Maggie Finefrock, a dear friend who was on my staff as the Director of Youth Education when I was the Director of Ministry Services at the Association of Unity Churches, was always such a fount of wisdom and had the innate ability to touch people’s hearts through little sayings. One saying she used often in talking to new ministerial students or newly ordained ministers just going out into the field was simply this: "Your ministry is at the end of your nose. So pay attention to that."

The same thing is true of the guidance we seek in our own lives. Our guidance is at the end of our nose, so we need to pay attention to the obvious. The obvious is not always that which is before us, the seeming facts or the appearance of things. For the obvious you have to look behind the fact to see the truth.

The truth is that we are always one with the wisdom of God. The wisdom of God is hidden in the depth of every soul, and we always have guidance for any situation in life. It is always there, always there to draw upon, always available to us. So we must pay attention to the obvious truth of God’s activity in our lives in all its fullness.

In Ephesians 3:16 we read: ". . . that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

Paul is affirming the truth for us of God’s presence in our lives. He is saying, in effect, to us as well as those to whom he was speaking, "I pray that out of God’s incredible riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being." Notice where the power comes from; it doesn’t come from out there somewhere but from the Spirit in your inner being. So he was saying to us that we can begin to grasp the power that is within each one of us. We can grasp the power, and we can rise above the situations and circumstances in which we find ourselves.

When I was on the Admissions Committee for the Association of Unity Churches some years ago, there was a man afflicted from birth with cerebral palsy who came before us as a candidate for ministerial school. If you know anything about cerebral palsy you know that the motor skills are not all that they should be by any means. People with this condition are able to walk along only in a halting manner, and sometimes our friend would fall over then would pick himself up and carry on again; he was not able to speak very clearly and so we had to pay close attention in order to hear what he was seeking to get across. So here is this man, fifty-seven years old, with cerebral palsy, applying for ministerial school. He had very great difficulty in writing for the tests he had to take.

This man had seen his life in a totally different way from the way others had seen him. Whereas others may have seen him as being handicapped and disabled, he had seen himself from within as whole in spirit.

He was there to bring his inner knowing into whatever form his ministry might take; he was there to bring to ministry his knowledge of his own personal experience and accomplishments in spite of seeming imprisonment within a body with severe limitations.

When he was very young, about three years old, the doctors tried to persuade his mother to put him in a mental hospital because they said he was retarded. His mother said "No, he is not retarded." She taught him to draw upon his spirit, to recognize that within himself was the mind of Christ, the very Spirit of the living God.

Throughout his life he had been on the cutting edge of a developing understanding of what we call disabled people. His vision was to bring his own experience to others so that they may understand that within the seemingly disabled person there is wholeness, completeness, and oneness with God. He had a tremendous vision.

No matter what the outcome of his application, whether he was accepted into formal ministry or not, he determined that his ministry will go forward. Because he will go forward, as he always has throughout his life.

This man with cerebral palsy gained a Master’s in social work, a Doctorate in psychology and a Doctorate in education; he worked in a university, supervising a hundred people. For him, becoming a Unity minister was the next step.

He is a man who did not recognize he was not able to do those things, because he lived from the Spirit within him.

We, too, no matter what we face in life can live from the Spirit within us. There is a power within us, there is a wisdom hidden in the depth of our soul. We can draw upon it at any time to guide us and to direct us in our perfect path, so that we may express the uniqueness of our own being and touch the minds and hearts of others, so that they too may see life in a different way.

We just have to pay attention to the obvious presence and power of God within us. Remember, wherever you are, God is!

God is blessing you, right now!

Rev. Alan Rowbotham, a Unity minister for thirty-five years, invites you to enjoy more articles and/or subscribe to his free inspirational newsletter, “Spiritual Solutions,” at

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