There often has to be a humbling before there can be a teaching. For me, this is how the story of the Prodigal Son is my story. If my pride sneaks to the surface and when I begin to think that I know it all, that is when the lesson seems to begin. This would be my “far country” - even though I have never felt separate from God, there have been times when I have wondered where God was in my life.
The funny thing is, my “I know it all moment” has sometimes been that I am guided by the Universe. I know that God has my back so if something shows up that I feel is directing my choices, I know it is something I must pursue. The question for me then becomes, when the thing I followed doesn’t work out as I expected, where was God in that event?
One situation that comes to mind is back in 2003. I have long planted the seed that I would like to be my own boss. I released my words and feelings to the Universe and remained open to opportunities. Not long after, a franchise-type business was brought to my attention. It would require a down payment and a trip back East to get additional details and move forward. At that time, I had neither the down payment nor the funds for travel back East.
I again turned it over to Spirit, praying that if this was meant to be, the funds would show up. Well, not only did the funds show up but the company was doing the presentation in Orange County so the travel costs suddenly became more affordable AND the timing was perfect. I did my due diligence and decided this was a perfect opportunity for me.
Once back home, I started immediately on the project which was a small circular newspaper geared to new homeowners, free to them and paid for by advertisers. I found an affordable printing company and started to solicit businesses to buy ads. It was tough going! I walked the streets, knocking on doors and dropping off sample papers. I called and called and called but got very little response to my sales efforts. I hired a person experienced in selling advertising, however, she did little better than me and then quit about a month into it.
At that point, my funds were just about out and I was at a choice point of whether to continue or go back to a “real” job. Given that nothing was really showing up, I made the decision to fold the newspaper business and spruced up my resume to start applying for a corporate position. It was a very humbling moment to realize that I had failed, especially when I was certain this was my path. How, when I felt that I was guided the whole time and it all seemed to fall in place, did I end up not being successful with my venture? Was it arrogance thinking this was God’s plan for my life and wondering why would the Universe not support me fully if that was the case?
As Ernest Holmes says in The Science of Mind, “God is always God, and man can always do as he pleases. He would not be an individual unless this were possible”. I was so determined that this was my path, I stopped tuning into letting Spirit guide me. I have only now learned to ask, what is the blessing from that experience? I still yearn to be my own boss, however, I now know that there are lessons I must learn before I can be successful as my own boss. And, I know it will all happen in perfect Divine timing.
I am grateful that I was given the best robe and a ring on my hand and shoes on my feet. I was able to quickly find a job that paid well and was close to home. Not only was I not condemned for missing the mark, but I was given the “fatted calf”.
It has taken time and reflection and contemplation to recognize this was a blessed experience and I take this experience with me going forward. It is not the job opportunity or business that makes me, it is ME that makes me and I am enough. “As the prodigal returns to his father’s house, so must we return, not with a morbid mind, but consciously and definitely, with direct intent and a complete concentration of purpose. The journey back should be fraught with happiness and joyful expectation for we shall be met with a smile from the Universe and shall be folded in the arms of love forever.” (SOM, pg. 470)