Written By Rev. Jack R. Elliott, Author and Spiritual Life Coach |
Adjusting to a new home is a process—a process that never ceases to amaze me. There are lessons of letting go, accommodation and discerning what matters to you now. Often for me, it’s a time to latterly make another choice and to choose to live my life a different way.
Recently, I took a small “mother-in-law” apartment here in the Bay Area to be closer to my work, church and the arts community I so love. I often imagined and affirmed having a second home—now I have one! My Godson and his friends are now holding camp in what I’m calling my “country house.” A country house that is evolving into a “frat house,” but that’s another story and another lesson.
Choosing to leave Tracy, a community filled with people I love and adore, was hard for me. However, the choice was what I call a “Spirit guided choice” to go toward something, rather than away from something. Being back in the Bay Area provides me with the opportunity to more fully live my vision to preach, teach and write. I want to maximize this new opportunity so each day I pray!
I pray that God shows me what it is that I am to see and guides me to do what I’m called to do. Some days, more than others, God’s plan absolutely astounds me and places me in situations that I would have never anticipated, such as coming face to face with an intruder in my new home.
Monday morning, I was preparing for a client to visit my new home for the first time. In order to assure I would be aware when she arrived, I opened the front door. I felt secure, because I had a security screen door. I went about my chores of tidying up the kitchen and bedroom and then something (Spirit) whispered to me, “Go out front.”
I turned on a dime. Left the bed unmade and walked down the hall to the living room. As I entered I saw a woman endeavoring to make her way out my front door! I quickly scanned over to where my laptop was sitting on the coffee table and sure enough, it was gone. “Stop right there!” I insisted.
She continued out the front door, was nearly half way down my drive way, when I hollered at her again. “Stop! You cannot have that!” When she realized I was coming after her, she stopped in her tracks, turned around and faced me. My lap top and power cord was clutched to her chest.
“You cannot have that. Give it back to me now.” She offered it back to me as tears started to roll down her face. I noticed she was also carrying a small plastic bag filled with items. As I took the lap top from her I asked, “Is there anything in that bag that belongs to me?”
She said no, and started to open the bag so I could see its contents. That small act of being willing to show me the contents of the bag inspired me to repeat what Spirit was whispering into my ear. “Tell her you trust her.” Trust her? Why would I say such a thing? But I learned long ago, never to doubt what Spirit guides me to say.
“I’m going to say something to you that may not make any sense to you, but just listen.” Her eyes got big and the tears continued to stream down her face. “I trust you. I trust you when you say there isn’t anything more of mine in your bag. I know that you did what you thought you had to do. But I want you to learn from this.
I want you to know—you can make another choice. We always have the opportunity to make another choice.”
“Thank you!” she said, as she fell against my chest. I held her for a few moments as she cried. I then encouraged her to go on her way. “Promise me that you’ll remember that you can always make another choice.”
“I will.” was her response as she walked down the street and out of sight. I stepped back into the house, placed the lap top on the coffee table just as my client arrived. I don’t know if my client could sense the “energy” still pervasive in the room; however, her greeting was “What’s going on?”
I recanted the story and she expressed her amazement at the choice I had made. “I don’t know if I would have acted in the same way. I suspect that I would have gone right into fight mode.”
Indeed that would have been a logical choice. However, had I gone into fight mode, the outcome could have been so very different. The intruder most likely would have run and I couldn’t have caught her. She may very well have tossed my lap top to the ground causing it to be severely damaged or ruined and the loss of my lap top would have been horrendous. It contained so much of that I hold dear. Pictures, emails, songs and plays that I have written that only exist on my lap top. If I had chosen “fight mode,” I could have been “right”; I could have been “justified,” but at the end I would have lost something I valued, just to be “right.” I simply made another choice.
I also had to be accountable. I had to own my part in the lesson. You see, I am the one who left the door open. I never checked the screen to see if it was securely shut or locked. I’m accountable. I took it for granted that door was locked, but it wasn’t. When we take even the smallest things in life for granted, we run the risk of losing something we value.
In this lesson, I learned to trust spirit and to act on what I was guided to see, say and do. I learned that I’m accountable for each and every experience that I have in life. I also learned that when life offers up the opportunity for fight or flight, we can make another choice. We can choose to “face it.”
If I am to be all that I am called to be, I must face each and every challenge, opportunity and confrontation with a commitment to stand in my truth as I know it; to face whatever it is with the absolute faith that Spirit will reveal to me—all that it is that I am to do and learn in any given situation. It is by only “facing” our challenges will we overcome them anything else is to be less than authentic.
Rev. Jack is a Spiritual Life Coach. He was ordained in 1985 and aligns his ministry with the Centers of Spiritual Living. He serves as the President of the Board of Trustees at Heart and Soul Center of Light, in Oakland, CA. www. heartsoulcenter.org.