More Than We Settle For

By James Dillet Freeman

Life is more than we settle for. There is a higher reality. There is a power beyond what we ordinarily believe to be our own, beyond what we ordinarily believe to be operating.

This power is accessible. At times we all touch it—or let it touch us.

The power that faith connects us with is not really an extraordinary power, for it works continually in expected ways; only we accept these daily manifestations matter of factly, as if ordinary things were not just as strange and wonderful as extraordinary things are. Everything there is—atoms, comets, snow, alligators, grass, rocket ships, birth, growth, life, the functioning of our body, the movement of the stars—is the result of this power. This power is flying as thought through our mind. It is stirring as love through our heart.

But occasionally it does show itself, not in these daily happenings we have lost the power to feel amazement at, but in some unlooked-for way.

The Christmas rose blooms in the winter's ebb!

Then we fall on our knees in the stable, for a moment aware that life is not dull and ordinary, a thing of laws and tables, easily explained and perfectly predictable; but life is a wonder and a mystery, the spilling-over, ever-flowing joying of an unspeakable power!

The world is the work of God, and everything in it is the work of God.

God is good.

God is love.

God is intelligence.

When we think and feel this to be true, our world has to become the kind of world that is the only kind of world love and intelligence can create.

The world has the shape of intelligence, oh round and reasonable globe! The world has the shape of love, oh infinitely varied loveliness!

What made the man Jesus different from the rest of us is that he never doubted for a moment that the world is made by love and intelligence—no, not when he saw men mistreating one another, not even when they scourged and crucified him.

He saw that the world is something more than it seems to be to our less than loving gaze. He saw that the hatred and the cruelty and the pain are not the truth about it. He saw a meaning that eludes us, a vision of a truth more glorious than any our eyes can see—except perhaps for moments or in glimpses.

But these moments and these glimpses are faith. To have faith is to see beyond all false appearances to the truth of goodness.

The good is there, whether we have the faith to think and feel through to it or not. The world is the work of a goodness beyond even our power to imagine what such goodness is.

O God, sometimes I sense how great You are! But I have no words. I do not even have thoughts.

Did I call You love? It is not enough.

Did I call You intelligence? It falls an infinity short.

Yet I listen, and from time to time I think I catch a word. I yearn, and there are times when I think I have almost touched the hem of the robe of reality.

The world is the imagining of a mind beyond my mind's imagining. The world is the upwelling of a heart past even my heart's power to dream.

Yet in the image of this mind beyond mind and of this heart beyond heart, I, too, am made! In me I have a power to be—yet more than I have ever dreamed or hoped or believed I might become.

Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

What truth?

Any truth!

The truth about the universe. The truth about yourself. The truth about God.

We learn the truth about gravitation. And oh, amazing World! Gravitation is what binds men to the earth. But when they learn the truth about it, they fly!

I learn the truth about my emotions. I see that I am driven by hates and fears I did not even know I had. But when I come to understand them, I use the very energy they generate to build my world of love.

I am a child of God.

This is the truth about me.

When I come to think and feel this truth; when I come to believe it clear through, with my mind and my heart, my reason and my hope; when I know it not as a glimpse of something longed for but as the very substance and reality of that I am—then my world will have taken on the shape love and intelligence gave it when love and intelligence made it and "saw that it was good."

I am the child of God.

I am the child of love.

I am the child of intelligence.

I am the child of life.

"Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that ... we shall be like him."

From The Hilltop Heart by James Dillet Freeman (1912–2003). Freeman was a well-known poet whose poems are on the moon. Freeman served as director of Unity's ministerial program for 20 years. He also served as director of Silent Unity® and first vice president of Unity Institute® and Seminary.