Sunday, October 19, 2008


I don't usually spend a lot of time accounting for gravity in my decision making. I go through my life doing this or that without wondering whether gravity is going to work. When I wad up a piece of paper and throw it across the room toward the wastebasket I don't have a plan "B" in mind, a plan for what I will do just in case that ball of paper goes up rather than down.

My faith is not like that. I don't go through life doing what love dictates without thinking about it. Despite the ambivalent conditioning I have received from my culture, and the clear revelation I have received from God, I have a plan "B"--just in case an initial approach of love doesn't work out. In fact, like many people, I have so often gone immediately to plan "B" without even trying plan "A:" approaching people and situations with love without thinking, as I approach them in regard to how objects will fall through space.

The epitome of this approach is United States foreign policy. We don't even try to use love as the basis of our foreign policy. We go with plan "B" from the get-go, backed up by out military and arsenal of nuclear weapons.

I talked to a man recently who is writing a biography of Elias Hicks. He told me that Hicks didn't believe that Jesus was born perfect, he was not really "God come to earth to take on human form." Jesus was born a man like I was, this historian/biographer said, and that in some way he attained holy perfection.

According to this man, Hicks wondered about what would be the big deal of the holiness of Jesus if he was born with it? What hope would that give to me? If, though, he was born in the same condition I was born in, and he attained perfection, that would be Good News, indeed.

So, when Jesus was at the river with John, when that white dove came down, and the words about my son with whom I am well pleased rang out, God was celebrating an event that never happened before. Moses couldn't do it, David couldn't do it. But Jesus, Jesus got it done (or it got done in Jesus).

Notwithstanding the notional dispute about the nature of the baby Jesus, when he stepped out of that river we know it is written that he always went with plan "A"--he faced every situation he encountered with love. He had no plan "B." If plan "A" doesn't seem to be working, the way I read the Bible, then we don't get what "working" means within the context of the Kingdom.

While I doubt I am ever going to be transformed to the point that I will never go to plan "B," I can see, looking back through time, that the work of Spirit done in me has developed my ability to--more and more although not always--at least give plan "A" a try before I go to plan "B."

I will probably never automatically act in every situation with the kind of faith in love that I have in gravity. But I am thankful for the work of the Spirit that has improved my ability to at least give love a try before I go to plan "B." I am also thankful for the now-proven promise of being given even more power to love, initially, in those situations where plan "B" would have been my approach.


Tom said...

Oh my word!

Laughed out loud at the first paragraph, and am positively inspired by the whole rest of it!

Thank you so much for sharing this with us... I feel completely ready to drop all "plan Bs" from my brain now- the brain here will probably keep producing them for a while, but theres no reason for me to store them in any file...

Ive been looking a good deal about this sense of "surrender" - much as the poet Rumi would speak of it (as many others, of course) - and this of course is exactly what there is to surrender - any Plan B - any "attachment" to "what if?" or "what about me?"...

just Plan "A" - LOVE it!


Tom Smith said...

Plan B sounds to means the "human" way and I appreciate that Plan A is identified as the "Love" way.

"I can see, looking backward through time, that the work of Spirit done in me has developed my ability -- more and more although not always -- at least give plan 'A' a try before I go to plan 'B'."

I do not give myself as much credit, but rather look backward at other "guides" who have dealt with circumstances using "Plan A" and often have suffered some consequences for their actions. However, in this looking backward I am also reminded of the present guide that "speaks to my condition," and provides the strength and power to overcome the tendencies of my will vis-a-vis the coming of the Kingdom by doing the will of "God."

Ron Marson said...

Hello Timothy,

Good to read your blog for the first time. You said:
"If plan "A" doesn't seem to be working, the way I read the Bible, then we don't get what "working" means within the context of the Kingdom."

I like your way of saying this. Plan "A" may not seem to be "working" according to me, but plan "A" in the larger context is always working, because "A" is what "A" is. God's will, plan "A," has a certain kind of perfection that may not be my idea of perfection. So what? If I have any wisdom at all, I can at least be sure that I don't personally know how things should work out. I only have my point of view, which too, is part of plan "A."

In other words, there never was a plan "B" except in your mind and my mind and Jesus' mind and all apparently separate minds (which aren't really separate at all.) Jesus was a human being, experiencing appreciation or frustration that "B" never happens, just like the rest of us. And Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, just like the rest of us, when we realize our plan "B" loving or not (according to me), is always incorporated in plan "A".

Every so called separate entity in the universe is always doing God's will, whether it know it or not, because we are not two. Perfection becomes perfectly obvious when my mind gives up trying to understand this and simply rests in the vast intelligence of plan "A." Jesus, you and me have been God's right hand all along, and will ever be so.
There is no separation. There is no escaping Unity!

My mind will never understand this, but when it remains open before the Unknown in a condition of not-knowing (a very scary place), then One Heart knows this certain kind of Perfection.