As fast as electronic news travels today, changes are happening worldwide.  For the most part, I thought a virus alert was only on my computer.  Oh yes, I knew there was the flu virus, etc., but I wasn’t too conscious about it. The flu and cold have been around for so long I have to admit I don’t pay attention to them.  Now it’s no longer a shock to hear the world has changed each time I wake up – and often so much is negative.

We should stop listening and watching all the negative news.  Of course, you have to know what guidelines to follow, but don’t let it paralyze you.

At this moment, I’m trying to listen to what God is saying through this pandemic.  Now don’t get lost in labels. When I say God, you can call it Consciousness, First Cause, the Quantum Flux? I use the term God as a personalized way of talking about The Great Mystery.  Dr. Ernest Holmes said, “I could stop saying God and call it Potato. You would still know what I am talking about.”

This time reminds me of the 1950’s movie The Day the Earth Stood Still.  Like many messages, the Alien beings issued an ominous warning to inhabitants of Earth. Stop the atomic weapons race, or it will be the last straw.  Change or face extinction by the Universal Order!

Okay, so what’s the message?

Our collective ego has now gone to the limit of destructive behaviors and threatens extinction. As in the movie, it wasn’t until extinction was imminent that humans shifted.

This virus is a powerful messenger to the world.

Its main effect of slowing the world down from the rat race it has created is one. Yes, I believe this pandemic is a wake-up call, and it isn’t a little chime. It is saying pay attention. No doubt in the future we’ll be talking about it, and historians will be writing about it. Hopefully, it will be referred to as the Great Awakening and not the Great Depression.

I wish we didn’t have to wait for God to wound us like this to get the message. But, our inner spiritual communication lines have been down for a long time and Spirit needed to get our attention. I know you are saying I don’t need church and I’m not talking about church. I’m talking about your inner relationship with the greatest mystery of all.

Ok, so we’ve come to a fork in the road. Either the costly tollway we have been on – let’s call it The Separation Tollway, or clearly, the road less traveled – let’s call it Spirit Highway. All along the Separation Tollway are the shiny bright signs telling us we have chosen the straight and narrow speedy route. Perhaps our overindulgent use of cell phones, computers, and the internet are a few of these signs of person-to-person disconnection letting us know we’re on a costly Tollway.  Of course the technology has advantages most of us are aware of, but our short sightedness has misunderstood the future impact of these electrical waves, like the impact fossil fuels would have on the environment.

The huge billboards on this Separation Tollway are reminders of the tribal mentality of greed, power, and division. And these billboards are the old rusty advertisements of a well-worn costly Tollway paved by wars, famine, poverty and sickness. The immediate reminders are the empty shelves in the stores, the lines of people pushing to get through the doors first – symbols of the selfish-ego. Our mind is the panic button and when the panic has exhausted us, we will lose our sense of hope and we will become depressed.

So, now our vehicle’s engine has quit, and we’ve pulled to the side of the Tollway and stopped. Now almost all the cars and trucks sit idle. Which is precisely why we need to help others who are stranded as well. We must let go of our self-centered panic and focus on our fellow human beings. Although we took the Tollway and are paying the price to get to our destination, perhaps, we need to rethink the destination.

The Spirit Highway is about coming back to our higher Self of compassion, concern, and caring. Both for others and ourselves.  Unlike the Separation Tollway, Spirit Highway still has traffic lights and stop signs here and there. It’s the chance to take time to enjoy picnic grounds, river views and the green fields of spring all around.  On Spirit Highway we stop, not because we have to or we’re tired, but to experience the beauty and peace on the journey.

On Spirit Highway joy and happiness come from inner spiritual practices. This virus could be saying it’s time to reconnect to our soul, our heart. To spend time going within, doing our spiritual practices. To take two minutes during the day to become mindful and quiet.

It also means reconnection in our outside lives. This forced stop on the Tollway is giving us a chance to reconnect with our family, friends, community, and yes, the world community.

In Italy and Spain, people on Spirit Highway are individuals singing from the balconies with others joining in. Still others that can are taking food to those isolated and leaving it on the front steps or at the door. On Spirit Highway we honor and care for the many ambulance drivers, paramedics, nurses, doctors risking their lives to help the sick. And let us not forget the vast populations in prison, the homeless, the isolated elderly, the pets, and animals. This, too, is Spirit Highway.

I don’t wish to lose you in the highway metaphor.

Maybe the message of this virus is that the old fashioned, territorial, and ego-centric tribal societies that have for centuries been about colonialism, consumerism, and competition must give way to something greater. That something greater is what all great Saints, and prophets have extolled, a spiritual based world of love and compassion.

So here we are faced with a global teaching moment! Which road for you – the Separation Tollway or Spiritual Highway?

As the poet Robert Frost wrote,


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

From Rev. Larry

Center for Spiritual Living

Author Center for Spiritual Living

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