The year’s end is on the horizon and with it, the end of these daily ACM lessons. Today’s lesson, #361, is the final one and it is repeated for 5 days. “This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.” This section, like all the different sections, begins with an introduction, reminding us that it’s not so much about the words as it is about the feeling. “Let us turn to Him Who leads the way and makes our footsteps sure.” As I near the end of these lessons, my thoughts turn to the coming year and how to live what I have learned. Certainly, one cannot study the Course for as long as I have and not emerge with a stronger faith. “I will step back and let Him lead the way.” (Lesson 155). Along with “I do not know what anything is for” (lesson 25), I lean on this teaching daily. I remember that even though I have free will and can choose to be in hell, I am also so loved and cared for that at any given moment, I can choose again and return to peace. I am in the dream of time and so it sometimes seems as if terrible things are happening, but only the love is real so my judgment about illusions doesn’t make a bit of difference in the grand scheme of things. All my judgment does is keep me from appreciating what gifts that God has laid at my feet. “God’s will is mine.” I remember that more often now.
It’s not that I am bending God’s will to do my bidding. It is really just the choice between love or fear, peace or conflict. When I give this holy instant to God and allow Him to lead the way, I get the opportunity to see how generous my Father is. I allow space for myself to be wowed. “O my child, if you knew what God wills for you, your joy would be complete! And what He wills has happened, for it was always true. When the light comes and you have said, “God’s Will is mine,” you will see such beauty that you will know it is not of you. Out of your joy you will create beauty in His Name, for your joy could no more be contained than His. The bleak little world will vanish into nothingness, and your heart will be so filled with joy that it will leap into Heaven, and into the Presence of God.”
We arrive to the space where our footsteps are sure because we trust in God. I allow myself to be led toward the light.
From last January’s post:
A Course in Miracles says that we never really left God and that our experience of being separate from Him is just a dream. (“Yet the Bible says that a deep sleep fell upon Adam, and nowhere is there reference to his waking up.”) We are in a dream of time and space. (“For time and space are one illusion, which takes different forms. If it has been projected beyond your mind you think of it as time. The nearer it is brought to where it is, the more you think of it in terms of space.”) It’s hard to wrap my head around, but the longer I study the easier it is to remember that most of what I think I see is illusion. In the dream of time, I have come to the last lesson in the workbook. In this dream, I am changed. It has taken me many years. I have plowed through much resistance, but I am changed. One cannot embark on these lessons and not emerge unmarked. It feels like a hero’s journey. It feels like I have gone into battle and come home a different woman. Except the battle was with ego, an illusion, and I am changed by learning to lay down my weapons. In my defenselessness my safety lies. No longer do I care to make illusions real and so I will not defend what needs no defense. I am in love with God and in His arms, protected from the nightmares I created. I can’t really listen to ego anymore and not know the bastard is lying to me
I have come to the conclusion that the Course is my life’s work, in the dream of time, that is.
When I was in my twenties, I used to read the New Testament each night before I went to sleep. Many people have read the whole Bible, but I have not; not even close. Like the Course, it is a big, thick daunting book and I just never managed to get through it. Hell, It took me twenty-some years to read all the text and the Manual for Teachers in the Course and that only happened because I have been facilitating our weekly meeting for the past three years – in the dream of time, that is. it is only today that I have finally completed the lessons, though today’s lesson is repeated for five days, so I have four more days of focusing on it. In the dream of time, I am slow. Anyway, I remember reading Matthew in my twenties when I had this small child and wondering how to do as Jesus asked. “Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)
I couldn’t imagine having that much faith. I couldn’t imagine trusting God to take care of me, yet today’s lesson reminds me of that: “This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, Certain that Your direction gives me peace.”
I get it now. I still catch myself, thinking that it’s my job to do things that belong to God. Nonetheless, catching myself is my job, so that I can forgive myself and step out of the way. Sometimes it still scares me a little to contemplate it all, but then I remember that I am trying to eat the whole elephant at once and that you can only eat it a bite at a time since we are in the dream of time and all.
Here is the final lesson:
Our final lessons will be left as free of words as possible. We use them but at the beginning of our practicing, and only to remind us that we seek to go beyond them. Let us turn to Him Who leads the way and makes our footsteps sure. To Him we leave these lessons, as to Him we give our lives henceforth. For we would not return again to the belief in sin that made the world seem ugly and unsafe, attacking and destroying, dangerous in all its ways, and treacherous beyond the hope of trust and the escape from pain.
His is the only way to find the peace that God has given us. It is His way that everyone must travel in the end, because it is this ending God Himself appointed. In the dream of time it seems to be far off. And yet, in truth, it is already here; already serving us as gracious guidance in the way to go. Let us together follow in the way that truth points out to us. And let us be the leaders of our many brothers who are seeking for the way, but find it not.
And to this purpose let us dedicate our minds, directing all our thoughts to serve the function of salvation. Unto us the aim is given to forgive the world. It is the goal that God has given us. It is His ending to the dream we seek, and not our own. For all that we forgive we will not fail to recognize as part of God Himself. And thus His memory is given back, completely and complete.
It is our function to remember Him on earth, as it is given us to be His Own completion in reality. So let us not forget our goal is shared, for it is that remembrance which contains the memory of God, and points the way to Him and to the Heaven of His peace. And shall we not forgive our brother, who can offer this to us? He is the way, the truth and life that shows the way to us. In him resides salvation, offered us through our forgiveness, given unto him.
We will not end this year without the gift our Father promised to His holy Son. We are forgiven now. And we are saved from all the wrath we thought belonged to God, and found it was a dream. We are restored to sanity, in which we understand that anger is insane, attack is mad, and vengeance merely foolish fantasy. We have been saved from wrath because we learned we were mistaken. Nothing more than that. And is a father angry at his son because he failed to understand the truth?
We come in honesty to God and say we did not understand, and ask Him to help us to learn His lessons, through the Voice of His Own Teacher. Would He hurt His Son? Or would He rush to answer him, and say, “This is My Son, and all I have is his”? Be certain He will answer thus, for these are His Own words to you. And more than that can no one ever have, for in these words is all there is, and all that there will be throughout all time and in eternity.
Lessons 361 to 365
This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge. For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace.
And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me. If I need a thought, that will He also give. And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him. He is in charge by my request. And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.
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In the dream of time, all is perfect. I am more practiced now at stepping back and allowing him to lead. I still encounter resistance. I still witness myself trying to figure it all out, but I witness rather than react immediately. I’m more comfortable with uncertainty because I trust that God’s got it covered. The teachers of God are content to be oblivious to what is coming next because when you (the small self, the ego) no longer need(s) to control the outcome, it becomes easier to “step back and let Him lead.”
I am noticing more and more how fear prompts us to plan what happens next. But when there is faith that all is unfolding perfectly, that God knows what God is doing, that we are loved and protected, then it becomes easier to embrace the element of surprise. Synchronicities start to appear. God begins to wow us with the unfathomable perfection of it all.
What are the chances?
Hint – they are slanted in favor of the teachers of God. There is no order of difficulty in miracles.
When you become a clear channel for what God would have you do, you will be amazed at the beauty of it all. “When the light comes and you have said, ‘God’s Will is mine,’ you will see such beauty that you will know it is not of you. Out of your joy you will create beauty in His Name, for your joy could no more be contained than His. The bleak little world will vanish into nothingness, and your heart will be so filled with joy that it will leap into Heaven, and into the Presence of God.”
Yesterday, as I was listening to the Manual for Teachers, I heard something that made my ego very happy. “God gives special gifts to His teachers, because they have a special role in His plan for Atonement. Their specialness is, of course, only temporary; set in time as a means of leading out of time. These special gifts, born in the holy relationship toward which the teaching-learning situation is geared, become characteristic of all teachers of God who have advanced in their own learning. In this respect they are all alike.”
You know, because ego loves specialness!
Who knew that the only path to the specialness ego so craves is to give up the need/desire for it and allow God to run the show.
So, in the dream of time, where there seems to be separate bodies and separate lives and aging and death, I give this holy instant to God. I allow Him to be in charge and tell me what I need to do. I follow.
I follow in the dream of time, until there is no time.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.
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