Galileo once said, "We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves."
I have no doubt that what Galileo was referring to was discovering the truth, the truth within ourselves. This coincides with what Ernest Holmes tells us in the wonderful Spiritual philosophy of Religious Science. God is within, truth is within.
By agreeing with life we are realizing that there are certain spiritual principles that govern life in the universe. They cannot be taught to people; they must be discovered over time and through personal experience.
Think about anyone with an addiction -- tobacco, alcohol, smoking, gambling. No matter how much people around them want them to change, it never happens until the desire comes from within.
A close friend of mine in California had a drinking problem. It ruined his first marriage. He would come home late at night after drinking and his wife would yell at him for not only being out late, but also for not calling. To which he would reply, "If I called you to say I would be late, you would yell at me, and then when I got home you would yell at me. I figured if I never called, I would only get yelled at once."
Shortly after the divorce from his first wife, he was driving drunk and ran over a mailbox. Someone saw him and telephoned the police with his license plate number. He pulled into his driveway and the police pulled in behind him, cuffed him and took him to jail. When he was released, he was at an AA meeting the next day. The court took his license away for a year. That was about 15 years ago and he has been sober ever since.
The desire to change came from deep within him; and whenever we want something, it too comes from deep within us. When we do affirmative prayer, it comes from deep within us, with our inward connection to God. When that conviction to change is released with absolute knowing into the mind of God, it is acted upon.
You can't change for the better without a better idea.
Look at the Hyundai Motor Co. for example. Some of the first cars they came out with had lots of problems. Not only did they look ugly, but they continually broke down.
Year after year the company would examine the results, take complaints to heart, re-evaluate, redesign until 2008 when they were ranked No. 1 by a consumer report for small cars. What did they do? They kept choosing a better idea.
Being smart, planning for the future and being focused on what you do want and doing affirmative prayer are all a part of the prescription for agreeing with life.
Does agreeing with life have anything to do with being grateful? Absolutely! Look at Job in the Bible. His faith never diminished throughout a series of trials that he endured. In the end, his prayers were answered.
Galileo was right when he said we can only help others discover the truth within themselves.
* The Rev. Sandra Smith, pastor of the Center for Spiritual Living. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org