Life is about how we live our lives, not the praise and recognition we get from other people, the academic degrees we earn, the corporate titles we have, or the number and type of material possessions we collect.
“The life that leads to heaven is not one of withdrawal from the world but a life in the world … it is a life of thoughtfulness, a life of behaving honestly and fairly in every duty, every affair, every task, from our deeper nature and therefore from a heavenly source.” Emanuel Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, (trans. Dole), n. 535(3)
Our lives cycle very much like the cycles of nature—we experience the four seasons within our bodies and spirits. The seasons of nature affect and reflect our current nature and spiritual state of being. Here in the Midwest, we are in the fall season. The trees are displaying their variegated colors—blazing golds, flaming reds, brilliant yellows. The sky is peppered with V formations of geese flying south to warmer weather. The crops are gathered, the pumpkins are harvested, and we’ve awoken several mornings to grass trimmed with crystal frost.
In the fall, we need to be stockpiling those things we’ve been nurturing and maintaining throughout the summer season—those things that will take us through winter. Spiritually, this is a time to reflect on each of the good and true things that have come to fruition in our lives. This is the time to begin celebrating and sharing these things with others, enjoying each other’s gifts and good will.
“[A]ngelic life consists of worthwhile, thoughtful actions, actions that are useful to others, and that all the happiness angels have is found in service, derives from service, and is proportional to service.”
Emanuel Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell (trans. Dole), n. 403
We can better live our “useful service” in this world if we furnish our minds with love for the neighbor and the ways of doing good to all. In this way, we show respect for all of God’s creation and from these resources of the Diving Being, we glean inner strength and peace in a world that can appear to be chaotic. We gain inner strength from this spiritual practice. From this place within, we can listen to the still small voice and receive the necessary guidance that will direct us on the personal spiritual pathway that God wants for us.
“The life of angels is cheerful and blessed. It consists of worthwhile activities that are deeds of thoughtfulness.”
Emanuel Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell (trans. Dole), n. 535(1)
~~Sue Marie & Rev. Bob