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Do You Know The Shepherd?

Lorraine Sinkler’s 1982 Chicago Closed Class

Tape 1, Side 2: Catalog No. 8201

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Most people pray and pray, telling God all the things that they need, and so seldom are those prayers answered. One day the world will awaken to the truth that for answered prayer there must be a state of receptivity, so that we can become aware of what God has to impart to us. For God is forever revealing Itself to the person who is willing to sit in the Silence, in quietness and confidence, waiting for God’s word to come from within to tell him:

“I am with you, no matter where you go. I will not leave you, no matter how long you live on this earth, and when you depart from this earthly experience, you will find me right there with you. I will never leave you, for I am the very life of your being, the very substance of your body, the very activity of your life. You may think that I am afar off, you may think I have deserted you and left you, but I will never leave you, never, never.

I am an all-embracing and tender caring Love which will never forsake you. If you have thought it had to come through some person, you will learn, even when the person is moved out of your experience, that Love is still there, because it is the love of God omnipresent where you are, from which you can never be separated.”

And if you “lack,” you have only to be silent, let the mind become still and stop trying to tell Me, the omniscient Wisdom within you, what you think you need. I will give you all-ness. For I say unto you: It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. You don’t have to beg for it, you don’t have to make impossible promises, you only have to accept it.”

We, as Infinite Way students, know that the answer to every problem, whatever its nature, is to turn within, to continue that quest within for perfection and wholeness, to discover the Self that we really are, and to realize that we are not this fleshly body. This is only the outer shell of what we really are. For in each one of us is planted Divinity, the fullness of God.

The Kingdom of God is within you. You do not have to seek outside yourself for supply or employment, you do not have to struggle for love and companionship. This Presence within is all those things. It does not bring them to you. It expresses Itself as these things. And It says: “I am the bread of life, which sustains and maintains you forever and forever.”

It’s all so simple, but so true. If we abide in this truth of our conscious oneness with the Source of all life, there is nothing that is withheld. But we have to dwell in that, not visit, but dwell always in the “secret place of The Most High,” in the conscious awareness that we can never be separated from what we are.

We gain that conscious awareness as we study spiritual wisdom, as we learn to meditate, to “pray the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man,” which availeth much. That prayer is not beseeching God for what it is already pouring forth, but it is recognizing God’s gift of love and life, eternally flowing.

We must be instruments through which the love of God is pouring forth to our fellow man. That’s our part. We have it all within us. Now our work is to release it, to “open out a way for the hidden splendor to escape.”

This is not an abstract philosophy. This Infinite Way is a living way. We can’t go around and say: “God is love,” and turn around and hate someone. It has to be lived. And as you live it, you are releasing from within yourself the Infinity that is already there, and you are recognizing that every person has It. You are not God’s only favorite Son, but everyone is a favorite. And so you give this recognition to the whole world without stint. The amazing thing is that the more of it you pour forth, the more you have.

This brings to mind a story about two men who were called upon to repeat before a large gathering, the Twenty-Third Psalm, which begins, “The Lord is my shepherd.” The first one who repeated it was a young man, with a glorious, melodious, sonorous voice. When he finished, the audience all applauded. They wanted him to do it again, and he did. Then the other man got up. He was, to appearances, a very old man, and he said it in a creaky cracked voice, anything but melodious, anything but glorious. When he finished, there wasn’t a sound, not a single sound. After awhile, the young man got up again and said: “You know what the difference was between the two of us? I knew the Psalm but he knew the Shepherd.”

And I think that’s the difference between living this glorious spiritual adventure, or just knowing it up in the mind. Do you know the words, or do you know the Source? Are you willing to make the effort, to take the time, the discipline to sit silently, in a state of silent receptivity, to become acquainted with the Shepherd?

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me, maketh me to lie down in green pastures, and to rest beside the still waters.”

What more can we want? What more? Why we’re even made to do it, when we know the Shepherd.