WORK as it relates to WORSHIP and SERVICE
Today's lesson will be rather complex. We will discuss work yet again, however this time it will be in the context of its connection to worship and worship activities, including service. We did touch on this area briefly during last lesson, and since work is such a vitally important area of learning and discussion at this time in your planet's emergence from chaos and reconnection of the universe circuits I have decided to put much emphasis on the area of work.
I sense that those of you who have been following our recent lessons are beginning to modify your own inner concept of work in accordance with our recent discussions. That is good, for it is not helpful to you in your role neither as student nor as future teacher in this mission to have a disdain for work. And yet this disdain is a deep current that runs through all of the cultures which presently exist on Urantia.
As I mentioned last time, a most important job for you as teachers and participants in this teaching mission will be to assist in the re-education of your fellow mortals on this planet along the lines that have been presented through these lessons. We have dealt with many topics and yet there will be relatively little progress toward our immediate goal unless the people of this planet embrace work with gladness, readiness for service, loving spirit, and a sense of worship. This is not presently the case, as you all are well aware.
My dear friends, from the moment that you are conceived, and forever after, you are engaged in work activity involving expenditure of effort, struggle, meeting challenges again and again. Ever will there be more, and, yes, failure - but also success - for such is the course of existence for those of us created imperfect. It is part of our endowment, our gift from Father, to be imperfect, and as mentioned in past lessons, this sometimes causes pain and regret in us. That is the beginning of the dislike for work that occurs in mortal creatures of imperfect creation.
It is this that Lucifer and Caligastia seized upon and so skilfully used as a potent force in their rebellion, emphasizing to imperfect mortals that pain and struggle were truly not necessary, because, after all, Father could easily make all things possible and perfect. This lead to much anger and resentment on this and other planets, and indeed in the mansion worlds there was also great turmoil related to this issue. It will take you many eons, much study, and experiential growth before you begin to understand fully Father's true wisdom in creating imperfection.
For now it must be an article of faith for you to accept this as a benefit of Father's love, a true asset. Now, my friends, the visceral response that all of you experience at the thought of painful and arduous work is an animal thing which most unfortunately has been much magnified through the devious activities of the rebels, and you will not be rid of this for the remainder of your mortal life on Urantia, I am sorry to say. However, I will attempt to help you to understand some of Father's motives and reasons for endowing you with work, which may well help you to accept the discomfort that you have when faced with work and modify your own inner attitudes and those of others by your example.
You may recall that Jesus declared that He was here to do His Father's work. In fact, the word work was one used very much by Jesus during His time on Urantia, and this was no accident, for an important part of His time here was the work of restoring worship on Urantia and diverting some of the more heinous results of the rebellion. In this He succeeded through mighty effort, and even today you can feel it within yourselves, can you not? Do you not sense that joy of worship of Father within you? (S: Yes.) Before this planet embarks upon the final stage toward the emergence of light and life, you mortals on Urantia will have the same sense of joy regarding work that you now - some of you, the more advanced - experience as a part of your worship activities.
I know it is difficult to imagine at this stage, but the way that this will come about will be through, initially, faith-motivated acceptance of work as a worship activity and later, when spiritual evolution has moved forward on Urantia there will be more Thought Adjuster connectedness added to faith to reinforce each individual's knowledge of work as worship.
My friends, all of Father's qualities are united. They are not discreet entities. You cannot separate love from goodness or from truth or from beauty or worship or service, just as you do not see discrete rays of the sun. Whenever your actions are in any way in accord with Father's will, they are in all ways in accord with His will. So as you go forth in your work activities, whatever they may be, please understand that you are worshiping Father in your toil and effort and struggle. You are learning skills that you will use for the whole of your existence in the cosmos, for you will be working forever, and it will come to be the most exciting, joyous and loving activity imaginable for you at some point in your universe career. It may seem inconceivable to you, but there will be a time when recreation will be almost an annoyance to you because you will be anxious to get back to your work. I regret to say that I myself have not reached that point. [laughter]
So, my friends, again it comes down to faith, does it not? (S: Yes.) For now you must accept on faith that work is a God-directed activity and is blessed and contributes mightily to your own personal growth and contributes mightily to the forward movement of the spirituality of this planet.
Teach your children to love work. Be an example to your friends and neighbors of one who loves work. You may complain, but they know by watching that you are working, and you must therefore embrace your work activities, and when they see you thrive, the inescapable conclusion will be that it is a result of not only work but of your loving and worshipful attitude regarding your work. And this will be a strong motivator to your neighbors to imitate you in this way. So you will be doing Father's work, you see, like Jesus, a co-creator with Father. And what could be better than that?
This is the end of this lesson. I will gladly accept questions and comments now.
Q: Rayson , I thought that you had already milked the subject of work dry, but I found out that there's still some cream left in it. And I want to thank you for delivering at least part of that cream to us. I have heard the proverb, An idle mind is the devil's workshop. Would you care to discuss work as it pertains to the mind?
A: Yes, certainly. When you work, there is no part of you that is idle, not your body, nor your mind, nor your spirit. And your Thought Adjuster is present supervising and available for guidance, as are your Seraphim and other assistants. However, when one is idle, the opposite may occur, particularly if lack of work activity persists for a long period. Why should the Thought Adjuster continue to make efforts when there is no reciprocity on the part of the mortal, no effort? Why should the seraphim continue to suggest and advise when the ears are deaf and the eyes are unseeing?
The idle one walks away from all that Father has constructed in the way of assistance, and in this condition it is unfortunately easy to turn fully away from Father, or as pagans might say, toward the devil. The one who is not engaged in work with idle mind, body, and spirit may choose to become involved in non-worship activities, non-work activities, that is iniquity. That is the meaning of your proverb. (S: Thank you.)
Q: Rayson, I want to thank you very much. I have not been able to listen to all your lessons on work, so it's been very enlightening to me today, and I'm really enjoying the cream, as (S) pointed out. What about those people who for whatever reasons aren't able to work? I'm thinking of people incapacitated, or those who have reached a stage in life and are very elderly, that for whatever reason now no longer seem to be able to work. It made me think about concepts that would enable them to do more. We seem to have a society that wants to get people out of work when they get older. It's real painful.
A: Have you not noticed how often material death follows?
S: Yes. I want to tell you of my own personal experience. My father worked until he was 82, and I think it was one of the key factors of his longevity, plus his excitement and thrill. Everything you said about what work provides, my father benefited from by continuing to work. He never ceased to work until he was forced to by a fatal disease. I can see the transformation constantly in his life, which has been a real example to me, and I guess maybe an example for all of us. So I really appreciate what you've been saying today.
R: Yes. Thank you.
Q: Rayson, this has been a particularly inspiring lesson for me because it explains why, when one retires from one activity of work, there is this urging to seek out something else. Would the creative activity of making gifts for people, of creating things, writing poetry, music, and handcrafts be classified as a work activity, even though it's so pleasant to engage in?
A: Yes, if the motivation is God-directed. Yes, of course. Do you understand?
S: Yes, in other words, if one is using the time as dedicated to creativity because one feels the need to be doing something as a part of God's plan, wouldn't that be what you're leading to there?
A: Yes, if your activities involve carrying out God's will and have the qualities of goodness and truth and beauty and love, of course, that is worshipful work and very acceptable.
Q: OK, because when you retire from one thing there's a sense of I ought to be doing something else. And not just the routine survival things, but something that contributes something. I have this other question about another phase of the lesson. You mentioned that one of the qualities of Father was worship, and I assume with regard to Father that is the characteristic of Him that inspires worship in others. Does Father worship anything or any being? Or is it because of His worshipful quality that that's a characteristic of Him?
A: Father worships everything that exists in the cosmos. Do you not see the care with which He has created everything that is?
S: Yes, I just never thought of that as being worship, but of love and caring. I can see that as a characteristic of worship. Thank you, that clears it up.
R: Father is always and ever a partner with you, if you care to join Him and share His qualities. He always, always extends His hand to you. You have only to reach up and grasp His.
S: That's a quality that's very hard to transmit to a non-believer. We have a friend at our church who is very much in need of that sort of belief but seems very resistant to faith. My prayer is that we be given every assistance to help her get past that stage and know how loving and caring Father is.
R: Is she a loving person?
S: I'm afraid not. I'm afraid that somewhere in her life she had a deprivation of love, so it's an, experience she's not altogether familiar with.
R: Perhaps she has merely made a conscious choice to take the other path, and in this case it may be non-productive for you to pursue her. She is capable of making her own decisions?
S: Oh, yes. They may not be very wise sometimes, but she's very able. It seems she clings to the negative, and we would like to help her get beyond that.
R: You cannot help her to make her own free will decisions.
S: Just love her and hope that with that experience she can eventually turn around?
R: Protect yourself.
S: Yes, I've noticed the need for that, I'm sorry to say.
R: Well, there need not be regret at the awareness of the danger that those who choose iniquitous paths pose to yourself. At this stage in Urantia's development it is important that you understand the need to guard against those who have chosen evil ways, for they can harm you very much. Some will harm you in chipping away at your faith, if you allow it. Others will harm you by inflicting pain on your person, either physically or financially or emotionally. Some may even kill you, so please be aware that there is danger.
S: I am not aware that she has deliberately chosen iniquity. I just don't feel a threat from her in that form. I feel more that she's just floating, just not ready to choose anything.
R: It is something for you to consider that a spiritual matter will not be swayed by material considerations. Surely you know of those who have experienced, or even presently experience, material deprivation and mistreatment and yet gladly and lovingly choose to follow Father's path. And the opposite also, that is, those who have been fortunate and appear to have everything that money can buy, so to speak, who yet dwell in misery, rage, pride. You could never give them anything that would cause them to turn toward Father. Of course, there are all the variations. But do not make the error of believing that there is anything you can give such a person in the material sense that will cause them to alter their behavior. Your best hope in such a situation is to carry yourself with dignity and be a living example.
Q: On the definition of work, there are many forms of work, obviously, the one that we get paid for; is that the one you're speaking about mostly? Or is it just work in general, like the work we spend working in our garden, or helping a friend at their house? What is it that you're particularly speaking of?
R: Expenditure of effort with the goal of productivity in mind. Actually, most of the work that you perform is unpaid in the sense of wages. Think about the times you have had to deal with grief in friends or family. That was work, was it not? (S: Yes) Or your family chores, other family chores?
Q: I ask this because I find I have so much more joy in the physical work - whether it's growing or helping someone else - and I am, at this point in my life, struggling with the work I do to make a living, in terms of just how empty it is and how it's just not what I want to be doing. And I feel quite stuck as to how to get out and change it.
I feel like Father's given me many, many, many gifts, and I realize that we can touch people by way of our daily work. I think perhaps that's what I'm doing in this job, but I can relate very much to when you say that there's work that's joyous and there would be such different work for me to do that would not be like work. I know so much of America leads lives of quiet desperation because they're doing things they just don't want to be doing, and I truly believe that people should be joyous in the work that they do, whether it's to make a living or whatever. And I'm lost right now on that subject because I'm not happy where I'm earning my living. I'm much more happy, whether it's cutting down a tree or helping somebody rebuild their house, or doing physical labor - the things I can see, fruits from my labor. Does that make sense?
R: I believe I understand what you are saying, however, desperation, to which you refer, is that element that I alluded to in our lesson which Lucifer and Caligastia so expertly magnified in the planets of rebellion. It is entirely possible that if what you refer to as your pleasure activities were incorporated into your present wage paying job, you would dislike them as well. The joy of work is something that you must develop on your own. It is your own inner attitude toward the activities that will result in joy, not the opposite. Do you understand?
S: Yes, I've had that self calm as well. But what do you do when you're just in a place that's reeking negativity? I know I choose my own way. That's what I'm struggling with right now, is trying to get myself out of a situation where I just think I've reached the end of my rope.
R: What do you think Jesus would do in your situation? (S: I don't know.) Can you imagine?
S: Well, I imagine He would try to find the joy in it.
R: How would He do that? (S: I don't know.) What do you think would be the first step? My dear friend, you may wish to seek, earnestly seek, for goodness in your work. There is no thing on Urantia that is all bad, nor any that is all good. There must be some goodness there. I advise that you look for that goodness and make it your focus and your jumping off point to help build a joyous attitude. If you do that, you may indeed find that another opportunity which will be less onerous to you will present. (01/08/94)
© 11:11 Progress Group.
"Michael est toujours au Volant."
(Michael is always at the Steering Wheel.)