As I thought about the address tonight and I didn’t really want to talk about lockdown and talk about Covid because I think we’re all fully aware of what’s going on with the situation. I didn’t want to feel that I was jumping on the bandwagon. What it does make me think and go back to is a song from Gerry and the Pacemakers, which is called ‘When You Walk Through a Storm, Hold Your Head up High’. That song has always had an impact on me, it’s usually quite emotional for me, but I believe it’s usually quite emotional for a lot of people as well. Because friends, at times we all go through our different storms. Sometimes they’re quite traumatic and evidently and physically showing, and other times they can be situations within mental health where perhaps it’s not quite apparent at times.
At times, friends, we all walk into and through our personal storm. But the good news is, and it’s fantastic news, that at the end of this storm, there’s a golden cloud, and the only thing that really stops us or keeps us apart from that golden cloud, is time. Because in time friends, we evolve. We see different things in a different light, we get used to people not being so close or near. By no stretch of the imagination, saying that we ever forget them, but they say that time is a great healer. There’s things that we have to go through in this life and that we have to understand because we are going through a time of trial and atonement. The good news is that there’s so much that can be said and done for us.
Number one, as Spiritualists we know that life goes on. We know that people that were close to us and have transitioned to the Spirit World are in a far better place than us. That they’re relieved from all that stress, any illnesses, any impediments or any mental illnesses, it all goes away and they just return back to the Spirit World. That’s great and rejoicing to know. But on the other side of the coin friends, although we know that our loved ones are no longer in any pain or any strife, that’s where ours usually begins, isn’t it? That’s where our understanding and our acceptance and our belief in Spirit has to come.
We tend to go through life with different experiences and different understandings. Usually we’re all the same, we’re all products of our experiences and our thoughts of what has gone on in life and what has happened to us. Sometimes friends, with those experiences, and especially the ones that are not so good, we tend to hang on to them because we can’t let them go because they have hurt us so much or because it’s just a really emotional situation. These are the experiences we hang on to. They give us a perception of what life is about and what life is. Sometimes friends, we get lost in that perception and we get lost in that power of thought, because the power of thought is so strong at times. But sometimes our thoughts get a little bit lost because it gets emotional when we lose the capability of rationalising.
It’s a power of thought that I wanted to bring to your mind and to your attention today, because with that power of thought we can move mountains, we can move ourselves, we can inspire others and we can help others.
When I talk about the power of thought, people seem to look at me and say, ‘well, ok, then. So we talk about the power of thought, how does it manifest itself and what do we do to change that?’ What I usually do, I use this little example that happened to me when I was a young boy. I used to play me mum up. She used to say to me, ‘Raymond, wait till your father gets home’! And my mind went to ‘oh no, the old man’s gonna kill me, he’s gonna dismember me. This is the end of my life as I know it’. And I brought all of this power and energy into thinking what the old man was going to do to me when he got home. Then I’d hear the key in the door, and I’d start to tremble and think all things are going to go terribly wrong now. And he comes in and he eats his dinner and he falls asleep. That made me think well, all this that I’ve built up about what he was gonna do to me, what my mum said he would do was all due to my own power of thought. I mean, he came in, ate his dinner, fell asleep. One thing that it proved to me, without a shadow of a doubt that there was a God!
But there you go. That’s just my little take on it. But it made me realise the power of thought, the power of my thought to make a situation, to give it reality. And then the real reality is that it couldn’t have been more further from the truth. So it made me understand that this power of thought is so strong that we can move mountains. We can change things.
And I try to say ‘Dear God, give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change’. I used to think to myself, well, that’s a funny thing to say, because if I can’t change it, what’s the point? But you can change it friends. We can change anything. We don’t actually change the situation, we change the perception of the thought that created that perception.
Now by changing the thought process, the perception of how we see it, we can then move on and perhaps put things into a different perspective and move forward. Now, please friends don’t get me wrong, I’m not selling you an ideology of life being that simple, because I fully understand that things run a lot deeper and sometimes people hurt people very deeply. I understand that. But it’s just a thought, a beginning, a benchmark, an understanding.
As I’m talking about that, although I didn’t want to talk about Covid, I did watch the news the other day and it just happened to be the situation. There was a lady on the telly and her husband had died from Covid. Then just a few days later, her boy was stabbed in Newham. She lost two people very close to her in a very short period of time and she came on the news and she turned round and she said, ‘I forgive the killers of my son’. It actually blew my mind because although I know that was the right path and that was the right way of thinking, I don’t think that I could have adopted that attitude.
It made me realise how far I have to go as a person and how far we all have to go as a person. To work on ourselves for the greatest forgiveness of all. Forgiveness is not about being spiritual, although I shouldn’t say that, but it is about setting yourself free. Please friends, don’t let me leave you thinking that it’s as easy as that, because it’s not. We have to work at it. I do also understand that things have been done and said to people that run a far lot deeper and perhaps need a lot more time to come to terms with.
But just in a general vain, I would like to depart with them thoughts about understanding who, what and where we are. And most of all, freeing ourselves so that we can claim and aspire to the good love that the Good Lord lay down. So, I don’t feel that I want to preach, and I hope I haven’t come across as preaching, but I hope I’ve given some food for thought.
As I leave this address now, I hope that we can all gain a better understanding of ourselves and of the people around us, because understanding ourselves helps us understand others. And perhaps if we can understand others, we can be a little bit more forgiving in our life, which hopefully will bring the love, happiness and merriment that we all deserve.
God bless you friends.
- Spiritual Address given by Medium Ray Prendergast during our online Divine Service on 17th May 2020.
- Catch up and watch the recorded Live Stream here.