"The joy of the Lord is your strength."
Although we live in a world where joy would seem to be denied to so many thousands because of disruptive happenings, yet it is a necessary ingredient required in our struggle through this formative period. It is a quality that builds stability and gives strength. All things in nature grow with a spontaneous joy, even under the most trying conditions, and we feel this and profit by it. It is a divine energy which flows serenely through the violence of constructive activities.
These words handed down through the centuries from wise ones of the past seem to embody a part of the great law, as regards our growth and development. "Rejoice in the Lord," the psalmist tells us. "In Thy Presence there is fulness of joy." Throughout the Bible the necessity for joy is repeated over and over again. It is insisted upon.
Can we apply this in the face of the world situation today? I believe we can. Our faith in the Divine adjustment of all things can fill us with a deep, abiding joy. By this is not meant merely the outward happiness which we all seek in our relationships with others and our physical well-being, although these too, are subject to adjustment, and can often take on the qualities of a deeper, inner joy.
In the book of Job we are told that at the creation "The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." These words came strongly to mind on reading The World We Live In, by Lincoln Barnett, with its really marvelous paintings by Cheseley Bonestell. His graphic description of the possible physical procedure in the creation of the earth only intensifies and heightens the infinite mystery of the creative principle back of it. It gives us vistas into space and time too awful to contemplate. In that awesome landscape pictured by the artist we can imagine and feel the meaning of those resounding words of the seer-poet who uttered them centuries ago. We can picture great spiritual forces at work, sons of God, and all the lives and entities down the ladder of life, occupying and working in that terrifying landscape — proceeding from the heart of the sun and singing for joy. Imagine this, amidst tumultuous action, violent but beautiful, shaping our earth from a molten, formless mass, gathering unto itself more materials as it followed its dusty, substance-filled orbit around the sun — gradually solidifying, building up huge formations of rock masses in this process; tearing them down, wiping them out, building up again new forms, tearing them down again, in endless, cyclical repetition through eons and eons of time — through the agencies of fire, water and ice. Mystery upon mystery, with still no satisfactory scientific explanation, but with the facts of the procedure written deep all over the earth's crust.
The creative process has brought us to the position we now find ourselves in, after unthinkable, immeasurable periods of time, and for more uncountable centuries that we have occupied the earth thus made beautiful and habitable for us. And we are a part of it — somewhere along the line we entered actively into the preparations — perhaps from the very beginning.
Sons of God we are, no less, who have emerged from this cosmic process of formation of worlds, and now find ourselves in the midst of other formative processes — again violent in their nature outwardly, but this time with high spiritual values at stake. It appears that we have risen to a higher plane of being and consciousness and are carrying on the creative process there, establishing spiritual principles belonging to that which we are now preparing to occupy. All of us, engaged as we are on that stupendous enterprise, are going to experience the violence and disrupting influences of the transition period.
No matter what happens, can we not feel at heart a great inner joy, while suffering outwardly perhaps, to realize what is taking place? We are in the midst of a mighty creative process, for creation is going on all the time.
Can we possibly believe that the solidified formations which have arisen and would now impede progress can stand before the inexorable power of spiritual forces at work for the re-creation of the human race? All nature's laws, all past experiences say: No, the progress of the creative impulse cannot be stopped; old forms cannot stand against the limitless tide of spiritual power flowing out of the heart of our universe, any more than the huge rock and ice formations could stand during the earth's early formative period, when the time came for the next evolutionary step.
According to this theory, our earth and ourselves will be absorbed once again into that from which we came — to disappear from physical sight in a burst of glory in the heavens. When that great day comes, who dare predict — who dare even dream of what comes next?
Ancient systems of thought, religions of the remotest past, produced wise men and seers who instructed and guided humanity in its infancy. They tell us in dramatic figures of speech what may take place in the unthinkable future. It will never be, they say, an end of all things, but an ever-progressing and expanding creation with long periods of rest for all things; solar systems and galaxies, as well as for humans and all grades of beings above and below the human kingdom, down to the smallest atom. The findings of science, especially in the field of astronomy, tend to bear this out.
Because we are now in the midst of one of these constructive periods, which is also destructive, in so many ways we suffer frightfully, many "even unto death"; and who are we to say that those who are in the thick of it can feel any joy at all? Yet in their spiritual being, which is above the suffering physical, many have found and know the great joy. They know that the sacrifice and pain are not in vain; that there is no stopping the working of the good law; that recompense will come — in fact it is here now for many who can raise their eyes, their consciousness, and vision the great Reality and join their own forces with the spiritual powers at work.
This is not so impossible or so hopeless as it may appear to be, because in raising ourselves we do not have to go far afield, for the power resides within each human heart — the God within, and a part of the cosmic God, "around whose pavilion is darkness," but whose being is light and the source of all life. Here He is available at any time, "closer than hands and feet," ready to work through us. In fact the impulse of re-creation cannot go forward unless He can work through us as his instruments.
This thought can fill us with joy; that we are necessary, are partners in the process of the creation of a new civilization. When we are drawn at last into our Divine center to rest awhile from our labors, will we not go forth again to our unfinished work — and when we return, will we not see the results of our former labors and struggles, and rejoice?
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