04/28/2021

Living the Three C's

Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers

Click HERE to download this transcript.

INTRODUCTION/ANNOUNCEMENTS
Rev. Richard Rogers: Hello; Hi! I'm Richard Rogers, and this is Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center. And I love my Wednesday night service! I hope you're enjoying this series; I've been really talking about living a better life. And we're going to take one more step in that.

And then next week I start a four-week series leading right up to when we re-open the Wednesday night service. And the focus is "The Unlimited Me." And we're going to talk about different aspects of your unlimited self. And so that all starts next week.

Today we're going to talk about "Living the 3 C's," and I think you're going to enjoy it.

So there's a couple of announcements I want to call your attention to. Jeanette St. Germain is going to be here doing a class on "Sacred Relationships." Actually it's online; it's going to be three Wednesdays in a row. You can get all the information online at unityphx.org.

Also, we go LIVE -- Sunday services go LIVE -- in June: on June 2nd. And then we go LIVE on June -- what is it? -- 9th? 9th? We go LIVE on June 9th. So I'm excited! So the second Wednesday in June we go LIVE, and I want you to be there!

Alright! That's all the announcements that I have for you today. Let's start with a moment of prayer.

 

OPENING PRAYER
Take a deep breath; feel the presence of God that's within you and all around you. And I want you to make a personal commitment to me tonight that you're willing to live your best life. That you're willing to move beyond the limitations of the past and live absolutely all the good that God has for you. That we're willing to be blessed beyond our wildest dreams.

So we open our minds, our hearts, our souls to all the good that God is. And we say thank you, God; thank you, God; thank you God! And so it is. Amen.

 

SOLO
Guest artist Cassie Chilton sings, “The Spark of Creation”

I've got an itching on the tips of my fingers
I've got a boiling in the back of my brain
I've got a hunger burning inside me, cannot be denied
I've got a feeling that the Father who made us
When he was kindling the pulse in my veins
He left a tiny spark of that fire, smoldering inside

The spark of creation, flickering within me
The spark of creation is blazing in my blood
A bit of the fire that lit up the stars
And breathed life into the mud, the first inspiration
The spark of creation

I see a mountain and I want to climb it
I see a river and I want to leave shore
Where there was nothing let there be something
Something made by me
There's worlds waiting for me to invent them
There's worlds waiting for me to explore
I am an echo of the eternal cry of
Let there be

The spark of creation, burning bright within me
The spark of creation won't let me rest at all
Until I uncover or build or discover
A thing that I can call my celebration
Of the spark of creation

The spark of creation, may it burn forever
The spark of creation, I am a keeper of the flame
We think all we want is a lifetime of leisure
Each perfect day the same
Endless vacation
Well that's alright if you're a kind of crustacean
But when you're born with an imagination
Sooner or later you're feeling the fire glower hotter and higher
The spark of creation

 

MESSAGE
Rev. Richard Rogers: Alright; Cassie, great! Thank you very much! We love having you with us; thank you, thank you! Craig, as always [applauds], you are so good!

Alright; here we go!

So my question as we move into this time: How big does your life feel? Does your life feel big and expanded, and you just feel blessed beyond your wildest dreams? Or does your life [laughs] feel small and cramped, and you're cranky about it? Right? And that's what I want to talk about today.

I want to talk about how big your life feels. Because I've heard from so many people during this pandemic that they're just ... their life feels so small! Right? And I want you to really see that, if the outer condition is defining the quality of your life, we have a problem. Houston, we have a problem!

Because what I want you to see is that, every time we allow the outer to really create our lives, we've really missed the point. That I want you, as a spiritual being -- I want you, as an expression of God -- to have a full, rich, abundant life, no matter what's going on in the world around you. I don't want us to be trapped by the things of the world; I want you to feel the ever-expanding nature of your soul in literally every aspect of your life.

So, you know, this week we're going to be focusing on your life. And I've been doing a series ... And sometimes I do a series [laughs], and I'm not even aware I'm doing a series! And this is one of those times: when I really wasn't aware that there's this thread. And it really is about your life, and about you living a huge life! That we can move beyond it, right? That we can move beyond the smallness and live a life that's so good, so rich, so abundant, that we really feel this. Right?

So I'm going to the board. [Walks toward the easel pad] So come with me, okay? So this is your life. [Draws circle and writes inside it: Fam Work $ Health] Right? This is everything in it. This is your family. This is your work. This is your abundance. This is your health. Everything in your life is in this circle, right? This is your life, right?

Now, your life can either feel expanded or it can feel contracted. But what I want you to see -- what's interesting about this for me -- is that, when you look at the grand scheme of things -- when you look at the infinite -- this is a microscopic dot in the field of the infinite. That, no matter how big your life feels -- no matter how small your life feels -- what I want you to see is that it's just a tiny little dot in the field of the infinite possibilities of God.

And I want you to get curious about: do you want to expand that? Like, you don't have to live a big life! You can just live a little life, and just be happy with your little life. There's nothing wrong with that, right? Because, out of the infinite possibilities, you get to choose how big or how small your life is. It's okay! Right? But I'm going to challenge you today to really be willing to be curious about living a bigger life. See, one of ... I'm doing this series, this talk, today entitled, "Living the 3 C's."

And the first “C” for me is Curiosity. Because the only way that we -- that our life -- can become bigger than it is today is when we get curious. If I'm not curious about living a bigger life -- if I just keep my head down and keep plodding along, and doing the same things I've always done -- then my life literally never gets any bigger. Because I'm not curious about what it would take to have a bigger life! I'm not looking up; I'm not looking at possibilities. I'm not learning or talking to people. I'm not reading; I'm not exploring. I'm not curious!

But when I do become curious, then every possibility begins to open for me. Casey Taggart, in his book Becoming Curious: A Spiritual Practice of Asking, wrote this:

"Curiosity is essential to growth. A little curiosity moves us deeper into our own lives and into the lives of the people around us. A little curiosity leads to opportunities that we never knew existed. A little curiosity helps us understand our own strange emotions. Being curious is a necessity for living a greater life."

And I want you to really look at that! Like, one of the reasons that you're a part of this ministry, I really believe, is because you're curious. You're curious about how your spiritual life can really empower you to live a greater possibility. Right? How -- what -- is the role of God in my life? And all these things -- when we expand into curiosity -- everything in our life becomes better. And I want you to become more and more curious about your life, and about living greater possibilities. Right?

[Laughs] I remember a story one time. A lady came up to me and said, "You know, this is the first church that I've ever been to that honestly allowed people to ask questions." And she said, "You know, the Sunday school class I used to go to, I -- when I was a kid ..." She said, "I would ask questions, and the Sunday school teacher's solid line was, ‘You can't ask that.’" Right? “Or, ‘Don’t ask that’ or ‘It’s not right to ask that.’” Right?

And, in Unity, we want you to ask questions! We do! We want you to ask big questions! When my kids were small and I'd send them to school every day, I'd send them out the door. And the last thing I'd yell at them as they were walking down the street is, "Ask good questions today!" Right?

Because I was one of those kids, right? That was always asking questions. And I'm sure ... I pray for all of my teachers, especially my ones in elementary school. I do! I was a handful! [Laughs] I know that doesn't surprise anybody, but I was a handful! Like, I was ... I was talking. I was active. I was always on the line of just kind of being a little ... something. Right? A little something!

And I just ... I pray for my teachers, because I was always asking questions. I always wanted to know, "Why?" And I wanted to make sure that my children -- that every day they'd go out and ask good questions. Right? Because that's the only way we can learn! It's the only way we can grow! Right? We have to be willing to ask questions; we have to be willing to wonder about things! We have to contemplate possibilities. We have to be curious about what could be.

And, over and over again, what I want you to see is that, if we're not curious, the world that we have is all we live! We just continue to live in this world.

Now, once we get curious, we start looking outside our circle. Once we get curious, we start looking at possibilities that are bigger than our circle, and we start looking outside. [Starts drawing arrows shooting out of the "self" circle on the easel pad] We start wondering; we start considering. We start reading books from people who have a bigger life experience than we have. And we start getting curious. And once we get curious, then we can expand. Then we can grow. But curiosity, in and of itself, is not enough. And that takes us to the second "C."

The second "C" is Courage. [Laughs] Right? That once you get curious about the life bigger than the life that you're living, it actually takes courage to go over the wall. It takes courage to decide to live a bigger life. Just being curious about it is really a head activity. Like, you can be curious about everything, and it's really just an intellectual activity. You know: it's your mind playing with possibilities. And it's absolutely necessary, but it takes courage, which is a hard activity, to go over the wall. It takes courage to move beyond.

Bill Treasure, in an article he wrote for Corporate Courage, talked about three things that it takes to really live courage in the corporate environment. He talks about the first one. And there were three "T's." He talks about Trying. He said, you know, sometimes in our corporate life, we get so fearful. We get so concerned that we play it so safe that we stop trying.

And to really live courage, you have to be willing to try. You have to be willing to try and do that which you've never done before. You have to be willing to try, even after you've made a mistake. You have to be willing to try, even if you've had a flame and a burn, right? Where you crash and burn, right? You've got to try again! So your biggest failures ... You know, the problem with a failure -- the biggest problem with a failure -- is not the failure itself. But it's getting yourself up again and trying again.

You know, I don't think most 40-year-olds would ever learn to walk. Right? [Laughs] Because most 40-year-olds -- after we've fallen three or four times in our 40s -- we stop getting up again. Well, when a 2-year-old or a 1-year-old's learning to walk, they fall all the time! And they keep getting up. Because it takes courage! It takes courage to get up after a fall! It takes courage to be willing to try.

Then he said the second "T" was Trust. And, you know, most of us know this one. It takes courage to trust. It takes courage to trust the people around us. It takes courage to trust God. It takes courage to trust! Because our nature is, "No, thanks; I'll do it myself." Right? "No, thanks; I've got this. I can do this. Now please." So we don't ask. We don't trust. Right? We tend to live more and more insulated lives, because we just don't want to trust.

But the courage to trust really is a courage to be in relationship: to be in relationship with God; to be in relationship with our co-workers; to be in relationship with our spouse; to be in relationship in our civic activities. It's really about being willing to trust the people we're in relationship with that, together, we're stronger than we are as individuals. And it takes courage to move beyond the sallness of our life to trust the people around us to guide us -- to support us -- in building a bigger life.

And he said the last "T" was to tell. To tell the Truth. He said every time we truly tell the truth on a deeper level, there's a level of vulnerability. That it takes courage to tell the truth about what you're feeling, about what you're going through.

You know, sometimes when somebody will come to church, and you can see something's going on in their life, and they literally -- when you ask them, "Are you okay" -- "I'm fine." Right? And they come to church week after week with "I'm fine," and they never share it with one of the prayer chaplains. They never invite someone to pray with them. They never invite any level of assistance. Because they don't want to tell the truth. Right?

Where in your life are you not telling the truth? Where in your life have you not yet had the courage to be vulnerable enough and tell what it's like to be you. See, it takes courage to move us out of the bubble of our life .

One of my favorite authors, Richard Bach -- in the book, Illusions -- in the opening chapter wrote this:

"Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of the crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all, young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, and knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, ‘I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go and let it take me where it will, for clinging, I shall surely die of boredom.’

The other creatures laughed and said, ‘Fool! Let go and that current that you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than of boredom!’

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, ‘See; a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!’

And the one carried in the current said, ‘I am no more the Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare to let go. For our true work is this voyage, this adventure.’

But they cried the more, ‘Savior!’ all the while clinging to the rocks and twigs on the bottom of the river. And when he was gone, they cried out, ‘Messiah; the Savior!’”

So here's the deal, right? I want you to see -- not only do I want you to activate a higher level of curiosity -- but I want you to have the courage to let go of the life that you know to live in a bigger world. To get outside your little bubble and experience the glory of God. To experience greater blessings. To trust that, as you get curious about a bigger life, that you have the courage within you to make that life possible.

And the third "C" that I want to share with you today is Compassion. Because once you've had the courage to get out of your little bubble, it takes compassion. It takes compassion for yourself, and it actually takes compassion for all those people who are still living in the smallness of their bubble.

See, once you let go, and you get outside your bubble, right? You know, you can kind of get an attitude about, "Well, just let go! It'll be okay! Just let go! You can do it! You can be more prosperous! You can be in a better relationship! You can be healthier! You can be wiser! You can be happier!" But sometimes, when we get scared, we just lock down! Right?

And I want you to see any area in your life that you've been curious about a bigger possibility. Maybe you've tried it once or twice. Maybe you got scared and you locked down. You stopped! You just decide, "This is apparently the only way my life's ever going to go," and you just stop right there.

What I want you to do today is have the compassion to give yourself a break. To forgive you for the times when you've failed in the past. And to be willing to live a bigger life that allows you to be more than you've ever been before. Because compassion is part of our life's journey. Without compassion, life gets very hard. It's very scary. It's very unforgiving. But, through compassion, we open a space to really allow the best in life.

You know, Bob Marley in "One Love," said this: that we are "one love; one heart; one destiny." Right? I love that idea, right? That we're in this collective whole: that there is one life, one love, one heart, one destiny. And, as we have compassion upon each other, we actually begin to move forward in the greatest possible way.

Plato said this: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." Now, I don't know if the people around you are really fighting a harder battle. But what I want you to see is that they're fighting their own inner battle. That each and every one of us is fighting our own inner battle to live a bigger life. That we're fighting against our fears that tell us to play small. That tell us to give up. That tell us to be safe. And, yet, we're fighting the battle to live in the goodness and glory of God.

Sometimes I think I should just come out here with a little cheerleader outfit on. Right? [Laughs] I think -- I really do! -- I should come out here with a little cheerleading outfit, because what I believe part of my role is, is to be a cheerleader for your life. To be a cheerleader for you! To believe in you when you can't believe in yourself. To bring my pompoms out here, and shake my pompoms, and tell you, “You can do it!” "Go team, go!" Right?

Because today what I want you to see is that there are so many places where you've stopped. Where you've just stopped! Where you've allowed the past -- you've allowed the fears, you've allowed the upset -- to get you to stop! And my job is to encourage you today to be curious about what's outside the walls of your life. And that, when you get curious enough -- and you begin to believe it's possible to move beyond the limitations of the past -- to have the courage to actually climb over the wall! And then to be compassionate! Even if it doesn't work -- even if it doesn't work the first time or the 50th time -- that you keep going. Because every time you climb over the wall, not only does it get easier to climb over the wall, but you begin to navigate life beyond the wall.

That wherever your walls have been -- whatever limitation has been in your family for generations; whatever story and drama has been passed down to you -- it is not the fullness of God that's within your soul. The fullness of God within your soul has a story that was written for you at the beginning of time. It was a story of your greatness. It was a story of possibilities. It was a story of overcoming and allowing the fullness of God to manifest in you and through you in greater and greater ways.

If you need somebody to cheer for you, I am cheering for you! If you need someone to believe in you, I believe in you! And I want you to begin to cheer for you! I want you to begin to believe in you! I want you to just say, "You can do it!" Give yourself an “Atta-Boy!” Acknowledge all the things that you've overcome in your life, and do not allow this moment to be your stop point. Allow this moment to be the point where you take one more step in the gorgeous, brilliant, wonderful, fabulous life that is yours.

So will you pray with me?

 

MEDITATION
I want you to take a deep breath, and I want you to feel the presence of God within you. And I want you just to be curious about a bigger life. "God, how would I do that? How would I live a greater life? How would I be more prosperous? How would I be in a more loving relationship? How could I be kinder? How could I be more generous?" Just be curious!

And I want you to feel the power of asking a good question. That the moment you ask Spirit anything, Spirit answers us. Jesus said, "Knock and the door will be opened; seek and you will find." Today I want you to realize that you are connected to the infinite wisdom of the Universe. And that, as you ask, it will be given to you. As you seek, you will find. As you knock, the door will be opened to you over and over again.

But it takes courage to open the door. It takes courage to climb over the wall. It takes courage to leave the fish bowl of your life and know that you can walk and then run. God, give me the strength. Give me the courage to live a bigger life. Give me the courage to go beyond the life that I've known. Let me call forth the infinite power of God within me that I may live a bigger life this week. That I may challenge myself to no longer accept the limitations of the past. That I am truly ready for something greater. I am ready for all the good that God has for me.

Take another deep breath. And I want you just to let that idea: that I am ready for all the good that God has for me. I AM READY for all the good that God has for me. I'm ready! I'm ready to live in greater and greater ways. I'm ready to be the man or the woman that God has created me to be. I am ready to be fearless. Courageous. I am ready to go forward.

So I dedicate my life and everything in it to God. God, I give you my hopes and my dreams, my fears, my insecurities. I hold nothing back from you! And today I desire to live and to live fully. So in the name and through the power of the Living Christ, I dedicate myself again to the power of God: the power of God in me. And so it is. Amen.

 

CLOSING/COLLECTION
This is the time of giving of our gifts and tithes. And I invite you to hold them in your hand as we bless them together. Our offering blessing is: “Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive.” Together: “Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive.”  Let’s say that one more time: “Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive.”

In the name and through the power of the Living Christ, we give thanks for every gift and every giver. We know that every gift and every giver is absolutely of the experience and the flow of God's abundance. And that, as we give, our gifts come back to us 10-, 100-, 1,000-fold in return. That, as we open the door of the storehouse of our own gifts, we actually access the storehouse of God's good. Thank you, God, for every blessing. Thank you, God, for every good thing. Thank you, God, for providing everything I need today. I look to you as my source, and I am divinely blessed. And so it is. Amen.

Alright; let's affirm together our Prayer for Protection:

The light of God surrounds us;
The love of God enfolds us;
The power of God protects us;
And the presence of God watches over us.
Wherever we are, God is!

God bless you, friend! Have a great week! And the choir’s going to sing us out!

Unity of Phoenix Choir sings the “Peace Song”:
Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth;
the peace that was meant to be.

With God as Creator,
family all are we.
Let us walk with each other
in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me;
let this be the moment now.
With every step I take,
Let this be my joyous vow:

To take each moment
and live each moment
in peace eternally!

Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me!

Copyright 2021 Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center/Rev. Richard Rogers

Location and Contact Information

Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

1500 E Greenway Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 978-3200

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