05/05/2021

Stand in Uncertainty

Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers
Week #1 of the 5-Week Series, "The Unlimited Me"

Click HERE to download this transcript.

OPENING/ANNOUNCEMENTS
Rev. Richard Rogers: Hi! I’m Richard Rogers, and I want to welcome you to Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center! You know, I’m beginning a brand new series called “The Unlimited Me.” And we’re going to talk about aspects of your unlimited nature over the next four weeks. We’re going to do it throughout the month of May to really inspire you to live your greatest life. Because, once we really come to understand how unlimited we are, it really begins to change everything. So that’s where we’re going to go this month.

Rev. Maraj begins a new class based on “Discover the Power Within You.” It is absolutely his favorite book! It’s the book that changed his life; it’s the book that sent him into ministerial school, and really inspired him. So it will be on Tuesday nights: four sessions. “Discover the Power Within You.” Sign up at unityphx.org.

Also, we’re going LIVE in June! [Laughs] So this is the last month of virtual services, and we are going LIVE June 6: Sunday morning – 9 and 11. Two shows! Wednesday, 7 p.m. – just to remind you, because it’s been awhile! [Laughs] 7 p.m. on Wednesday nights beginning June 9. I want to see your little faces! I want to squeeze your little faces! I want to see you! I want the room to be filled! And I want us just to know that we have survived, that we are stronger, that we are wiser, and we are ready to come back together to really celebrate in a brand new way.

Alright! Let’s set the spiritual tone for tonight.

 

OPENING PRAYER
I want you to open your mind, your heart, your soul to the power of God that’s within you. And I want you to really feel that unlimited presence within you: the unlimited me. That there’s a presence and power within you that is greater than anything you can imagine; it is your unlimited self. And today we awaken that unlimited self. We call it forth. We give expression to that unlimited self — that you were born and created in the image and likeness of God. I am unlimited! Let’s say that together: “I am unlimited!” So in the name and through the power of the Living Christ, we give thanks. And so it is. Amen.

 

SOLO
Guest artist Alexandra Ncube sings, “The Climb”

I can almost see it
That dream I’m dreaming
But there’s a voice inside my head sayin’
“You’ll never reach it”
Every step I’m takin’
Every move I make feels lost with no direction
My faith is shakin’

But I  gotta keep tryin’
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I’m not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments
That I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep goin’

And I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

Yeah, yeah, yeah

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody’s I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Keep on movin’
Keep smiling
Keep the faith, baby
It’s all about — it’s all about the climb
Whoa, oh

 

MESSAGE
Rev. Richard Rogers: Alexandra, that was fabulous! Thank you, thank you, thank you! We’re so glad we’re here tonight!

Alright! So here we go! I’m doing this new series based on “The Unlimited Me.” And I’m going to talk about your unlimited nature. But I’m going to do it in a way that’s a little bit different. I’m going to kind of throw you a little slider. Right? That, instead of just pumping you up by how great you are and how fabulous you are — “Yay for you!” — I’m going to talk about some of the things that we have to overcome, and how we do it from our unlimited self. So I’m going to talk about loss; I’m going to talk about failure one week. I’m going to talk this week about uncertainty. To really talk about: how do we live through some of the more difficult situations, living it from our unlimited self? To really experience all we are.

So tonight I want to begin with talking about control. Right? How many of you love to control everyone and everything? Right? How many of you would love to be queen for a day or king for a day? Right? So the question I have for you is: To what degree do you believe that you have control over your world? Right? When you look at the world around you, like, how much control do you honestly believe that you have?

When you look at the weather, right? How much control do you have over the weather? Like, how much control do you have that it’s getting warmer now in Phoenix? [Laughs] How much control do you have on how many days are over 100 degrees? How much control do you believe that you have on how many days are over 110 degrees? Right? And I just want us to really open the window to really look at this and your nature.

How many of you believe that you have control over your family members? Or over the government, right? How many of you believe that you have control even about the events that happen today? Right? The events that are going to happen tomorrow or this week? [Laughs] How many of you think that you actually have control over yourself? Right?

And so, as we talk about your unlimited me — your unlimited self — I want us to really be willing to stand in a place of uncertainty. Because there seems to be really two places we could stand. Right? We could stand in this place where we try to control everyone and everything, and we run around like a little Australian sheep dog. And we’re barking at this person, and we’re barking at that person; we’re trying to get everybody in line. And we’re angry and we’re upset that people aren’t doing it right. If they’d just listen to me, you know! People don’t even pull out of the parking lot right; they don’t drive right. They don’t vote right. They don’t act right. It’s like this idea that you are the Poohba of the universe, and it’s your job to keep everybody under control.

And so, when we stand in uncertainty, it really changes everything. Because for some of us, the idea is that, if I stand in uncertainty, I am vulnerable. I am powerless. It is scary, and I could get hurt. But standing from your unlimited self — your unlimited me — I’m going to suggest tonight that you can tolerate a lot more uncertainty than you’ve been led to believe.

Reading from John 16:33: “I have said this to you, that my peace may be in you. In the world you have tribulation. But be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”

“I have said this to you: that my peace may be in you.” Right? How many of us would like a little bit more peace in our life? I would! Right? And so, here we are living in an uncertain world where stuff is happening every day. [Laughs] Where stuff is just hitting the fan every day! And how do we find peace with stuff hitting the fan every day? Like, how do we do that? Because, if our peace is “out there” — if our peace is based on our having control over everyone and everything — there is no peace.

But I’d like us to really move into a place that Jesus talked about: that in the world there’s tribulation. In the world there’s uncertainty. In the world stuff happens. In the world there’s times when we are out of control. And, yet, Jesus said that his peace was in him. So that his peace wasn’t attached to the things of the world. His peace wasn’t “out there”; it was in here. And that’s where I want you to come from! I want you to find your peace in an uncertain world.

Now, some of us believe that we’re safe if we have control over everyone and everything. Have you ever had a family member [laughs] that was obviously … that they wanted to control everything? Like, I know it wasn’t you! Right? But did you ever have a family member that at every holiday — when the holidays rolled in — man, they were just controlling everything: what time you’re going to get there and, “Blah, blah, budduh budibba duh, budduh budibba duh!” And by the time the holidays actually get there, they’re exhausted! Right? And everybody around them is anxious and afraid, because they’re, “Blooh, ba-loo, ba-loo, ba-loo!!!!” — they’re just chirping on everybody about everything!

And what I want you to see is that your ego loves to try to be in control of everyone and everything. But that’s not spiritual! It’s not really of God! It’s not really the highest, the best even of you! That, when we find our peace, our peace starts from within. Our peace is not based on “out here”; it’s based on “in here.”

Reading from the Gospel of Mark — Mark 4: “Jesus said, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And, leaving the crowds behind, he took them in a boat just as he was. Other boats were also with him. And a great windstorm arose. And there were waves beating on the boat so that the boat was ready to be swamped. And he was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. And they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we’re about to perish?’ And he woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace; be still.’ And the wind ceased, and there was dead calm. And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?'”

Many of us are trying to get our peace “out here.” Right? We’re trying to get our peace with our family. We’re trying to get peace at work. We’re trying to get peace in our government. We’re trying to get peace “out here.” And we never really experience peace within ourselves! And until we really find peace within ourselves, there’s no way that our peace is actually large enough to expand beyond us to go into the events of our life. Like, if your peace isn’t the dominant experience you’re having, over and over again, what I want you to see is that you don’t have enough peace to actually bless a situation with peace!

You know, every week in Unity we sing, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” Well, I want to really challenge you to really look at: Is there peace in you? Is your peace in you great enough to get you through this day? Is it great enough to get you through the holiday season or vacations or upset or work or challenges or problems? How big is your peace? Because, for most of us, our peace is pretty frail. It’s pretty small. It’s pretty weak. We haven’t really developed a level of peace that’s actually big enough for the life we’re living. And then we try to control it “out here,” instead of really developing a larger level of peace within ourselves!

Peace has to come from within! Is your peace great enough to live in a world that’s uncertain? Is your peace great enough to get you through every day? Or does your peace get beat up? Does the conflict and the unrest and the uncertainty and the anger and the chaos beat your peace up, so that you don’t get through a day, because your peace isn’t strong enough?

Let me give an example. My mom grew up at the beach in a little community called Playa del Rey. And Playa del Rey — half of Playa del Rey — was lost when they developed LAX. So half this little community — right between El Segundo and Venice/Marina del Rey — is this little community. And there’s still a little part of this community still there. But it was just … you know, they took it out for LAX.

Now, when my mom was growing up, it was during World War II. And you did not want to live at the beach during World War II. It was not a desirable neighborhood. [Laughs] People that could afford to move away moved away. My grandparents rented this little house, and it was a great little house. It was right on the beach. And my mom and her sister and my uncle: they loved living at the beach. They would swim; they would play. They loved living at the beach! Yes, there were things going on; you know, they had to have air raid drills and all kinds of things, because they were afraid that the Japanese were going to come right on shore, right? So there was a fear of that. There was an acknowledgement.

But mom had just this great childhood of living on the beach. And one of the things that they all learned how to do was body surf. And when I was a kid, we all learned how to body surf. Mom was just an incredible swimmer. She taught all the kids how to body surf. And that’s something that I passed down to my children. And, even though they were raised in Arizona, all my kids could swim. They could body surf. And they were just … they were excellent in the water.

And so much so that, when we could do it, we would go on vacation: of course, to the beach, like everyone else in Arizona during the summer time! And occasionally, we were able to go to Hawaii. And one of their favorite places to go was Big Beach in Maui. They would take their boogie boards out. And Big Beach, you know … most of Maui doesn’t have big surf. But Big Beach usually consistently had big waves. So they would go out there and, from little kids, again, they’d learn how to body surf and how to be in the ocean. And I didn’t really worry about them. I mean, some of those waves were big waves! And I didn’t really worry about them. I would always keep an eye on them, but I didn’t really worry about them. Right? Because they knew what to do.

And I remember a time on a beautiful afternoon, sitting at the beach. My wife was talking, and the kids were out in the surf. And this huge — these big waves — came in. And later she said, “I was halfway through a sentence, and you were just gone!” Right? And it’s like, the kids were out there, and dad was not going to lose his little ducks to the surf. So I’m out there, and I’m going through the waves. I’m there; they’re fine. And my little daughter — my little Ari — says, “Dad, you came out here just ’cause you were scared that we were gonna drown!” And I said, “Ari, that’s exactly why I’m out here! Because the waves are getting really big!” And she said, “Dad, come on! We can do this!”

And they could, right? But Dad got a little nutty … right? Dad was his … he had lost his peace for a moment. [Laughs] And his little ducks were out there in the water, and he wanted to make sure that they were safe, right? And she just … she thought it was sweet that Dad came out there, and they were literally 100% fine. And after about 30 minutes, Dad was like, “Okay; this is enough fun for me. We are going back in. And we’re all going back in.” Right? So we rode back in, and it was just … it was a fond memory for all of us of just family time. Right?

But what I want you to see is: the more powerful you feel, the less uncertainty bothers you. When you feel weak and “less than,” your need to control everything is incredibly large, because you don’t believe that the power within you is greater than the power that’s outside of you. And over and over again, what I want you to see is: the things that you are the best at, you probably worry about the least.

You know, when it comes to speaking or teaching, I feel very confident in my ability to teach a class. Right? I’m teaching a class now based on Deepak Chopra’s book, Metahuman, and I’ve got people all over the country. We’re doing it on Zoom, and it’s just going fabulous! It’s a fabulous class! It’s a fabulous book! And I don’t lose sleep worrying about what questions people are going to ask, or how it’s going to go. Why? Because I have a confidence, a faith, knowing that, whatever they ask — even if I don’t have the answer — I don’t worry about that! I don’t freak out about that! I’ve taught so many classes … I’ve done so many talks … I don’t worry about it. My peace is so big when it comes to teaching and speaking that I never — very rarely — do I ever worry about a talk or worry about a class. Because I know what it takes for me to be ready. To get ready so that my peace is full.

What I want you to look at today: I want you to look at your life. Is your peace big enough for the events of your life? Is your peace large enough to actually get you through the ups and downs?

For many of us, we believe that, if we live the spiritual life, then we’re always going to have smooth sailing. That’s not what Jesus taught! Jesus taught that there were waves — that there were storms — and that your peace had to be inside you. Your peace had to be big enough to actually be bigger. That we’re not trying to create a life where there’s no ups and downs. We’re trying to create a spiritual boat that’s big enough to handle the waves when they come … because they will come.

So the question that I have for you is: Can you get through the morning with your peace intact? Or when you wake up in the morning, is your anxiety already bigger than your peace? When you wake up in the morning — you think about your day; you think about your family; you think about this or that — is your peace greater than that, or lesser than that? Is your peace actually smaller than the events of this day? I want you to challenge you today — from your unlimited me — to build the level of peace that is transformative.

So how do we deal with uncertainty? How do we live in a life where everything is not always going to happen exactly the way you think it’s going to happen? And I have a few points I want to make.

So the first one is: DON’T RESIST. Don’t resist the outer situation! Just acknowledge it. Acknowledge that the power in you is greater than the situation outside of you. Because, ultimately, that’s always the question! Do I believe that the power in me is greater than the events that are outside of me? Right?

When I’m sitting on the beach and I’m watching my kids play in the surf, when I know that the power of them is greater than the power of the waves, I relax! When I start to worry about it, I jump in, and I jump into the chaos! I jump into the surf! Because I’m going to save them, right? And even when my little Ari says, “Dad, you were just worried about us, right?” She wasn’t afraid, right? And we were bobbing! There were some big waves, man! We’d get a breath, and there’d be another wave, and we’d go under again. There were some big waves! I mean, they’re monsters! They’re big-tonnage waves, right? [Laughs] And she’s giving me heat, because she knew the power in her was greater than the power of the waves.

Do you truly believe that the power in you — do you believe that your unlimited self — is greater than the waves of conflict or chaos or upset or uncertainty that are rolling toward you right now? God in you is greater! Don’t resist.

Two: INVEST IN YOURSELF. Empower yourself. Do those things that allow for self-care. Go for walks. Meditate. Take time away. Get quiet. Self-care is not selfish. Self-care actually allows the vessel of who you are to become stronger and more powerful. Invest in self-care!

Three: FIND HEALTHY WAYS TO COMFORT YOURSELF AND WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE. Share the situation with a friend. Have people praying with you. Go for a walk. Take a nap. Rest. So I want to make sure that you’re finding healthy ways to comfort yourself.

Four: DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK. [Laughs] Have you discovered that yet? That sometimes your thinking is wacky?!?  Right? That’s a spiritual term, right? I think Moses said it in the Old Testament, right? Sometimes your thinking is wacky! If you believe everything you think, you are now in the surf! The waves are coming! You’re going up and down; you’re not going underneath them. You’re not finding your calm place. You’re riding the crazy waves! Right? Because sometimes our mind is weird! Don’t believe what you think!

Number five: REFOCUS YOUR ATTENTION. The more your focus starts going externally, bring it back to self. The more that your focus keeps going on the waves and everything that’s going around you, bring it back to your center. Bring it back to your peace. Bring it back to the Spirit of God within you. If you’re spending 99.9% of your time externally focused, you are living an egotistical-driven life. If we’re truly going to live a spiritual life, we have to come back to our center.

Six: STOP LOOKING AT OTHERS TO RESCUE YOU. Now, it doesn’t mean you can’t have people help you! It doesn’t mean that you can’t align with other people to create situations you want. But they’re not going to save you! The power that always saves you is within you! Do you believe the power of God within you is greater than anything in the world? When you believe that, you are absolutely in touch with your unlimited self! And no matter what life throws at you, you can always come back to your center, because God in me is greater than this.

And seven: FIND YOUR POWER. Find your power! Your power is not in control. Your power is not when everybody does it exactly the way you want it. Your power is within. Your power is the presence of God within you.

So where in your life are the situations causing you unrest? Where in your life have you given up on your peace? Where in your life is your peace not great enough for the situation at hand?

Today I want you to move your focus within. I want you to find the presence and power of God. I want you to believe in the presence and power of God within you. And I want you to build a level of peace that is based on God within.

You know, a few months ago I wrote something, and I posted it on Facebook. I’m just going to share it with you; it’s kind of a daily affirmation:

“Today I will overcome. Whatever is placed in front of me, I will overcome. Whatever I know or don’t know, I will overcome. No matter how many times I fall or fail, I will overcome. Life did not create me to stand on the sidelines; I was created to overcome. Today is my day! And I will overcome.”

So you ready? Here’s your homework: As we begin to explore this whole idea of the unlimited me, I want you to really look at: Where is your peace? Is your peace “out there,” based on what the world is doing? Or is your peace based on the presence of God within you? Have you discovered the full power of God within you? I want you to check, today, to see if you’re living a life of peace, or if you’re moving from one anxious moment to the next. Today, come back to yourself. Come back to God. Come back to your center.

Let’s take that into prayer.

 

MEDITATION
And I want you to really just breathe for a moment. With all that’s going on in our life, I want you to just take a deep breath and come back to your center. Take a deep breath, and feel the presence of God within you. “God in me is greater than this. God in me is more powerful than this. God in me is setting me free.”

Take another deep breath. Wherever you’ve been anxious or upset or fearful, come back to yourself. Come back to God. Come back to your center. Come back to the presence and power that is within you. See, there’s a peace within you that is so big, so great, so powerful that it’s life-changing. There’s a presence within you that is infinite.

Take another deep breath and feel the presence and power of God within you. Let everything stop; let everything stop! And just breathe. Just breathe in and out the glory of God. Breathe from your center. Breathe from your essence. Breathe! Right there. Right there, breathe. Breathe until you can feel the peace that is greater than anything in the world. Breathe until you come back to your center. Come back to yourself. Come back to the calm place within you. Breathe right there.

Thank you, God, for this holy moment. Thank you, God, for my sacred self. For my essence. For the power that is within me. May I live this day fully connected to the power within me. May I live this day from the greatest version of myself. May I be transformed in every imaginable way. Thank you, God; thank you, God; thank you, God. 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. I want to thank you all for your generous support of this ministry during this time. We have one more month until we come back together, and I want to thank you for your abundance that has allowed us to move through this time with relatively grace and ease. So thank you for your generosity!

Our offering blessing is: “Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I am, all that I give, and all that I receive.” Together: “Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I am, all that I give, all that I receive.” Together: “Divine love, through me, blesses every aspect of my life.” And so it is. Amen.

God bless you, friends! Have a great week, and I look forward to being with you next week as we go through this series and truly discover the unlimited power of you. God bless you! The choir’s going to sing us out; have a great week!

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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