The phrase “scathingly brilliant idea” continuously filtered into my mind as I prepared my final Sunday talk as senior minister at Unity of Livonia. The phrase, always a favorite of mine, comes from the infamous words of Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills) in the movie “The Trouble with Angels.” As I pondered the intention of my talk, I questioned the word “scathingly.” It seems that Webster’s defines scathingly as “critical” or “harsh,” and that didn’t, at first anyway, seem to fit my intention.
But the word persisted, and when a word or a thought persists, I am compelled to go deeper. What does scathingly mean to me? In the movie, “scathingly” seemed to indicate something out of the ordinary, exceptional if a little risky. Mary Clancy (Mills) and her friend Rachel (June Harding) were two adolescents who had been sent to an all-girls, Catholic boarding school. These so-called scathingly brilliant ideas generally earned them a stint in the kitchen scrubbing pots and pans. Was scathingly really the word I wanted to use?
Critical can mean something derogatory – but it can also mean important, vital, or crucial. Harsh, as in criticism, can mean unbridled, unlimited, or unadulterated. Hmm… now we were getting somewhere. These definitions seemed to fit my intention more closely. You see, I believe that God has a Scathingly Brilliant idea – and the idea is YOU!
You are an idea, a crucial, unlimited, and brilliant idea in the Mind of God. In your most unadulterated essence, you are a perfect spiritual idea taking form and expressing God as you. In this earthly experience, there are many twists and turns as we endeavor to fully express this scathingly brilliant idea. At times it may seem our endeavors or the experiences of our lives have us scrubbing pots and pans when we were planning something much more exciting. Although Mary and Rachel spent a great deal of time scrubbing pots and pans, they also spent a lot of time growing and evolving. They grew in compassion. They grew in their sense of purpose. They discovered their own gifts and they learned to appreciate the talents of others.
Changes, twists and turns, pots and pans, are all a part of our spiritual evolution. Evolution is another scathingly, brilliant idea in the Mind of God. Everything is always changing, growing and evolving. Evolution is the activity of Life, and it has a crucial characteristic – something is always falling away to allow something new to emerge.
The new year is a perfect time to reflect on what is falling away on its own and what you will intentionally let fall away. It is also an excellent time to focus your attention on what is being called forth from you. What is Life calling you to be? To do? To let fall away?
The New Year is often marked by resolutions for being or doing something better than before. Usually, these intentions focus on diet, exercise, habits, and behaviors. This year, why not set just one resolution, one that will inform and strengthen all the others? Let your resolution for 2019 be this; to allow no one and no thing to hinder you in expressing more of the Scathingly Brilliant Idea in the Mind of God that is YOU!
© 2019. Eileen DeRosia Patra, OUM
Eileen Patra is an ordained Unity minister and the author of the soon to be released book, The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings