[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
One of the most natural consequences of Faith In Provision is acceptance of People As They Are. On the other hand, Faith In Merit means refusing People As They Are. When you believe you must earn the love of God, other people must earn yours.
Most of the world seems to express a Faith In Merit, a profound belief that investment and work are spiritual rites of passage. Yet, it is not written in the stones or sky that you can earn your way. Do you seek to be worthy of your blessings and even more? Many who are worthy by man’s estimation collapse bleeding into the mud while spiteful creatures sit on earthly thrones. I do not understand Faith In Merit even though it looks like rush hour on the freeway.
Faith In Provision is a conviction that things will always work out. Perhaps this job or business won’t succeed, but I’ll continue on. Worry about relationships is just a conjured world not worthy of distracting from this one I’ve found myself in. Perhaps I shall be poor, or perhaps my health will fade, or perhaps my ambitions won’t be met. Still, I shall continue. And you will too. How these lives come to end, though they surely will, is not a concern.
God will provide.
Whether I be reborn to this place as another creature, or to another place as a remade creature, or some other incarnation is of tiny consequence. The belief systems conjure up cause-and-effect structures that are alternative conjured worlds. We’ll know when we get there, you know? Faith In Provision means we aren’t alone now and we won’t be alone “there” either. Aloneness is a fundamental difference between Faith In Merit and Faith In Provision. Those who strive after earthly gains or otherworldly elevation are always very busy about themselves. So busy, in fact, that all their work is done in an inner solitude.
Solitude is a lovely and essential thing, but the companionship of the Beloved is lovelier and more essential still. Without solitude, we cannot sit companionably with the Beloved, but endless striving is a solitude like watching television alone. Outer solitude brings inner companionship, while endless striving brings inner solitude.
Faith In Provision turns our attention away from conjured worlds and brings us present. It is mindfulness without goals of accomplishing the “benefits” of mindfulness. Such faith is a prayer of gratitude that doesn’t ask that the daily bread fit our expectations and desires. It is trust that, whatever revolution of the world and ourselves, our Beloved will be with us no matter how great a distance we travel. Acceptance of grace is a knowledge that our journeys please the Beloved, and devotion is lending our ears to His expressions to find ways to please Him more.
Look at all these things illuminated when our candle sparks are so kindly lit and we manifest! These rocks and those trees, these animals and humans, these whispers of wind and songs of birds. His Hand reached and lit a lantern in this place when we appeared. All beings of whatever form are also lanterns He lit. It is a passing ecstasy to feel luminous orbs cascading upward all around us – this world looks like that at times. This is the place He speaks, and you and I are His alchemical words.
Faith In Provision, when flaring bright, destroys the expectations and desires that people around us should help create a world we envision. Perhaps they will or perhaps they won’t, it is His will either way. More importantly, we must let People As They Are help us understand what it is that we can do to please the Beloved, our dear companion beyond all time and place. Love and choose to be with those you love regardless of your dreams of other worlds. The Beloved’s love for you and choice to be with you comes to you as freedom – and you too must be a giver of freedom.