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Preparing for a walk on the footpath of Life Sermon 10/04/2 
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:43 pm
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Location: Devon
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Post Preparing for a walk on the footpath of Life Sermon 10/04/2
I am an outdoor type of person, whether it’s camping, walking, gardening or even enjoying a ride on my motorcycle with the breeze on my face, I love just love being outdoors. In South Devon we are particularly blessed as we have some of the most beautiful scenery in these islands. Be it the openness and expanse of the moors, the rugged cliffs of the coast at Berry Head, the wildlife of Dawlish Warren and the Teign estuary, the rolling countryside of the South Hams or the sandy beaches which bring tens of thousands of tourists each year. Each a different landscape, yet each beautiful in its own way. I can step out of my door and within minutes reach many of the above destinations, with the others around half an hour away. I give praise for this.

Being in within easy reach of such natural splendour I enjoy a good days walking. But before I step outside I have to prepare myself. I have to put on the right footwear for the conditions of the paths. I have to wear suitable clothing. I have to take food and water for substance to provide energy. And I have to take a map to show me which paths I need to take and where to avoid.

Life can be very similar to a long distance walk. There will be ups and downs, stony paths, stiles to cross, various challenges and much beauty along the way. As we prepare to walk this footpath of life, just like we prepare ourselves for a long hike on the wild open moorland, we need to ensure we are adequately equipped. Our feet need protection so we can step forward from one day into another. Our bodies need clothing to shield us from harsh elements. Our souls need substance to provide energy. And our minds need to follow a path away from harm and danger. Some might feel this is a strange way of looking at things and it bears no relation to reality. But can you imagine what life would be like if we could not face the following day? That we shrivelled inside ourselves to challenges and insults thrown at us? That we had no food or water? And if we chose to ignore every danger sign putting our lives and possibly those of others at risk? It would be a very hollow and possibly short physical existence. By being prepared for a long distance walk, not only are you eliminating risk, you get more from it. In life, if you are prepared for the path ahead you will also get more from it.

The footpath of life is one of spiritual connection. If we look to the holy Bible and the Book of Psalms 1.1-3 it reads, ‘Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers’.

To put it simply by attaching ourselves to what some refer to as the Godly powers of the cosmos and the Earth, and not being distracted by an obsession with materialism and appeasing those that follow a materialist path we will prosper.

If we attune our minds to the wonders of the cosmos and the spirit of the Earth, actually believing we are part of something bigger we can step forward with confidence.
If we attune ourselves to these great wonders, we feel surrounded by their energies, cloaking us and protecting us.
If we attune our minds to these great wonders, we can feel not only these energies around us, but within us as well.
And if we attune ourselves to these great wonders, listening to the voice within us instead of the artificial distractions on the outside, we know we are being steered on the correct path.

That last sentence probably rings a cord with many people. I’m sure we have all had a voice inside us at some point in our lives and can count on experiences where we can say ‘Something told me...’.
I’m not speaking of some mild form of schizophrenia, but an inner inclination which acts as our inner guide to keep us on the correct path. By attuning ourselves to the Godly energies of the cosmos and of the Earth we can move forward with great confidence in our lives - as we know we are part of what is a natural balance. Meditation can unlock the door to greater attunement, putting us in touch with our inner selves as well as the great energies and is the preparation required for the long distance path of life itself.

When considering the journey of life, and looking upon it as a walk, I always remember the Buddhist story Bikkhu Kumarakassapa told Governor Payasi.
There were two close friends who were seeking precious things overseas. First of all they found hay. So each of them collected the hay and carried it, thinking that they might sell it for cattle food.
When they had walked a long way, they found a big parcel of gold. The first friend said, ‘Friend, we should throw away the hay and carry the parcel of gold home instead. The second friend refused to do this. ‘No’ he said, ‘I won’t throw it away, because I have carried it quite a long way’.
So the first friend threw away the bunch of hay and carried the parcel of gold home, whilst the second friend carried the hay.
When they got back home, the first friend was praised by his family, but the second one was blamed by his family because he had been stupid enough to carry the hay home, when he also could have carried the gold.

We are all like the two friends. On our journey of life we can either take home the worthless things or something far more valuable and precious. Although the distractions of the material world can make us happy for short periods, they always leave us with a quest for more. We have seen that this week with the super-rich and their offshore bank accounts to make their financially rich lives even richer. If we continue to grasp at the distractions of the material world we will never satisfy ourselves as we are truly lost on the long distance path of life. But if we attune ourselves to the greater forces of the cosmos and the Earth we become part of the natural balance and one whereby we are spiritually satisfied.

Those that are not spiritually inspired may mock what I say and claim it is a load of rubbish. For such people I say one thing. In life we all need time to rest and recharge our batteries, whether we are spiritually inspired or not. We all know what it is like when we are tired, we make mistakes. When my children were younger they had a toy where penguins would go up steps, slide down a ski slope and then repeat the whole procedure time and time again. When the batteries ran low, the penguins would pile up at the bottom of the steps and fail to reach the ski slope at the top. If we fail to recharge our batteries we will be like the penguins and pile up at the bottom of the steps. By taking time out not only to relax our bodies but also our minds through meditation we recharge those batteries. I believe through this meditation we connect with the Godly energies of the cosmos and the Earth, the non-believers will simply look upon this as a period of deep relaxation, but whether we believe or not the result is we have a clearer vision of the way ahead and our minds are refreshed.

As I finish writing this sermon, I shall be reaching for my Ordinance Survey Map of Dartmoor and planning my next walk. Just as my map shall guide me on my moorland walk, the attachment of my mind and spirit to the great and Godly forces of the cosmos and the Earth shall guide me on the long distance footpath of life.

As we step forwards from day to day on the footpath of life,
May we take time to refresh our bodies and our minds,
To connect with the energies of the universe and the Earth,
So they may help guide and protect us on our journey of spiritual and physical life,
We do this knowing we walk in the footsteps of ascended masters,
And although we do not know our destiny in this world,
We know by allowing the energies to reach us,
Our final destination will be eternal life. Amen

Rev. Richard Heyse

Sermon taken from the website at http://www.ulcsouthdevon.weebly.com


Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:02 pm
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Post Re: Preparing for a walk on the footpath of Life Sermon 10/04/2
Thank you! Very inspiring!

_________________
"To be united with the Lord of Love
Is to be freed from all conditioning."

The Tejabindu Upanishad


Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:35 am
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