Clergy Corner: Nearer than your breath

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Rev. Bill Heller is senior minister at Unity Chapel in Hemet.

■ Rev. Bill Heller / Contributed

“Nearer than your breath” speaks to God’s presence in your life. The article provides an opportunity for the discovery of those sacred, holy moments you can have that bring a different experience to your life. I am convinced each of us have the opportunity for such experiences: the question is, are we open and willing?
The moments I am referring to are those when you receive inspiration—when you have an experience of clarity about an aspect in your life. Whatever label you choose, this inspiration is sourced in a higher truth, a higher state of existence than we normally experience in our day to day life.
These moments of guidance or inspiration occur when we are ready and open to receive them. I believe that whatever the answer you receive, it is an answer that is for your highest good. You may be called to an action of some sort or see a clear direction to take. From this a sense of peace, of certainty and calm acceptance occurs in your life.
Can you recall such instances for yourself?
My favorite Bible message explaining this experience is that of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). In part, verse 17 states, “He [the Prodigal Son] came to himself.” To that point, the son had been lost and wandering in his life, squandering away his riches and living in an irresponsible manner. In that moment of clarity, forgiveness occurred: he forgave his prior thoughts about himself, and remembered his father.
His “coming to himself” subsequently led to his guidance and the direction for him to take. This is the essential message of self-forgiveness. In a moment of clarity where he was open and ready to receive, he developed his plan to return to his father where he was always loved and accepted.
“He came to himself” represents the inspiration I am offering. The actions to take going forward are realized when our mind is open to receive divine guidance. As children of God, the opportunities to receive this inspiration are more available than we can imagine.
On a personal note, I had a life-changing inspirational experience 27 years ago, when I felt my life was in complete disarray. That pivotal moment redirected my life toward my pursuit of spirituality and has brought me to the ministry—an answer to a call in me I was not aware of previously.
In retrospect, I recognize such instances have permeated my/our lives. Not that dramatic; perhaps not that urgent. In that instance, I was ready and open. Earlier in life, while such opportunities have been presented, I was not open to accept these. I welcome them now, and am clear these answers are the ones I truly want.
St. Paul stated “I die daily.” (1 Corinthians 15:31). His message here is his willingness to release his previous beliefs about himself to a new consciousness, a new state, a new level of awareness. This is consistent with the message of these sacred moments.
These moments of inspiration are gifts, or “manna from heaven,” and are available to every one of us. During times in our lives when we are uncertain or feel lost or confused, divine guidance is as close as our breath if we are open to receive it.

Rev. William Heller, Master of Divinity, is senior minister at Unity Chapel in Hemet. Rev. Bill was ordained by Unity Worldwide Ministries in 2009. He’s returned to California after seven years of service on the East Coast. Rev. Bill has co-authored his first book, published in 2016. Unity Chapel is at 140 N. Buena Vista Street.

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