45 Years in Retrospect . . . The life of Miracle Distribution Center – Part VI
by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff
In celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the Center, in the past several issues of The Holy Encounter we have shared its journey with you. Even though the Center was founded by Beverly and Richard Hutchinson, it has developed a life of its own. These articles will share the Center’s birth, growth, life, and purpose as it continues to evolve and support students of A Course in Miracles.
“When you have accepted your mission to extend peace you will find peace, for by making it manifest you will see it.” (T-12.VII.11:1)
The question we are frequently asked at Miracle Distribution Center (MDC) is: “Where is the Center going? Where do you see it in the future?” My first reaction to this type of question is the thought from the Course that says, “A healed mind does not plan.” (W-135.11) And yet, since we do not realize that our minds are healed, we do tend to plan.
A Course in Miracles is not asking us to deny the world or our need to make plans, but it is asking us to plan nothing on our own. It cautions us in the text section entitled Looking Within,
“Everything you behold without is a judgment of what you beheld within. If it is your judgment it will be wrong, for judgment is not your function. If it is the judgment of the Holy Spirit it will be right, for judgment is His function.” (T-12.VII.12)
So it is not so much whether one should plan or not plan, but with whom he will make his plans.
Our goal at MDC is always to ask the Holy Spirit, “What would you have us do?” That does not mean we will always follow the path of peace because “The power of decision is your one remaining freedom as a prisoner of this world.” (T-12.VII.9) We are given the freedom to condemn or release, to accept our mission of extending peace or projecting a conflicted, confused purpose.
It is easy to look around and see the constant change in people’s and organizations’ purposes when they place the emphasis on things outside themselves. The Course asks us to look within and find that our purpose is to extend peace and allow the Holy Spirit to direct the outward expression of that purpose. His direction will be clear and consistent, even in the confusion and conflict. His direction will not change, for His direction cannot change.
The Center has been on a steady keel for the past forty-five years. It is quite clear to us, through the thousands of calls, emails, letters, and requests we receive each month, that we are exactly where we should be, doing exactly what we should be doing, and serving God and our brothers in exactly the way we should be serving them.
In my position as a writer and lecturer on the Course, I have the enviable position of hearing the stories of those who have been helped by the message of the Course and by the services and commitment of MDC. For example, an attendee once told me at one of our events that A Course in Miracles and The Holy Encounter magazine had been his “foundation blocks for a new world and way of thinking.” Another said, “I can already feel changes taking place inside of me. I’ve moved along so far in just one short weekend. It really gave me a big lift spiritually.” Another wrote, “We are in gratitude and appreciation to MDC for supplying us with what we always need and ways (retreats, livestreams, and written articles) with which to soak our souls in miracles.”
As I was writing this article, I received a letter from a lady in Finland who said how thrilled she was to receive The Holy Encounter, for it provided strong support for her development with the Course and provided her with such comfort and happiness knowing that help was only an email or phone call away!
I hear and read these kinds of comments daily, yet each one is unique and deeply touches my heart. With every comment, I thank God for being given the opportunity to serve you and Him. These kinds of comments are our answer to those who ask, “Where is the Center going?” The Center is not “going” anywhere! But we are going to accept our mission to extend peace, help, and joy and thereby find it.
There is no greater purpose in life than to serve and be of help. Postulating theories or building edifices might be one’s direction, but success is not measured in things and theories. As Emerson said, “…to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life had breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.” Being of service is how we define success.
As we travel into the coming years, our odyssey is to continue our prayer that we will choose to look within and follow the only true Teacher there is. This certainly does not mean we will be inactive; on the contrary, God needs teachers of God now more than ever before, so be assured that if you choose to look within for His direction and purpose, you will be kept very busy.
Over the past forty-five years, MDC has been kept very busy as it has grown and developed into an international contact point, education, and information center for students of the Course, as well as a media contact point. The Center’s varied activities and services are highlighted on our website at www.miraclecenter.org. There is so much going on, from our interactive website to our prison project, prayer ministry, daily lesson email and text service, free weekly livestream watched by 70% of the world’s countries, inspirational weekly emails, and much more to come.
MDC is growing, but it is impossible for any of us here to say where it will be in a year or ten years. The moment one tries to place what is limitless within limits, its real meaning is lost. The purpose of the Center is limitless, for the extension of peace knows no boundaries.
So we continue our “miracle odyssey.” It is a miracle because our purpose is about healing and shifting our perception from form to content, and an odyssey because we still have much learning ahead. But it is an exciting odyssey as we daily make the choice to accept our mission to extend peace and thereby manifest it in our lives and the lives of all who come in contact with MDC.
We thank you for sharing this continuing journey with us!
Read the previous installment: Part V: “Vocation of the Center”