[If you prefer the podcast episode]
After extending the date for closing the plant from January 31 to February 24, Wrayco has almost come to its last day. I was out there this morning as the employees were coming in to work, offering my help to anyone who might be looking for a job, and handing out my business card. On the back of the card I had written, “The truth of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man—if you wholeheartedly believe it—will carry you through every transition.”
For decades I have offered help to persons who are wrestling with a major decision or looking for work. For the job hunt, I give feedback on their resumés and refer them to a website such as http://www.kent.edu/career/about-us; but the main thing I do is to take them in seven steps to more powerful decision-action or prayer. I ask, “Do you want the religious version or the non-religious version?” I share the principles with them one-by-one, invite their comments and questions, and help them to apply the principles in their own situation. Here is one way to express them.
1. Stamina. Face problems realistically for the long run. If there is a choice between two alternatives, do you have a positive attitude about dealing with the unwelcome consequences of each alternative? Cosmic stamina is there to enable you to do your best and to strengthen you as you do so.
2. Hard work. Be resourceful. Draw on counsel from various sources. Do your best to solve the difficulty. The more that you give your all, the more you will be able to discover in the process.
3. Let go. Do not cling to your analysis of the problem or your favorite ideas about what you wish for. Even your most cherished values might not be the ones that need to be fulfilled in this case. Open yourself to the deeper source of wisdom within you. Allow yourself to experience a transformation in the way that you see the facts, meanings, and values of your situation.
4. Be decisive. Once you have realized what you needed to make your decision, once you see the higher meaning and value calling you from up ahead, go for it. Don’t look back or undermine the gift you have received. A real decision is not a resolution for tomorrow; it launches action now.
5. Commit to following through. This adds power and vision to your decision.
6. Seek for wisdom, not a quick fix. You have a problem to solve, but the long-range goal is growth.
7. And whatever faith you have in yourself, other people, the universe, or God, activate it—and more.
Today I saw about ten guys with whom I had previously become friendly, and met maybe twenty new ones, diverse in attitude and receptivity. And I made a new discovery. Between the first shift beginning at 6:00 and the next group coming in by 7:00, I was running out of business cards with my message written on them; and I sat down to create more. As I was writing “the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man” it came to me: at this very moment, I am not truly experiencing the spiritual reality of what I’m writing. I’m not being, not expressing, that divine calm of truth-power as I greet these brothers. In that moment, I was able to achieve a partial upgrade, but I was not quite there. I did not devote myself enough to facilitate the cleansing of a persisting stratum of nervousness/self-consciousness/thinking about how this will look in my blogpost. As I came home, though satisfied to have done some good, I was more thrilled to recognize the next step of growth that awaits me: to put into practice what I have begun to taste in communion—emptying myself to allow the spirit of God within me to connect directly with others. A fresh occasion for prayer.