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Remember that there is a cause for everything that happens. In some instances there may seem to be two causes, but one is only a secondary cause. The secondary cause is often mistaken for the first cause; for it is more obvious, while the first cause is hidden.
The first cause is always an idea. This idea works itself out through some form of physical action to produce a result. This physical action is the secondary cause. If you mail to a publisher an order for a book you will no doubt receive in a few days a package containing this book. Why? “Because I sent for it,” you will answer. But the real cause of the book’s coming to you is that you made up your mind that you wanted it! The first cause was your desire, and the secondary cause was the mailing of the order.
A result may follow a cause closely, or it may follow a long time afterward, like the apple blossom of the spring is followed by the apple in the fall. It may come all at once, like a cash payment, or scattered, like installments.
When you press a light switch the lights immediately flash on. In this instance the result closely follows the cause. However, when you plant an acorn it comes up only after many months, and it grows slowly into a tree. Perhaps fifty or sixty years later children whose parents are not yet even born when the acorn is planted may sit under the branches of that expanded acorn and enjoy its shade. In this case the results of the little act of planting an acorn spread out over many years in ever-wider circles long after the acorn is forgotten.
Thoughts are like seeds. We plant many that grow up quickly, and their results are gone in a few months, like annual plants. Others develop more slowly and come to fruition in later years.
Few of us are aware that we can pull up the weed thoughts that we have carelessly planted and replace them with fruit-bearing thoughts.
The universal law of cause and effect is that man reaps what he sows. But Jesus Christ came to show us how under a higher law we can root up the mistakes that we have sown and plant more profitable seed. This law is the law of grace, which transcends the law of cause and effect. It is based upon forgiveness and love.
When we repent and forgive we enlist the tremendous power of God’s love to eliminate the results of past mistakes and make room for new efforts. Of course after a destructive tendency has been growing a long time it requires a little more effort to remove its roots from our life, and it will take more loving work to uproot it; but we must not become discouraged, for God’s love is the greatest power in the world and never fails us.
Good habits of thought create strength, peace, and poise in our life. The things a child is interested in often prove to be a prophecy of what his later life will be like. Thought habits are the prophecies of one’s life accomplishments.
The combined thoughts of millions of people grow into forests of future experience. Some are good and some grow into hopeless jungles. These seed ideas are the basis of prophecy for the future of the race, just as an acorn is the prophecy of an oak tree, and thistledown is the prophecy of a field full of hard work for farmers.
The seeds of our present world unrest were planted long ago. They could have been pulled up years ago by forgiveness, love, and understanding more easily than now, but we can begin to plant seeds of peace now for a rich harvest in the future.
The evil deeds of the early people of the earth were the prophecy of the Flood as recorded in Genesis, which came to cleanse the earth; but Noah and his family, who repented and followed God’s instructions, built an ark in which they floated on the surface of the very flood that destroyed those who did not repent.
Because it is possible to prophesy things that will happen in the future some persons have reasoned that God has arbitrarily planned these things for us, and that it is His will that evil befall us. If this were true there would be no use in anyone’s trying to do better, because he could not change God’s plan. But we know that a person can change his life by changing his actions and his thoughts. It is man’s privilege to repent and change his life.
The reason why it is possible to foretell the future is that the seeds of the future are planted by man. A man who can see the relation between cause and effect therefore becomes a prophet, since he can for-see what kind of crop will be reaped by studying the seeds that are being planted by men.
Through the ages destructive thoughts have been scattered throughout the world in large numbers, and because they have not been pulled up by repentance and forgiveness they are going to bear a crop of war fruit so destructive that it will consume those plants and make room for the good seed, which Christ has planted, to develop and bear fruit. Evil things have been prophesied and many have come to pass, but they have not come as the result of God’s plan; they are here because man planted them.
But God does have a plan for man that is quite different from these dark prophecies, and it will eventually be made manifest in the world. God’s plan for man is perfection. Jesus stated it this way: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” God can wait a million years if need be for man to become perfect; for life is eternal and time is infinite. But why should we wait until a faraway time to enjoy our good? Let us begin now to study God’s plan and to operate in accord with it.
God made man in His own image and likeness; therefore when man comes to himself he will realize that he is truly God’s perfect child. He will begin to find joy and satisfaction when he realizes that he is one with the Father. Thus every man may begin to express his Christ self now and prepare for a future that will fulfill his prophecy of peace, health, happiness, and abundance.
The final prophecy for the race therefore will be that man shall dwell in the kingdom of heaven with God right here on the earth, and thus bring into manifestation the answer to our daily Christian prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
SUGGESTIONS FOR DAILY MEDITATION
SUNDAY: Today God’s love fills my mind. This is a prophecy of improved world conditions.
MONDAY: With the help of God’s forgiving love I now am pulling out of my memory old thoughts of hate and fear.
TUESDAY: I am now putting into operation powerful causes that shall produce many blessings in my life and in the lives of others. These causes are energized by the Spirit of Christ, who is lifting my thoughts up to a fuller appreciation of the Father’s love, wisdom, harmony, life, and joy.
WEDNESDAY: Today I am planting a new garden in my consciousness. Here is the seed I am planting: “I am one with infinite love and wisdom, and all my affairs are in divine order.”
THURSDAY: “My peace I give unto you.”
FRIDAY: I do not worry about the future, for I know that God is now the substance of my eternal good.
SATURDAY: The seeds of a new peaceful world are now being planted and cultivated by those who believe that God is peace and love now and forever.