June 13, 2021

Dear Church Family,
One day this week the weather was particularly stellar. The perfect California sunshine, mixed with a warm breeze and the vistas were beautiful. It was inspiring and I almost missed them. I was at the park walking my small dog – his attention is usually focused on finding any creature that moves primarily gecko’s and gophers. At this park he wanders from gopher hole to gopher hole looking and smelling for any sign of life. When he finds a prospective hole, he stops and poses for attack for a long time…on this day it was nearly ten minutes.
Ten minutes of any activity (besides sleep) is a long time in dog time. On most of our walks I pay attention to the surroundings for our safety, but I am often lost in thought. I noticed him posed and staring intently on this one hole – which amused me, and it prompted me to think about what I was thinking about. I had been entertaining a thought, that upon closer examination, did not support my highest good. I had been reviewing a memory that was painful – I don’t know what brought that into focus at that moment, but it prompted feelings of anger and sadness.
As a Truth Student, I often examine what I find myself thinking about. I have a lifetime of producing thoughts that do not serve my highest good. Often these thoughts center on inner conflicts; us vs. them, good vs. evil, have’s vs. have nots, and me vs. me. Yeah, sometimes my thoughts are about how my actions do not measure up to my expectations.
Ultimately these conflicts do not reflect the perfection of God that is active in all of us. After all, our second principle states we are created in the spiritual image of God – our perfection is at hand, when we accept it.
So as my small dog intently focused on the gopher hole, I saw my focus on an inner conflict kept me from noticing, truly seeing the beauty of the day in the weather and creation of the world around me. It was a gorgeous day!

I then turned my thoughts to what I often do – to singing an affirmation – “the beauty of God surrounds me, the beauty of God is within me, the beauty of God shines through me, I am a creation of God.” It amazes me how this simple change in thought patterns shifts my feeling nature and awareness from a state of anxiety or destruction into a place of love, happiness, and regeneration.
I was grateful, too, for the lesson my small dog provided. His intense focus on the gopher hole reminded me of my attention on the “holes” in my life journey. And reminded me of the choice I had in that moment. Do I continue in thought about my experiences of separation from God or do I grow in awareness of God’s Good that always surrounds me?
We can always choose the awareness of God’s Good. It is always present when we allow ourselves to see it.
Many blessings,
Pastor Robert