WORK and CONVICTION of TRUTH
Let us move on to our lesson for today. Again, I shall remind you of the great, great importance of work in your life now and for a great time after you pass from this material form. We continue to talk about work today, this time in conjunction with truth. As we discussed in recent lessons, it is truly impossible to separate the qualities of Father from one another. You cannot say that there is pure goodness separate from love, nor pure love separate from truth, nor pure truth separate from mercy, and so on. And as we have recently discussed, the work that you do is part of your vital contribution in the way of transmitting Father's qualities to your fellow beings and participating as a co-creator with Father. If your work is good, if it is carried out in a sincere fashion with the object of service to Father, then it must be truthful and honest. It cannot be otherwise. Additionally, such God-directed work will help to reveal further truth, by which I mean showing you and your fellow beings that which is of God in contrast to that which is of man.
Part of what you do as a participant in this mission, as a follower of Michael, as a believer of Father, is to strive as you go about your business to always find the higher meanings in that which you observe by means of your senses. It is as if you are a scientist exploring an ancient ruined city, sifting through the sands, searching for original artefacts, remnants of buildings, structure of a culture, carefully picking away with your brushes and brooms, your metal tools, scrapers and forceps. As you have been progressing with your spiritual growth, you have been learning to use the spiritual tools of discernment which assist you in determining that which is Father's will and distinguishing it from that which is not Father's will, what we have referred to in past discussions as material.
Each of you here today makes a living in a different fashion. You all have your talents, your skills, your training, and there surely are differences in the manner in which you carry out your work. And yet, for each of you, as for every being on this planet, there is much value not only in working in a sincere, committed, good and faithful fashion, but there is also a great potential for influencing your fellows on this planet as Michael Jesus influenced His fellows.
Even now those of you who are not living at the same time period as Jesus are very much aware of His high qualities as a worker. He was much admired and much imitated as a worker in His fairness, His consideration, His honesty, His continual attempt to always produce a work of the highest quality, His willingness to admit and correct mistakes, and His striving to improve His own skills. Regardless of what your job may be as a worker, you can do all these things, too.
In the eyes of Father there is no menial labor, nor is there any exalted work in the sense of how a material being earns his livelihood. Rather, one's work is judged according to those qualities which demonstrate a commitment to service to Father. Ask yourself, Does my work measure up? How can I improve my work?
Remember, friends, that you are always being observed by your fellows, by the unseen beings who move among you, and, of course, by Father. This should not cause you to be fearful, but I tell you this so that you will be aware that your activities are important and should be carried out to the best of your ability. Now you all know that imperfection is your endowment and perfection is a long way off. Do not be harsh with yourself because your work is not perfect. And be merciful with your co-workers who are not perfect either. In yourself and in others search for the good qualities, the God directed qualities. Seek to amplify those, and you will be much gratified in the outcome, and much truth will be found. This is the end of this lesson. I will gladly receive comments or questions.
S: Once again I want to thank you and Father Melchizedek for a wonderful series of lessons on work, emphasizing the different aspects of work. I heard a lot today about the combination of work and truth, and I pray that I'll be able to put them into effect.
R: You are most welcome. Work is a very important part of what you as a participant in this teaching mission will do. There are many on Urantia today who do not wish to work because of misunderstanding the value of work. As you go forth, and by your personal example, demonstrate the righteousness of work and the many benefits to be gained by sincere hard work; you will do much to reverse this trend which gained its major impetus from the rebellion.
S: You mentioned the fact that we are co-creators with divinity, with God. Is there any way that we can be co-creators other than by work?
R: At this stage, no. Later there will be other ways, but there will always be much hard work for you to do in your role as a co-creator. Of course, faith is an essential ingredient, as you know, but faith alone, without work, will gain you little in your material life.
S: I think Paul said faith without works is dead.
R: That is rather extreme, but it does have an element of truth.
S: It's funny; I had a different interpretation of work and co-creation. I was thinking of the work of parenting and what goes into the creation of the assistance of the development of human beings of talent as being work, rather than just a job as work.
R: That is a vitally important job, of course, and one that you do well, however this issue of the work that you do to earn your livelihood is also very important at this stage in the planetary development of Urantia.
Yes, there are many who wish not to do the work of parenting, as well as avoiding the work of earning a livelihood. In fact, the two often go hand in hand, and it is common to see the good worker for wages also function well as a parent and family member and vice versa. However, co-creation with Father, which is a special part of what you as an imperfect being are allowed to participate in during your universe career, goes far beyond procreative aspects of your life and includes the influence that you have on fellow beings through your appropriate responses to your indwelling Adjuster's promptings. And, additionally, on a planet in rebellion such as Urantia, you can greatly help Father through your service directed activities in all aspects of your life, help to undo the lingering and deleterious remnants of Lucifer's doctrine as they continue to abound on this planet. Do you understand? (S: Yes, thank you.)
S: I seem to understand from the combination of all your lessons on work that it's not the job we choose to do, but that in whatever we do, we do it the very best we can, develop the best skills we can, and try to have a happy attitude while doing it, even though it may not be the job we'd most like to be doing. Is that what we're striving for?
R: Yes, you have stated it very well. Thank you.
S: Rayson, what about choice of jobs? Does it really not matter what you do, or is there some responsibility for doing a job that you know is helping, or rather not hurting, the rest of mankind to the best of your ability to judge that?
R: Do you mean could you restate the question?
S: Yes, I'm trying to get at - does it make a difference what you do? Let's say you have a choice of doing one job or another, is it more valuable, or is there a benefit to choosing one that you believe is more helpful to mankind in some way? Or maybe another way of stating it would be if somebody worked very hard dealing drugs, does that constitute good work?
R: That is a very good question. The one who participates in activities which are harmful to fellow beings, of course, is knowingly choosing to go against Father's will. I do not think anyone here would disagree that Father would not have drugs disseminated to children or others who are weak and vulnerable. However, even the one who chooses to earn a living in an evil way can carry out evil duties paradoxical as it may seem in a fashion which is a model of sincerity and honesty. But you probably would have to look very hard to find such a person.
My understanding from the mind of the channel is that drug dealers do not hesitate to kill others for nonpayment or to sell their product to persons who will surely die soon. Even if this is done in a diligent fashion, how can it be good? And yet there are always exceptions, are there not?
S: Rayson, somewhat related to the previous question, in terms of value of the work that we do, no one position is more elevated than another, and there's really no such thing as menial work. But what, if any, responsibility do we have to apply our God given talents, to strive to find work that would utilize those qualities, that would best further the Father's will? We are all different. For an example, someone has a musical talent which, if developed, might be able to a greater degree disseminate truth, but instead they deny that talent and work as a dishwasher in a restaurant. Is there any moral or ethical responsibility - well, can you just comment on that please?
R: I can share with you a model that has been developed on other planets of imperfect creation which has lead to good outcomes.
S: Please do.
R: In this model, childhood is a time of learning and acquiring skills as well as participation in family life and the beginnings of spiritual teaching, However, once the child has achieved reproductive capability and the capability of self support through one's own work, this young adult is compelled to leave the family unit and live alone supporting himself at whatever trade he has chosen. Now in this model there are some who perform manual labor, such as you have alluded to, who find enough leisure time to develop other skills which they later use to support themselves financially. However, there is no allowance in this model for a prolonged period of idleness in the adult part of life, so that your budding musician, or whatever, who is capable of work but prefers to spend time acquiring another skill, would not be allowed to remain idle for a prolonged period, of say, more than six months while being supported by another adult.
Surely you know of persons who have spent many, many years searching for the ideal profession only to look back late in life upon a career of idleness having been supported by others. Is that not true?
S: Yes, that is true. I'm talking about a person who is self sufficient financially but denies a talent that they have. I call it a God given talent because some people do have a propensity for, for example the music that others just don't have. Is there anything morally or ethically wrong with denying, never tending to a talent that you have?
R: No, not at all, the talent will never leave you. You will take it forward into your next life.
S: Ah, interesting. Thank you for that.
R: You have potentially all of eternity to develop yourself.
S: Well, that's a relief. The days are too short, that's for sure. But do you have an obligation to try to develop those talents while here?
R: Your obligation is to work while you are here, and to have faith in God.
S: But is not a talent something within, and is not exercising that talent in some way achieving the will of God by expressing it?
R: That is an argument which is presented by those who highly value service to the self rather than service to God. It is very easy to convince yourself that gratifying animal urges - including what you would call the service of the ego - is God directed and serves the cosmos, but do you really believe that that is the case?
S: Well, the Urantia Book says that one person through music can change the world. If this person has a talent for music but through the vicissitudes of life, and the different turns, and being insensitive, and not wanting - for whatever reason - to express his talent, is that not doing something very wrong?
R: Do you recall the life of Jesus? Remember that He was a gifted musician. Did He lay down His carpenter's trade to develop His skills as a harpist?
S: I think that's a rhetorical question.
S2: I have a different view. I am concerned that there are a great many social ills on this planet, particularly in this country, and there are vast numbers of people who have gifts and talents that they are unable to develop because of poverty, racism, oppression of women, etc. I would hate to think that there would be an idea developing that somehow those people are immoral and unethical because they're not developing their God given talents. I think it is important to know that there are people who want to work and can't, or who are caught in a system where work is punishment throughout the planet, not just in this country. I don't know, I guess I just needed to say that for me. Do you have comments on this, Rayson, about people who can't - ?
R: Who cannot?
S: I would say the women in the rape camps in Serbia. Women, single parents, in poverty stricken communities in this country, stuck on welfare, who do the work of their immediate environment but don't have the privilege to sit back and postulate on spiritual values and their ethical responsibility to cultivate a talent, because they're busy trying to find food for their children.
R: But do you not see that by doing what you say and performing as loving and caring parents they are very much working?
S: Yes, I do.
R: And further that such work is highly spiritual. There is much sacrifice of the self in such a pursuit.
S: Yes. I think some people tend to view them as not doing spiritual work. It's important to see that because people are caught in poverty does not mean that they are valueless.
R: No, certainly not, but let me ask you a further question. What do you say if such a parent, a woman, allows herself to become impregnated under these circumstances?
S: I think that the complexity of the social problems in this country contribute to a lot of those factors, and I don't have an answer, do you?
R: I offer to you that the family with a father and a mother in attendance is a very strong and durable structure to offer a child. It is understood that there are circumstances which occur despite careful planning which do not follow this model, however, in a culture where procreation is easily preventable I question the responsibility of bringing forth more children. Do you understand? (S: Yes.)
S: Rayson, would you say that mortals are far more critical of other mortals for not developing all of their talents than Father or Michael?
R: Yes, of course this criticism is culturally dependent. There have been cultures on Urantia in which such an idea was far less developed than is the case in your culture. Your culture has been relatively affluent, and there has been, for some, an abundance of leisure time which has afforded ample, sometimes too much, opportunity for reflection on the self and real or imagined talent development.
It is important to ask yourself in whatever you do, whether you are impoverished or affluent, are my actions in accord with the will of God? if you can sincerely answer yes, then those activities, the work of your life, are appropriate and are God directed, and Father would have no complaint.
S: Thank you.
R: Remember, my friends, that as uncomfortable as adversity is for you, it is a vitally important part of your personal growth, and does much to aid you in your spiritual progress. The ones who suffer through enslavement, poverty, physical handicap are able to benefit much, if they will heed the Adjuster's promptings. Father loves this effort far more than the poem or a song which is written as a tribute. Do you see this? (S: Yes.)
S: Rayson, what about play? Is play a waste of time or is it something to balance the other parts of work of life?
R: Play is very important, however as we discussed in a previous lesson, play may not be what you understand it to be. In your play, as in your work, it is best for you to keep in mind the will of Father. Do you believe that a play activity which involves the killing of animals is in accord with Father's will?
S: Does that include fishing?
S2: My thought exactly.
S: I mean, Jesus was a fisherman.
R: But He did not mount trophies.
S: If we eat it, it's OK.
S2: Then it's not play, if you're fishing for food.
R: That is work.
S: Feels like play.
S2: Well, it does, and it's incidental because then maybe you put the beef in the freezer and eat the trout that you caught that day.
R: You enjoy your work.
S: OK, I guess we're really used to thinking of work in a very regimented kind of way, W-2 forms and all that, but you're speaking of work in a broader sense then?
R: Yes, work is a worship activity which is a difficult concept to grasp while in the material state. However, it is true that this is the case, and understanding this may make it easier for you to trudge along in your toil on Urantia with a loving attitude and far reaching goals in mind.
S: Rayson, I personally find your lessons transforming to myself. I haven't heard all the lessons, but of what I've picked up already it's changed my attitude tremendously, and I want to thank you for that and for your patience in continuing to pursue the subject for us.
R: You are most welcome. My dear friends, much effort is being put into your education, and you will in future go forth and work hard to educate others. The beauty of work is that it always follows this pattern. Think to yourselves of all the jobs that you have ever known of. Have they not always led to further work? This is how the universes were created, and this is how in future the outer universes will be settled. When you are permitted to make your final decision for or against survival, you will be presented with, among other things, the prospect of eternal work. And there have been some fortunately very few - who have found this to be so distasteful that they have elected non-survival. Do not hate your work. Embrace it. See it as a blessed activity. Let it draw you closer to God. Become a shining beacon among your fellows. Move smoothly and lovingly among the masses of Urantia leaving the imprint of God in your wake. (01/15/94)
© 11:11 Progress Group.
"Michael est toujours au Volant."
(Michael is always at the Steering Wheel.)