by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff
Philosophers, poets, and, yes, even actor Morgan Freeman (who has played God many times in the movies) have pondered the question, “Where is Heaven?” But this thought from Hugh Prather’s book, Morning Notes, seems to give us the best answer as well as a perfect decision with which to begin the New Year.
Heaven on Earth is up to me.A decision must be made, and it can be made now. It is simply this: “I will begin.” And what must we begin?” We must try to be kind now – not appear kind, but be kind. We must make the effort, no, the struggle, to be happy now – and not first gain what we “need” in order to be happy. We can’t just add the concepts of kindness and happiness to our life. They must be our life. — Hugh Prather Note 342
As A Course in Miracles tells us, “Heaven is the decision I must make.” (W-138) Heaven is not some far-off place we will get to when we have earned enough points. Heaven is the choice to live as God created us. If we are not living from the truth as we were created by God, we are simply not living. We really have no choice but to live from our truth of kindness, love, happiness, and joy – there is nothing else. Nothing that God did not create has any meaning in our lives. And that may be why we feel life is often meaningless.
Let us not start another new year without a purpose and a function. Let us live as we were created. We were not created to just work, earn money, raise families, and all the other things we think we must do in this world – not that there is anything wrong with that or spiritually limiting about that. Every experience in this world has the potential for us to experience Heaven, but we will not feel it by waiting for others or circumstances to give us the experience. “Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time.” (M-24.6)
We have to uncover the awareness of Heaven. How do we do that? Hugh Prather gives us the hint; he says we must begin. We must begin to be kind.
Yes, it is that simple. It is a simple decision but not a simple process. We must be kind when faced with a casual slight, we must be kind when faced with a horrendous injustice, and we must be kind when it seems like it is the last thing we think is called for. As Hugh says, “We can’t just add the concepts of kindness and happiness to our life. They must be our life.”
How do they become our life? By asking for help. Help from the Guide that God has given us. The One Whose only purpose is our good, the Holy Spirit. He is here to help us transform our lives so that we might know who we truly are and live the life that we were intended to live. As we read in the Course, “Make this year different by making it all the same. And let all your relationships be made holy for you.” (T-15.XI.10)
That is the Holy Spirit’s job: to transform your relationships … to heal your life. Let’s make that decision together to employ Him and reap the dividends of a kind, joyous, and fulfilled life. Then maybe we will realize that we don’t need any keys to get into Heaven; we are already there.