1997-06-08-Willingness to Sacrifice
Topic: Willingness to Sacrifice
Group: Nashville TeaM
Ham: Greetings, children, I am Ham and I thank you all for having come here this evening to have our discussion. Tonight, the lesson is about willingness to sacrifice. People, that is human beings, all have to learn to sacrifice. This is all part of your training and is integral to your spiritual development.
Most humans have little understanding of what the attitude of sacrifice is. The attitude of sacrifice involves being willing to throw down your nets and to take up other burdens when the time is right. Being willing to sacrifice involves letting go of relationships or a relationship that is difficult even heart-rending to do.
Most of you have something that is difficult to release, that you feel tied to, that would hurt you to let go. But, there must come a time for the realization of upward and onward movement, that you need to move past this beggar at your sleeve and focus ahead not behind.
The Father in his infinite wisdom requires these kinds of sacrifices in your lives time and time again. He requires that you gradually cling only to him for guidance, for comfort, and for support and this requirement means that those heart-tugging ties that pull you in other directions be severed.
Sometimes it's an obsession with someone or something who or that cannot give you what you are seeking there. Sometimes it's an unforgiven pain that is always in the back of the mind coloring the present with bitterness and anxiety. Sometimes, it's the immature wishing for something that can never be, the attempt to see yourself as you wish you were instead of how and who you are.
It is difficult to sacrifice something that is so much a part of you, a part of your reality, how you see yourself and the world. But, still the sacrifice is required and the pain of the separation is not lasting.
Usually, these kinds of sacrifices are made a little at a time. Then you find that miraculously not only did you survive this sacrifice, but you are better for it and you see that you were dragging a dead weight that was holding you back. There are times when you might receive comfort from your memories and misplaced hopes, but in the end, you must walk forward on your own path and communicate with the Father through your own soul and walk to eternity with him.
So, don't feel sad about circumstances or people that you couldn't change. Allow yourselves the freedom to sacrifice unwanted baggage. The willingness to sacrifice certain things helps, but the willingness to sacrifice anything is ultimate freedom. Have the faith and the courage to sacrifice those things that you know you should.
Sometimes its like a tree that is sickly and bearing bitter fruit. The gardener, digs around the roots, shocking the tree, then gives it food and prunes away the dead branches. Only then does the tree begin to grow into its real potential. There is always some pain and heartache preceding growth and vibrancy in your lives.
Have faith, my children, all will be well and correctly understood in the final analysis of your lives. At this stage, you live amid pain, uncertainty, and disappointment. But, you must understand that these are the ingredients that make you grow. They are the digging around the roots. Are there any questions?
Q: When you say we sacrifice these relationships and things that are obstacles, I know you give us the story of the tree. In the tree the gardener is taking something there and making it better. In the beginning when you said sacrifice the relationships I took it to mean that you said to get away from them or eliminate them from you life, How should I understand this? There are many relationships I could get away from.
Ham: Sometimes, it's the actual removal that is required, but usually when I speak of sacrifice I am referring to the sacrifice of a dependency or some emotional clinging that needs severing. Sometimes this requires the physical separation as well, but not always. Is this aiding your understanding?
Q: Our culture understands sacrifice somewhat differently than the way you presented it. Historically, we have this idea that sacrifice means giving up all that is pleasurable. There is this underlying idea that if we enjoy something it must be bad. I don't think this is what you mean. Can you distinguish between your meaning of sacrifice and the idea that we must give up pleasure or enjoyment because that is bad?
Ham: Well, there are true and false pleasures. A pleasure can become a vice that then becomes a drag on your spiritual development, but that does not mean that all pleasure is undesirable. Look closely at the Master's life, he lived his life in such a way as to experience a great deal of pleasure even though this was at various times in his life frowned upon by society. What society views as moral and immoral changes over the years. For example, in Jesus's time he enjoyed drawing, but in that society it was viewed as immoral to indulge in an idolatrous undertaking. So, this is not what I am talking about, but what society views as right or wrong as moral or immoral. The sacrifices each individual must make only he knows or she knows what they are. For every person they are unique, and as you grow in the spirit these sacrifices change. But for each person they are different. One person might worship wealth and need to sacrifice that attitude. Another might have unreal expectations and so on and so forth. These things I have enumerated. Is this helping?
Q: Since nothing other than spiritual energies give us that fulfillment, it is like chasing a ghost?
Ham: Correct, exactly
Q: I am not an expert on anything in this life, but I come closest to being an expert on dependency and all its ramifications, you would think that to understand it as well as I do, or as well as many of us to, it would be easy or certainly possible to make the adjustment.
Q: But obviously it is not.
Ham: Not possible or not easy
Q: It is not easy.
Ham: They are the polar opposites of the spectrum of human reactions. One is the animal based fear, fear of the world, the other is the spiritual based love for the world. One can look at the total breadth of human reactions and they are always an expression of one or the other or both.
Q: The world meaning reality?
Q: Reality meaning God?
Q: The animal fear of being consumed?
Q: I find that I an not only unwilling to let go of some of these things, I am also unwilling sometimes to even look at them. I suspect others have the same problem too.
Ham: For every person, there is a time lag between the actual time when something should be let go and the time when the person is ready to let go. This time element is also individual and should not be arbitrary. Often things are obvious to everyone else but you, so to speak. But this doesn't mean you can be pushed into making a decision prematurely. When the time is right, the decision comes easily, but before that, these decisions are a struggle.
Q: Even if the person is not ready, but know that it should be done, it is hard and so forth, but shouldn't they just go ahead and do it?
Q: The Master said in the Urantia book, he warned his disciples to not get lazy and take their hand from the plough lest their seraphim leads them into troubled times to spur them on. Would you comment on that and I wonder how close I am to that situation. I had always hoped to stay ahead of that.
Ham: This admonition was for the disciples who were easily distracted from the whole-hearted dedication to the spiritual life. You are not so easily distracted. Do not fear that you will be led into perilous adventures.
Q: That's good to hear. Going along with this topic, it's disconcerting to me that everything I have ever quit, it was a matter of hours or days before I was fixing to die from it. It's discouraging and it s a pattern that is depressing and discouraging to me. Can I go ahead and widen this into my usual question.
Ham: Don't get discouraged, son, you are securely on the road to recovery from all addictions. You are reflecting on the understanding that you feel defeated. You are learning things concerning the inner life that you are allowed to explore. Be happy that you have this opportunity and glad to be under the Father's watchful gaze. Choose happiness, be of light heart and cheerful countenance. All is well.
Q: Do you have anything for Rebecca?
Q: Anything for Esmirelda?
Ham": Child, don't fear, everything is as it should be at this time. Don't worry about others for they are cared for in the morontial and spiritual realms as are you. All will be given that which is needed. Don't worry, you are going through a time of uncertainty and restlessness which is natural. Have patience and understanding all is well.
Q: I have to call Mirriam back tonight, would you like to say anything to her and her husband?
Ham: No, not at this time.
Q: Do you have any advice for me?
Ham: Yes, thank you for asking. Your life is certainly being filled with love and friendships. You are an easily opened person who is easily able to receive comfort and support. This openness is a blessing and you should be thankful for your great spiritual capacity for love. Let love be the focus of your life. Allow yourself to love freely and allow yourself to receive love freely.
Q: Ham do you have any feedback for me tonight?
Ham: Yes, you are making great progress Brodan. Your life is easier than it was and you are happier than you were say five years ago. Little by little, you are learning to be open and vulnerable in allowing love in from all directions. The greater spiritual nature is beginning to outshine all the intellectual assertions and defensive reactions that used to more or less dominate your worldly interaction. Let your spiritual being grow unhampered, allow the heart center to expand wider and wider. Imagine it expanding to a city block and then a city and on and on onto infinity. Don't be fearful of anything, you have the answer already.
Q: I would appreciate any advice Ham.
Ham: Vontis, you are slowly making progress as well. Don't worry that everything isn't completed already. Just be and be happy, thankful, and worshipful with the Father's love and all will be alright.
Q: Ham, do you have anything for me.
Ham: Certainly. Be careful not to strive with men, but to love each man as your misguided and perhaps erring brother. Allow yourself the freedom to love without judgment or fear. The lessons of fatherhood are gradually soaking in, and you are beginning to be able to see all men as the Father sees them and now you must allow yourself to love them as the Father does. This loving attitude is easy for you, have the courage to see it through and you will soon discover the wonder of seeing the world through new eyes and feeling your heart to be transformed. Fear not, son, all experience is real and ultimately purposeful.
If there is nothing further to relate, I will take my leave.