guided you in the right way. And so, as you trusted your human parents when you were at the base of the mountain, now you must make a transition, you must make the transition to begin to trust your spiritual parent, this God, this Heavenly Father, who calls to you. Some will not trust, they refuse, they continue to fall. Sometimes they fall so far, that they cannot go on in the journey, and they stay broken hearted wherever they fall and land. And that is where they spend the rest of their time on their journey.
Others choose to take that leap of faith, choose to take a chance and trust, to trust that inner voice that calls to you. And so, the voice says, "Try this way," and you move that way a small step, but you are safe. This is the beginning of your faith, for what is faith but living trust in this inner voice of our Heavenly Father? You continue to climb; there are times when you cannot see anyone else, when you cannot see even the next step ahead. You are filled with doubt and you are filled with fear, and so you constantly have to decide, "Will I doubt, or will I trust?" Sometimes, along the path, your reach a valley, and in the valley, there is a beautiful clear lake and a beautiful clear stream, and beautiful flowers all around. And you know that it is time for you to rest, time for you to relax, to enjoy the beauty of the sunshine, the smell of the flowers, a gentle breeze upon your face, to drink the clear water. There are other fellow travelers who are there; and you meet them and you enjoy their companionship. You share your stories about the climb and you talk about what lies ahead. After a rest, it is time to move on, to continue your journey.
You start out again with some of your fellow travelers, and as you continue to climb, you will find only a few travelers who share a similar path. As you continue your climb, you decide to not move too far ahead of the others, so that each of you can help each other, and you can climb together. You call this "fellowship." But yet, even though you share the journey with these other fellow travelers, there are still times in your path, when they can hear you, but they cannot guide you. And so, the decisions that you make, are still the same. How much will you trust in your guidance? How much will you rely upon our Father to get you to the top of the mountain?
As your text tells you, all life comes down to decisions, the decisions of faith against doubt. This is the struggle; this is the climb, the great climb of life. Where are you in your climb, my friends? It is hard to know, but in your climb, you can look around and see others who seem to be on a similar path. There are those that you meet who are ahead, and can sometimes look down and guide you, can sometimes reach down with their hand and pull you up. And then there are those who are beneath you in the climb, and they see you and they call to you, and they say, "I need your help; I need your guidance." Surely, you would not deny them, for as others guided you, surely you would return the favor. You were given service freely; freely must you give your service in return, for this is the way of the climb; this is the only way the climb can be successful.
As you continue your climb and your trust and faith grows, you find that your fear diminishes. The climb is not necessarily easier, but your ability to climb is easier. It is not so fearful; you are actually beginning to even enjoy the climb. You feel more confident that you are on the right path; you feel more confident that you will reach the top of the mountain. Why is it that you succeed and others do not? It is really quite simple, it all comes down to those decisions you made about whether you could trust your inner voice, to let go of the intellect for awhile and learn to follow and trust the inner voice, the voice of our Heavenly Father. This is not to say that your intellect is not of value, for it is a great tool, and your intellect can help you understand and learn much along the path. But there are times when you must trust, trust in your guide, your Heavenly Father, your inner Spirit, your Thought Adjuster, whatever name you choose.
If you wonder where you are on the path, ask yourself this question, "Do I trust more now in the Heavenly Father ’ s guidance then I did a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago?" If the answer is "Yes," then you are growing, and you are climbing your path in the way that our Father wants you to. There is not "one right path;" all the paths will lead to the same mountaintop; no path is exactly the same. There are similarities that you can share with each other, but you must climb your own path. And there is only one guide, one person who knows exactly what your path is. Share your journey, enjoy it, and give of yourself as others gave to you. But in the moments of darkness, in the moments of not knowing where to put your hand or your foot next in your climb, remember, there will always be the still inner voice telling you, "This is the way." Good day, my friends.