Today’s ACIM lesson, #348, “I have no cause for anger or for fear, for You surround me. And in every need that I perceive, Your grace suffices me,” was a lesson that I did on Christmas Eve last year (because at the time, I was ten days behind in my daily lessons). In some ways, not much has changed, which should be my first clue that I need to make some changes in my daily routine. But in other ways, much progress has been made. Jay’s health is under control. We have managed to take a few trips. We have re-established credit. We’ve managed to cross a few things off of the list of “needs.” But perhaps the biggest change is just I rely more on God. I remember more that I am not alone and that I (as in my small self, as in ego) don’t need to figure out anything – that I can in fact, “give it to the holy spirit.” God’s grace is with me always and I just need to remember that to be able to chill out and enjoy life. I don’t have to be reactive. Being reactive is not productive because it operates from the perspective that what is happening is an outside deal rather than the result of my consciousness. God’s grace is a good thing and it is mine for the asking.
From last year’s writing:
It’s Christmas Eve and like most Christmases, I have mixed emotions about the season this year. I grew up in a middle-class family and my parents usually overdid Christmas. With four kids in the family, the bounty under the tree was fairly impressive. I haven’t celebrated Christmas with my dad in a few years (like 14 probably), but the last time I did it was more of the same. The man loves Christmas and shopping. Jay and I, on the other hand, haven’t had an over-the-top Christmas in many a year. Yesterday, I was contemplating the many things I would like to buy if I had the disposable income, because we are in a new house that, unlike the old one, needs things. The list is considerable and I imagine it will be several years before it is just as I would like it to be.
Then I suddenly realized that while it’s fine to have goals and desire, I needed to be careful that I wasn’t focusing on lack and feeling sorry for myself. I decided I needed to focus on gratitude. My needs are met. Hell, I just met with my tax people a few days ago and when they told me how much money I would need to pay in estimated tax for 2016 by mid-January to avoid penalties and interest, my heart sank, because I was focusing on the wrong thing. It was nearly all the money I was set to make by the end of January. All the list of things I’d planned on buying in January (a new/used truck for Jay, a new dishwasher, a futon couch for Jay’s office, curtains, etc. etc.) got shoved to the back burner. If I wanted any of those things, I was going to need to hustle. But it’s not like I don’t have food on the table or a roof over my head or heat. I still bought presents for the giving tree at church. I still sent the kids and grandkids presents. So what that I no longer have any credit cards so I am unable to incur any debt! The mere fact that I will be making enough money in January to pay the tax man is a miracle in and of itself. The mere fact that I have been self-employed for several years but didn’t realize until NOW that that was a thing, something I should have been doing is a miracle! God’s grace has been sufficing me and I never even realized it.
I have no cause for anger or for fear,
For You surround me. And in every need
That I perceive, Your grace suffices me.
Father, let me remember You are here, and I am not alone. Surrounding me is everlasting Love. I have no cause for anything except the perfect peace and joy I share with You. What need have I for anger or for fear? Surrounding me is perfect safety. Can I be afraid, when Your eternal promise goes with me? Surrounding me is perfect sinlessness. What can I fear, when You created me in holiness as perfect as Your Own?
God’s grace suffices us in everything that He would have us do. And only that we choose to be our will as well as His.
© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA 94942-0598
So today, as I head out to the grocery store to buy a nice roast for Christmas dinner, I will not lament that we chose not to put up a Christmas tree this year since we don’t have presents to put under it. I will not focus on the lack. I will say thanks for the grace of God. I will remind myself that I am grateful that my husband is healthy and finally under a doctor’s care. I am grateful that I made enough money in 2016 to have to worry about paying the opportunity to pay estimated taxes. I am grateful that my tax preparers are generous-hearted enough to look out for me and to have done my taxes for me even during the times when I couldn’t afford to pay them (because they knew I would pay them eventually). I am grateful for the many, many ways that I have been and continue to be blessed.
God’s grace suffices me.
I return to what the Course says about Christmas:
“This Christmas give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you. Let yourself be healed completely that you may join with Him in healing, and let us celebrate our release together by releasing everyone with us. Leave nothing behind, for release is total, and when you have accepted it with me you will give it with me. All pain and sacrifice and littleness will disappear in our relationship, which is as innocent as our relationship with our Father, and as powerful. Pain will be brought to us and disappear in our presence, and without pain there can be no sacrifice. And without sacrifice there love must be.”
Love is here. Love is now. I need but choose it, and I do.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.
- December 4, 2016 Sermon – “Vision Quest”(hills-church.org)
- Jesus Was Full of Grace and Truth(theotherjc.com)
- She gave her pastor the car I bought as “sowing seed”(vanguardngr.com)
- The Liturgy Explained (the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament)(olmcsunbury.com)
- 12 Slightly Risqué Gifts For The Adventurous Person In Your Life(theberry.com)