It came to pass. That phrase is used over and over again in Scripture; so much so that it becomes part of the scenery. It’s easy to skip over. But what if there’s something important there?
Full disclosure: Eric Butterworth has done some great thinking about this phrase. I’m profoundly inspired by his work there, and I encourage you to look at anything he’s written, particularly Spiritual Economics, to dig a bit deeper.
When you’re feeling stuck, there are some questions you can ask yourself that will help you dig your way out. Two of the big ones are “how big is God?” and “who am I?” Your faith is absolutely mediated by your answers to those questions. If you have a strong sense of spiritual self, but your concept of God is that of a distant, angry, tyrant, you will have a diminished capacity for miracles. Similarly, if you have a consciousness of God as Life, Love, Wisdom, and Power, but you feel that you are a miserable sinner who deserves dysfunction, it’s hard to grow.
For now, let’s look at that second question. Who are you? It’s not hard to identify ourselves by what’s happening. People introduce themselves by their job titles, by where they live or the relationships they’re in. Our culture encourages us to find identity in the context of what we own and what people think of us. Technology enables us to send a never-ending stream of pictures of our present location and outfit, the meal we’re about to eat, the music we are currently listening to.
Yes, all that is factual. Sometimes it’s even fun. More than that, we are indeed called upon to be fully present in our lives. It’s the only way to make a difference. But is that who we are?
If I define myself by my situation, what happens if I’m having a bad time? If I make the mistake of deciding that life is lived from outside-in, instead of the other way around, and my outside is negative, I can decide that I’m fundamentally flawed; a miserable sinner. What kind of future experience will that create? From there, I can continue to identify with negative circumstances, and the downward spiral continues.
Don’t try this at home.
There’s a way out. Remember what the Bible says. It came to pass. Why did that event, character, or situation enter the story of your life? Why did it come? It came to pass. You were you before it happened. It will go away. You will still be you. Whatever is going on around you is there to remind you that your True nature comes from something that cannot go away. Your courage, your love, your power, your abundance come from something closer, stronger, and bigger than where you are right now. Your environment will change. If you let it, your temporal situation will help bring out your timeless self.
When you feel limited, say the affirmation. It came to pass. Your story will go on. Your life will stop happening to you. You’ll start happening to your life.