Do you remember learning about the Ten Commandments? I do. They were part of my Sunday school training, and later, part of my preparation for confirmation in the church my family attended. I really hadn’t given them much thought over the years… that is, until a deeper knowing opened within me recently about the one that states: You shall have no other gods before me. That commandment always seemed easy to me. Of course, I served no other gods! I believe in God, and that belief forms the core of my faith. It always has. I haven’t served any substitute for God… or have I?
I had interpreted this commandment in a literal sense. I imagined that it referred to me worshiping some stone image of a pagan deity. That wasn’t me. Although I am no longer religious in the attend-one-church frame of reference, my faith in God is my guiding light, my inner guidance system. In my understanding of God, it doesn’t matter what name we use or what we call ourselves as believers, we believe in a higher power — God, the Universe, Creator, the Divine — that speaks to our souls, our heart centres, our spirits. I felt that I had that commandment cased.
As I have been studying A Course in Miracles, my understanding of the gods that I have chosen to serve has widened and deepened. I realize that I have, indeed, chosen to serve other gods, such as:
- focusing on success, striving to be the best, wanting to outshine others, wanting to be lauded for the work I do, seeking recognition that I am better than others;
- my need to find my worth in what others reflected back to me, seeking to find love from others;
- the drive for more — more money, more possessions, more “toys,” more trips, more “stuff.”
I realized that much of the emotional pain that I have experienced in my life has resulted from my quest to serve other gods, believing that I would find what I sought in them. They are false gods, for seeking them caused me to think of myself as separate from others and to strive to be better than others. Serving these false gods caused me to feed my ego and to try to build my identity as someone special. Serving these gods caused me to judge and attack others. These gods made me think it was all about me.
I have realized that serving these gods makes me a slave to forces that are meaningless and seek only to make me feel separate and to keep me running on an endless wheel to try to reach that place where I will feel special and worthy. I won’t find worth in serving these gods because as soon as I think I have attained it, someone else will attain more or won’t reflect back what I need, and I will feel inadequate and lost once again.
There is only one true source of worth and love, and that is the choice for God. When we choose to embrace who we are as God’s beloved children, we no longer have to seek worth or love from external sources. As God’s Sons and Daughters, we are extensions of His unconditional, eternal Love. We are inherently worthy, and we are loved just as we are. We don’t have to do anything to gain God’s approval or love. We are loved because Love created us.
As I realized the inner cost of serving other gods, I also realized that I want to step off that treadmill that goes nowhere and gives me nothing of real value. I want to choose consciously, gratefully, and prayerfully. I choose God. I choose to remember that I am loved unconditionally and to stand strong in the knowing that I am worthy because I am God’s own Child… just as you are. In that knowing, we can experience the joy and inner peace that constantly eludes us when we unconsciously choose the gods born of ego. I also choose to recognize and embrace my spiritual family — all who remember, and who have yet to remember, who they really are. We are all One, all spiritual beings created as expressions of God’s Love.
Which god do you choose: the gods of your ego or God who is your true Source and identity? I pray that you will find the peace and love that waits for you when you remember who you are and choose God. Namaste, my spiritual brothers and sisters. :))