Unification News for January, 1997
Meditation: Join By Inspiration
by Carl Redmond-Tasmania, Australia
What I would like to discuss is: What is it that makes people join our church (or any church, for that matter)? Do people join through education? Not necessarily. We educated thousands: they're out there- who knows?-it may be hundreds of thousands. That means all those people are walking around with the Principle in their heads. As Father said, when they hear it, that's the moment they are responsible for it. So what are those people going to do with the truth that they heard? In what way are they going to be responsible for it?
The point I am trying to make is that people join by inspiration. Somehow, in some dramatic way, God comes down and starts to work with the person, showing him or her His dramatic power, energy, wisdom and love. It's not something you can put your finger on, but it is real nevertheless. You cannot order God to manifest in the same way you perform a chemistry experiment and expect some specified result: spiritual things don't work that way.
When I consider those who joined the Unification Church, I am reminded that in each case they did it through God's divine presence being manifested in some way. How that is brought about, how we brought about the right foundation for God to work, is still uncharted territory: we prayed, fasted, studied, worked hard or, in some cases, did nothing.
Well I remember the sister who at would pray one hour each day at 4am for her spiritual son. He joined! As a matter of fact, he's still here! But when I observed her rigorous condition, as a relatively young member, I thought to myself "No way." I was wrong. Perhaps you, watching the valiant effort of a brother or sister next to you, have begun to doubt that any substantial result will come to pass.
I baked a cake. Now these days, I don't do that so often. If I do, it would be from a packet of instant mix. Even then, I'm not sure if it wasn't one of those instant cakes. All I remember is that it was fairly substantial, with icing on top. As our guests left the center, I walked up and said: "Here, take this." They walked out (bosom pals) as if they had won the jackpot.
Another time I baked a cake for a guest's birthday. As I got fed up with her not making up her mind as to what she wanted to do with her life, I refused to give it to her. As a matter of fact, I hid it. After she left, I pulled out the candles. I told her as she left: "Be resolved to make up your mind before you come back." It was a fairly hard thing to say, but I wanted to push her to make a "decision for God." Perhaps I would not do that these days; in fact, I am fairly sure I would not. But as it happened at that time, it had some good result.
The next day, I woke up and remembered Marta. "Let's go and visit her," I said to Tracy (her spiritual mom), "and give her the cake." On went the candles: it was on again. We arrived at her doorstep in pouring rain. She opened the door (I was in the van up on the street) and saw Tracy standing there with the birthday cake, in pouring rain. "Oh, Tracy," she said, and flung her arms around her. I am sure in that moment her heart melted. Of course, we also had our fair share of "divine interventions" on the way home (or otherwise): a concrete storm-water outlet rose up in the road due to the volume of water, and broke our tire and bent the wheel. No easy job! Somehow we made it home with the help of some fairly heavy-duty road service. I had tried hard with one sister. I had prayed, persuaded, pleaded, done everything. Late that night I was at my usual place of prayer at the local football field. It was summer, a misty night. I called out to God: "I've had enough," I said, `I can't do anymore. I give up on this person, Heavenly God." One or two days later, she devoted herself to God. What more could you ask for?
It had been a long workshop. Or so it seemed! We were in the lounge room chatting agreeably together. Suddenly from the dining room came a cry like a baby: loud peals of crying filled the air. We seemingly had done nothing to facilitate this, it just happened when we least expected it. A soul had given his life to God!
I was introduced to a guest at an evening program we frequently held. It seemed nothing special or out of the ordinary, but all of a sudden he started to cry. "What's the matter?" I asked him. "I don't know," he said. "I just feel like crying."
I just feel like crying! This is the nature of man changing, through the miracle of God's Word, the Divine Principle. He hadn't even heard it, he just felt the spirit and atmosphere which was present that evening. It was enough for him to cry. A change from what one professor said was the nature of "wild beasts" to "oh, thank you!" What kind of miracle is this? It is surely the greatest miracle of all.
Something happens: a chemistry-call it what you will. God appears and makes Himself (or Herself) known to the person. It is then that they make a decision to do something with their life: something for God.
All we can do is facilitate and look to that moment.
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