Message of Faith – The Power of Understanding

This weeks Message of Faith submitted by Rev. Joanne Rowden

The Power of Understanding

In A New Way of Thinking, Charles Roth tells us, “Spiritual understanding provides the answer to every experience that confronts us. It opens the door to strength, guidance and healing when they are needed.” As I consider the events that unfolded in our country last week, the events that unfold daily worldwide, it is clear that Spiritual Understanding is what I need in order to move from hopelessness and helplessness to power and possibility.

Understanding, like each of our Powers, is always being utilized. If I am centered in understanding from sense consciousness then I believe human knowledge is all there is. I take my understanding from what I am experiencing through my five senses and emotions. If I am centered in understanding from higher consciousness, then I open and allow Divine Ideas to inform my experience.

As events occur in the world, understanding from sense consciousness reveals all that I need to fear, be cautious of, and separate from. We have daily cries to be concerned about Muslims, police officers, black men, gay and transgendered people and people who live in low income communities. Sense consciousness understanding generalizes and separates. It is often fueled by fear. It typically causes us to react in the moment to what we see, hear or feel.

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

In Higher Consciousness, understanding reveals a greater perspective. I remember I am one with all and that all are expressions of the Divine even though the one I see or hear about may have forgotten this. I remember, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently stated, “Hate does not drive out hate, only love does that.” I realize, as Albert Einstein reminded us, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Spiritual understanding asks me to stop, breath, and turn within to discover the Divine Idea that will allow me to meet this moment in grace.

Understanding is located at the front of the brain. We use our frontal lobe every day to make decisions. It is the frontal lobe that carries out higher mental processes like planning. We can react from our reptilian fight or flight brain, or we can respond from the mental processes carried out through our frontal lobe.

Unfortunately, we hear most about those who are reacting in fight or flight mode. As such, it can be easy to believe that the world is evil and we must be very afraid. And yet I know that there are daily examples across the globe of those who are determined to live life from the deeper understanding that we are called to love, compassion and kindness.

Understanding reminds me that God stands under all of creation. Understanding reminds me that God’s desire for me, for all life, is good. Understanding reminds me that I have all that I need within me to respond to each moment with an open heart, humble and honest.

With great humility, and a willingness to have open honest conversation, we all need to engage in conscious conversation about what is happening in our world and how we are called to respond. While it is clear that this is a complex issue that will not be solved over night, we also have the understanding that there is something each of us can do to be a catalyst for change in our world.

Shariff Abdullah’s book, Practicing Inclusivity, A Workbook for Transformation is one way you can begin to study the idea of inclusivity. The workbook is filled with questions for contemplation in helping you and I to see how we can open to practicing inclusivity with others in our lives.

Individually, I invite you to know God stands under all creation. Become aware of the experiences in your life that feel like you are standing on shifting sands, where you do not feel safe, secure and supported. Each day, make a choice to stand firmly on the foundation of God by knowing you are supported by life, love, strength, intelligence and grace. As you find yourself in worry, doubt or fear, take a breath and remind yourself, God is always present and I am standing on the foundation of perfect life. Then take action from that understanding.
Join us next Sunday as our 12 Powers series continues. We will look more deeply at the Power of Will at our 9 and 11 a.m. services.

Abundant peace and blessings… Rev. Joanne


Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden is the senior minister at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake, OH. She served as the minister at Unity in Edinboro for 13 years before taking on this new position on November 1, 2014. She lives in Hinckley, OH with her husband.

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