New Thought author Emmet Fox wrote, “What you think upon grows. Whatever you allow to occupy your mind you magnify in your own life.” I’m grateful to have learned this lesson early in my life.
After graduating high school, I was on my own. My father had just died of cancer, and, years earlier, my mother had left us. I had the opportunity to attend college for free to pursue my talent for art. This was my dream, but I soon discovered that I lacked drive and purpose. I was at times either overwhelmed or unmotivated. I floundered before sheepishly withdrawing from courses one by one until I was completely out the door.
Convinced my problem was a lack of discipline, I enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. Things only got worse. Unfortunately, discipline wasn’t working. I felt despondent that I had committed myself to something that wasn’t working, and I had no way to get out of it.
When I confided this to a respected friend, he said, “You don’t have to stay in the military.”
“Really?” I asked.
“Yes. Due to your attitude, they’ll be happy to let you go,” he said.
“Really? All I have to do is ask?”
“Absolutely. Just keep in mind that unless you learn to love the job you currently have, you’ll have the same miserable job for the rest of your life.”
I became a blessing machine. I silently blessed my home, my uniform, the drive to work, strangers I passed on the sidewalk, coworkers, even paperwork I had to complete. You name it, I blessed it.
Becoming a Disciple of Love
I took his advice as my divine assignment. Up until then I mistakenly believed that discipline meant keeping myself within a tight boundary of impending punishment as a way to be forced to walk the straight and narrow. It never worked.
I learned that the origin of the word discipline is “disciple.” I decided to be a disciple of love. Now I think of discipline simply as restraint and redirection. I restrain from reacting to fear when it shows up in me as anger, worry, doubt, envy, and self-pity. I use denials and affirmations in this prayer:
“God removes my fear (worry, doubt, resentment, fill in the blank) and redirects my attention to being the best me I can be.”
This inspires me to take action that is contrary to my old manner of reacting. Boldly stepping forward on the pathway of love always leads me to better-than-expected outcomes.
I took my friend’s words to heart. I stayed with the Coast Guard and committed to learn to love my job. I began every morning by linking up with God while enjoying a cup of coffee and reading from various meditation books and devotionals, including Daily Word®, a practice that continues to this day.
I made it my responsibility to express love, acting as God’s ambassador of love to everyone I encountered in my daily activities. It inspired me to view my life’s role to be more significant than any job title. The spiritual truth that we always receive what we give grounded my understanding. I remembered hearing, “Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curse a thing and it will curse you.” I became a blessing machine. I silently blessed my home, my uniform, the drive to work, strangers I passed on the sidewalk, coworkers, even paperwork I had to complete. You name it, I blessed it.
When a seeming problem would arise, I’d bless it a success.
My job began to transform for the better. Each day became a fun-filled adventure in faith. I began to look forward to every day with joyful expectancy. I was on a mission. I always had something good to give, even if it was just a smile.
Living this way throughout the year I quickly rose through the ranks. By the year’s end I was assigned the position of military police liaison to the prosecuting attorney of the state of Hawaii. In this high-profile public relations position I represented all branches of the military. I was acting as an ambassador. Not only did I complete my four-year tour of duty, I was having such a good time I extended my tour for an additional year. My friend was correct. No matter what the job, I am always well-compensated when I’m serving as God’s ambassador of love.