“You could liken it also to going back to “heaven”, back to the spirit worlds from where one day you will back down again”
Good evening to you friends. The master Jesus was, and still is, a great teacher. When he was on earth he involved his audience by spinning tales, by telling them stories, parables, giving them concepts and ideas which they could understand and associate with. And threading through these stories friends was a message, a message that he was trying to put across. But rather than pound on the ground and say, “this is what you must do”, he set something far more insidious working, something that would creep up on people when they least expected it, forcing them to think for themselves, giving them ideas which they could build upon. That is the hallmark of a great teacher. This is something for which you must prepare yourselves.
I’ll give you an example, a very simple example. It is a demonstration of the law of gravity, and affects every single thing on this planet, and that friends is, “what goes up must come down”. Now, how many ideas could you think of to use this? How would you set the ball rolling?
I’ll give you a few thoughts of mine friends. Consider the young child throwing a stone up in the sky, no matter how hard he throws it, the stone will come down again. You could harken this to ideas, to thoughts, to actions. No matter how hard you try to throw them away they are going to come back down again. Be careful, you may even end up tripping over them.
You could liken it also to going back up to “heaven”, back to the spirit worlds from where one day you will come back down again.
And yet another example for those of you with a mathematical inclination, the idea of a graph and a wave on the graph. With the graph going up and down, up and down, a mirror image, the “positive” and the “negative”. You could say that all things have a positive and a negative side. Without good, how would we recognise evil? And without evil how could we grow to become good? But if you took the line through the centre of the graph friends, the balance point perhaps, is that the line that you choose to go along, favouring neither the good nor the bad. An interesting thought is it not? Because we have often talked about being “in balance”, and yet here I am suggesting that the middle point is perhaps not the right point.
If you just imagine the person wrapped up against the cold wind, walking along the road, determined not to be effected by the rain or the cold. Determined not to experience anything. That could be the centre path friends, but is it the right path? Is that the way you will go to learn a lesson? I think not, I think you have to experience the good and have to experience the bad, the highs the lows. You have to know what it is like to cry before you can experience joy. And for those of you that have grown enough, you have to be aware of when that other person is in pain, guiding them back to serenity.
The angle of the graph may be as steep or as shallow as you choose it to be, but there will always be a positive, and there will always be a negative, it is in the nature of things, it is in the nature of yourselves. The important question when dealing with this is, how much it is going to affect you, how much are you going to allow adversary to affect you? Are you going to become bitter, or angry, or will you remain calm? That’s quite a tricky thing to do friends, remaining calm. You must try to achieve this calm.
Do you see now where the idea of balance might come in? The balance isn’t the centre road, avoiding the goods and avoiding the bads, keeping all life’s lessons at an arms-length away; it is experiencing what life has to offer. But inside, where it really counts, grab onto that calmness. Because you can be calm AND learn. Show me where it is written that you cannot be.
There will be times when you will become angry, and annoyed and irritated. This will happen friends, I am telling you now. You must learn to deal with this.
It is like driving your car along the road at night, if you didn’t put your lights on you’d have an accident, you would run into something, you didn’t see it coming. Put your lights on, the road in front of you is illuminated, and the obstacle that you would have hit you can now see and avoid. Do you sense where I am leading you friends? Do you sense what I am offering?
Switch your lights on when going down the road – and you are all going down the road friends, you’re all on a pathway. The ones you see tumbling and bumbling along haven’t got their lights on; probably haven’t even realised they have got lights to switch on.
There are many examples by which you can help people, that’s all that we’re asking, for you to help. Not to brow beat, certainly not to lecture that is the last thing you must do. Do not lecture people. Is this a lecture from me? I hope not. I am offering advice, I am offering guidance, I am offering direction. That is what you must do. Create the conditions whereby the advice and guidance which you might pass on can be accepted or thought about. Because not all things are accepted immediately.
It is like having a bag of sweets and offering the bag of sweets out, do not be immediately disappointed if there are no takers, keep the bag of sweets there. The sweets are a good example. Sweets are a temptation. Often before people will take up an offer, or a thought, or an idea, they have to be tempted by it, they have to see that the offer is there. So give them something tempting, give them something with which they can associate.
Nice simple thoughts like, “what goes up must come down”, can go on indefinitely. You could think of far more examples than I have given you here this evening. Just offer them, say “have you ever looked at it in this way?” or, “have you ever thought of it in that way?” Don’t be dis-heartened if they say, “well, no I haven’t and I disagree with what you are saying”. Leave them with the offer, leave them with the thought.
You might perhaps be responsible for a few sleepless nights, but then again, that could be good.
You all have within you the capacity to do many positive things. There is no getting away from it, you cannot deny it. You all have unlimited potential. How can this not be so friends.
I will leave you now before you accuse me of trying to lecture you. But through all things, retain a sense of humour, and retain a sense of humility.
Go forward in your work friends. Turn what is work into a labour of love, something that you will enjoy doing, and something that will give a positive benefit to others.
God’s blessing to you one and all friends.
31st July 1995-Peter