We Inspire People to Live Better Lives

11.06.2019

Gratitude for Help

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers
40 Days of Gratitude

Click HERE to download this transcript.

Rev. Richard Rogers: Okay, you ready? We got two people!

[Congregation laughs]

The rest of you just buckle up, because here we go, right? So my question is: Do you believe in God?

Congregation: Yes!

Rev. Richard Rogers: Forty percent; 50%; 60%; 70%. So, what’s interesting about this is – because this is a question I want to come back to over and over again. Because I know that you could come to Unity every week and, from a psychological point of view, or from an emotional point of view, this teaching makes sense. Does that make sense? So, from an emotional point of view, I think it’s just healthy, right? From a psychological point of view, I believe that it’s just healthy… That there are some scary religious experiences. Not to judge, but they’re just “whack.” Right?

[Congregation laughs]

And I say that with no judgment about it at all, right? But what I want you to see is that, from an emotional and psychological point of view, it’s just solid. It’s solid. Right? But there’s something more profound; there’s a greater experience when you move into a relationship and a deepening spiritual experience. When you move into an experience with the Divine, with God. And it doesn’t discount the psychological or the emotional. It just takes it to another level. And over and over again, what I want you to see is that, as we deepen our spiritual life – as we believe, as we experience more and more God in our lives – it changes everything.

So if you were last week, I came as a butterfly. It wasn’t my choice; it really felt like divine guidance. I didn’t get up one day and say, “Woo! Can I be a butterfly?” It just wasn’t my… It wasn’t my… It just was a long story, but, yes. So I took off the butterfly, and as I’m driving home, I’m thinking to myself, “Oh, that is over! I do not have to be a butterfly.” And, of course, as soon as that thought came out of my mind, the inner guidance says, “Yeah, but you’re going to wear it again on Sunday.”

[Congregation laughs]

Right? Now, some of you know that I’m also being an interim minister up in Prescott, so I’m doing Sundays up in Prescott. So the idea was that I would do it here, it would be over, and I’d go back to being normal, and… Right? So I did it, and then Spirit says, “And you’re going to do it one more time.” And I’m like, “Well, they don’t really know me.”

[Rev. Rogers and congregation laugh]

Right? “Like, these people know me, right? They give me a pretty wide space to show up all the ways I show up, man. There’s a lot of love in that room, right? But these people are learning me. Right? And I’m 6’4”, and I’m going to show up as a butterfly on a Sunday morning. It’s after Halloween, God! They’re not going to get it! It’s not going to work.” So I had this whole conversation as I’m driving home, and guess who’s winning that conversation?

[Congregation laughs]

Because the voice – that knowing inside – just says, “And you’re going to wear your butterfly to Sunday.” So guess what I did on Sunday? So I kind of hedged my bets. You know, with you guys, I came out from the first moment of the service in my butterfly: proud, brave, little butterfly! I’m out, right? I kind of subtly… I did the first part of the service there in my normal clothes. When they were doing the solo before my talk, I went to my office there and I changed into the butterfly, and then I came out. Right? So they just got a few moments; they didn’t get any moments before the talk. They got the whole butterfly.

So after service, I quickly again take off my butterfly. I’m greeting people, and the lady says, “Do you have time for a story?” And I said, “Well, sure; of course!” And she said, “Well, I’ve been struggling.” And I said, “Oh?”  She said, “I’ve been really struggling, and I wanted a sign.” And she said, “You know, I prayed last night that Jesus would give me a sign that Jesus is listening, that God is present in my life, and that I can trust that my life is moving forward, and that I’m really doing the spiritual things I should be doing.” And she said, “I wanted a sign.” And I said, “And how did that work for you? How’d that go?” She said, “Well, what I asked for was that I wanted to see a butterfly.”

[Congregation gasps]

It got me! Man, it got me! And she said, “You know, I got up the next morning, and I was looking for a butterfly.” She said, “But this is the wrong season! I mean, it’s freezing in the morning. Like, there’s no butterflies in the morning.” So she said, “Well, maybe it’s going to be in the PowerPoint or maybe they’re going to have a butterfly thing here. And then, you come out!”

[Rev. Rogers and congregation laugh]

And she said, “I just started bawling! You know, I just started bawling! Because there it was: the sign that I wanted the most.” And I said, “And it was 6’4”, and it was walking right down the aisle, right?”

[Congregation laughs]

And she said, “And you’re a beautiful butterfly!” And I said, “Well, that’s definitely debatable, but thank you so much!”

And so what I want you to see today is that, sometimes when we get into our head or into our emotions, it’s hard for us to believe that we’re having a relationship with the Infinite. And there’s something that we kind of scale things down to things that are just understandable. Like, I don’t think the ministers in that church have ever dressed like a butterfly! Like, in the 50-year tradition of that ministry, I don’t know if there’s been one minister who dressed as a butterfly in that 50-year tradition. But, Spirit was very clear with me.

Now, Spirit told me to do that even before she asked for a sign! Do you see that? Like, on Wednesday night, Spirit’s saying, “You’re going to dress as a butterfly,” and I’m thinking it’s for me. I’m thinking it’s for me to practice moving outside my bubble. Not that my bubble’s not big enough! But, you know, you kind of shrink sometimes into your little bubble. And I think it’s for me, and it’s Spirit saying, “No; you need to practice just going outside your bubble.” And then on Sunday morning – or Sunday afternoon – I realize: Richard, not everything’s about you.

[Congregation laughs]

Who knew, right? Right? Who knew that everything wasn’t about me? I really would have [Congregation laughs]

That sometimes Spirit knows things that my human mind absolutely could not fathom, and begins to line things up in a way that makes no intellectual sense or emotional sense, but is powerful! And dramatic!

So I want to talk about how God helps us tonight. I want to talk about all the ways that God helps us. And I want to ask you – in your life – is there a place where you’ve been looking for a sign? Is there a place where you’re not sure where to turn, and you really need to know what the highest and the best is for you … and maybe you need a sign? And would you be willing to ask for more help than you’ve ever had before: God, give me a sign! Spirit, give me a sign! Show me which way is my way! Show me which way is the best way!

You know, there’s over 30 times in Scripture where Jesus says, “Ask.” He said, “Ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, and just in case you didn’t do it, ask.” Ask! So if you were going to ask for a sign in any area of your life, where would you ask for a sign? Do you need a sign in your relationships? In your finances? In your work? In your personal life? Do you just want to know if God’s listening? I want you to ask for whatever sign you want, to know that you are walking in the Light. That you are walking in the Grace of God. So that you are walking in all the good that God has for you.

Many years ago, there was a minister who was working at Unity Village in the church headquarters, who I wanted to come and join our staff. I wanted her to be the pastoral care minister, many years ago. And she had a great job at Unity Village, and I didn’t care; I wanted her! I wanted her to come; I thought she was going to be a great blessing here. I wanted her to come. So I talked to her; I interviewed her over the phone. We spoke about it, and she just said, “Richard, you know, I’ve got such a great position here. You know, I’m not sure I want to go back into field ministry. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And I said, “Okay, but I just felt called to invite you; I feel called that you’re supposed to be here. I feel really like this is going to work.”

So she said, “You know, I went for a drive...” And if you’ve ever been to Unity Village, there’s a lot of corn fields. If you go south from Unity Village, there’s corn fields in every direction, if you go south. And she said, “So I got in my car after I got off work, and I said, ‘God; I need a sign, and I’m just going to drive. I’m gonna drive until I get a sign.” So she called me a couple of hours later. She said, “Richard, you’re never going to believe what’s happened.” She said, “I was driving through this little town, and there’s only one fast food restaurant in this whole town. And it’s an Arby’s.” And she said, “I was driving through this little town, and I’m looking around, and Arby’s had just release their new Western beef sandwich: it had bacon and barbecue sauce, and they’d just released it. And on the billboard of this Arby’s it said: ‘GO WEST: IT’S BETTER THERE.’”

[Congregation laughs]

Right? And she said she pulled into the parking lot of Arby’s and just started to cry, because right there. Like, Spirit was guiding and directing her in ways that she could never have imagined. And there was her sign!

And, over and over again, I want you to see that there’s more help. There’s more guidance! There’s more direction! And was that sign at Arby’s for everybody who drove through that little town that night? Yes! That sign was there for everybody! But for her – for the person that asked for it – that sign completely was a game-changer!

Now, there are some who believe, “Well, maybe it wasn’t there for everybody!” I’m not going that far tonight. Right? You can decide that. But what I want you to see is that I believe that we’re having an intimate relationship with the Divine. And that there is something that happens when we have an intimate relationship with the Divine that we call it Grace. And it doesn’t always make sense how it works. It doesn’t always make sense how you open to a level of good that just feels different.

Can we play the video track; I have a video track that I want to share with you. [Screen shows innovative swing where water pours down from the swing, stopping each time the swinger passes directly under it, so they don’t get wet.] It’s a swing set! And it’s computer/water-enhanced. But look what happens. Can you see that? The water comes down, and every time the person on the swing set is going where the water comes, the water stops. Isn’t that fascinating? I looked at it for four or five times over the last couple of days. And the more I stared at it, the more I just felt: that’s Grace!

Like, Grace isn’t that stuff’s not happening; but Grace is that the Universe lines you up to where you’re supposed to be right at the very moment you’re supposed to be there to get the greatest level of blessing.

And what I want you to see tonight is that, I think some of us are just like guys who are lost. Have you ever been with a guy who’s lost and doesn’t want to ask for directions?

[Congregation laughs]

Right? And it used to be – before GPS – right? That we would actually have to pull our car over and to admit to another man that we’re lost, and that we need help. That’s the whole basis of AA right there!

[Congregation laughs]

Right? That is the entire basis of AA is admitting to another human being that we’re lost: that we can’t do it by ourselves, and that we need help! And you expected us to do it over and over again on the same trip! That was never gonna happen! There was never a wedding or a date or an anniversary that was that important that we weren’t afraid to miss! We would not stop! We would not ask for help!!!

And, over and over again, what I want you to see is that we’re kind of doing that with God. Because, do you have free will? Yes!!! Do you ever have to ask for help? No!!! And, in fact, if you don’t ask for help, Spirit won’t help you.

One of my favorite lines is when Jesus is in the Garden before his crucifixion, and Peter wants to help him. And he goes to take out his sword to defend him, and in that moment, Jesus says to him, “Could I not call forth legions of angels that would come to my assistance?” Puts the sword away.

And what I want you to see tonight is: I believe that there is so much divine support for each and every one of us, but that we have to ask for it. We have to be willing to ask for the unlimited support of God to come right where we are. Like, I really like the idea of you asking for legions of angels to help you get to work on time. [Mimics someone talking to him]: “Well, Richard; that’s such a petty thing.” It’s not! God wants to help you in every step and every moment: in every experience of your life! There is so much divine assistance available to you, but that you have to ask for it! And the more that you ask for it, the more it works! The more that you see it work! The more you use it – the more you use it at higher and higher levels and more and more wonderful ways – to actually come to your aid!

Jesus said, “All that the Father has is mine.” He knew that he had permission – he had been gifted with everything that God is. So, over and over again, he asked for what he needed. Because he also said, “It’s the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” It’s God’s good pleasure! Could I not call forth legions of angels that would come to my assistance?

See, over and over again, what I want you to see is that we’ve made life incredibly too hard. First, we think we have to understand it, and we don’t. You don’t have to understand how God’s going to be God for you. You don’t have to understand how God’s going to bless you or show up in your life or open doors that look impossible to open… You don’t have to understand any of that! You just have to ask for help! And the more often you ask – and the greater way that you ask, and can you call forth legions of angels – yes! And the more that you ask, the more that everything in your life gets to be run by Grace.

Now, does it mean that you don’t have anything to do and, from this point on, you can just sit on the couch and eat bon bons? No! Heavens no! But every step you take is important to God. Every step you take you are backed by legions of God’s blessings. You’ve never been alone! You can’t be alone!

A Course of Miracles says, “If you knew who was standing on your right arm, you would never be afraid.” What I want you to see tonight is that there is so much divine support for you… but you have to ask! You have to as over and over and over again.

So let’s break it down just a little bit more. So what is the requirement for you to be more supported?

Well, first you have to believe. You actually have to believe that there’s a higher level of support available to you, and that support wants to support you. You actually have to believe that you’re having this spiritual relationship, that there’s a Power greater than your personality… Greater than your intellect… Greater than how cute you are. There’s a Power greater than that, that will absolutely come to your aid over and over and over again, if you’re willing to ask. So you have to ask.

And Jesus said you have to ask believing that you’re going to receive it. You have to ask knowing that you’re going to receive it.

You know, Unity teaches what we call affirmative prayer. And affirmative prayer isn’t about beseeching God, or begging God, or having the loudest or the saddest or the most pathetic prayer. It’s actually praying knowing that it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. It’s praying knowing that whatever you ask for, you’ve already been given spiritually. That you can’t be separate from your good. That instead of saying, “God, save me!”, it’s, God, I give thanks, right here, right now, that you open the door to every good thing that I desire.”

So the first thing is that we have to actually believe. We have to believe.

The second thing that I really want you to look at is that we also have to be willing to feel important enough, valuable enough. Because sometimes we limit the amount of good that we allow in our lives simply because we don’t think that we’re worthy of anything more than that. And no matter how much more good God would like to pour into your life – no matter how many more blessings, no matter how much of a greater life you could be living – we set the parameters through how much we value ourselves. And even though we could ask God, “Please help me! Save me! Fix me!” If our value doesn’t allow us to receive, we will not receive it. We can have the blessings of God stacked up 10 feet deep, and if our value gets in the way of that, over and over again, we don’t really allow ourselves to be blessed.

So it’s not just enough to believe; you actually have to feel worthy of receiving it. Because it is a bit of a deal to feel worthy of all that God is. I don’t think there’s a spiritual person alive who isn’t challenged and tested by feeling worthy of the full blessings that are available to each and every one of us. I mean, it’s a big deal to say to yourself that all that the Father has is mine. You actually have to open a space to think, “Am I really worthy of all that God is?”

And the third is that you have to be open and receptive. You really have to practice receiving. We have a hard time receiving. We have a hard time receiving from our family and friends. You know, if someone takes you out to lunch, most of us are more comfortable if we’re buying than if somebody’s buying lunch for us. Because now what do I do? Do I have to take them out this week, next week? How do I make it up? And we get ourselves all “twitter-bated,” instead of just really allowing ourselves to receive. So then we have to practice receiving.

And what Jesus taught us over and over again is the greatest way – the fourth way – is also gratitude. You know, we’ve been in this 40-day period of gratitude. And what I want you to see over and over again is that, when you realize how blessed you are – when you realize how much help there is, when you realize how much assistance and abundance there is with everything in your life – if it doesn’t just lead you to overwhelming gratitude, I don’t know what should. Because every night as we give thanks for all the ways that we’ve been blessed – as we really practice counting our blessings – over and over again, what I want you to see is how much the hand of God is active in your life. That God is right there in every little thing! And I want you to really feel with me how – as we give thanks – we’re really willing and able to acknowledge that there’s even greater good for us.

It’s no small thing to live a spiritual life. It is really one of the things that I think is the most profound. And I want you to be wildly blessed. Okay?

So, if you could ask for one thing tonight, could you ask for it believing that it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give it to you? Could you ask knowing that the infinite Universe has more than enough to grant that and everything else? Can you feel worthy of it? Truly, deeply, profoundly worthy of all that you desire? Then can you just be open to receive it? And part of being open to receiving it is: it’s probably not going to show up the way you think it’s going to show up. Most of us aren’t financially blessed from winning the lottery, but we’re all open and receptive to that!

[Congregation laughs]

 

Right? But for more of us, that’s not the way we get financially blessed! Right? So we have to be open and receptive to all the ways that God wants to bless us. And then we give thanks. Over and over again, we give thanks. And we end up living these very humble, wonderful little lives.

Are you willing to play?

So here’s your homework. And you can decide; it’s kind of a multiple-choice homework assignment tonight. First homework assignment is: I want you to just really get clear in your own mind and heart if there’s an area in your life where you need a sign, I want you to ask for a sign. And I want you to be willing to just let your soul be surprised, whatever the way it is. I want you just to be open and receptive to whatever your sign is. Just let it be clear. God, show me; lead me; guide me; give me a sign.

The second thing is: I want you to check – to do an internal soul check – and ask yourself the question: Am I really willing to be helped more? Am I really willing to be helped more in my relationships? In my finances? In my work? In my family life? Am I willing to be helped more in whatever it is. And I want you to really take an honest inventory of yourself, and to really see if there’s a place – and probably in the place where you need the most help is probably the place where it’s most difficult for you to receive it. And that’s the place where I want you to have a breakthrough. Right there, God: I want help right here. And just ask for it! Ask for it knowing that you are going to receive help.

Are you willing? Okay, let’s pray:
I invite you to open your mind, your heart, your soul to the activity of God that is right here, right now. There is so much good; there is so much God available to each and every one of us. And I want you to really be prepared for your 6’4” butterfly to show up in your life. And I don’t know what that’s going to be for you, but I want you to say, “God, I want a sign that’s as big as a 6’4” butterfly! I want a sign that’s so big – so wonderful, so out there – that I can not miss it! That is so clear that You guide me and direct me in all ways. And for this I give thanks.” And so it is. Amen.

Copyright 2019 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

Menu >