Pain Can be Avoided

“The acceptance of the Atonement by everyone is only a matter of time. This may appear to contradict free will because of the inevitability of the final decision, but this is not so.
You can temporize and you are capable of enormous procrastination, but you cannot depart entirely from your Creator, Who set the limits on your ability to miscreate. An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. T-2.III.3)”

God had to set limits on our ability to miscreate, or His universe(s) would be in jeopardy. This does seem to limit free will, but who in his right mind would depart from reality to find refuge in illusions, especially illusions that give pain and suffering? We don’t know the right things to do; we make all kinds of trouble for ourselves in our illusory world. Would God let that type of insane situation continue forever for his beloved children?

God, in my estimation, intervenes because he realizes that his children are lost in insanity. We departed from Him (or thought we did), in a “tiny, mad idea” about which we forgot to laugh. (This is from A Course in Miracles.) This tiny, mad idea started the chain of circumstances in which we find ourselves now. And we are in a dire place indeed. The Holy Spirit, God’s Voice, will guide us back to sanity if we will only listen. That is all we have to do: follow the promptings that come to us with courage, sure that Someone is making the right decision for us.

Our will is imprisoned because we are not following life according to the plan that God set up when He created us. In departing from that plan, we have found only misery, and the Holy Spirit would undo all the tragedy for us. Our free will, followed by us, will come to the conclusion that there is another way to live, surely a better way than the way that we have lived in the past. And in using free will to choose again, we use free will rightly. God surely must smile.


  1. ACIM consistently uses the masculine pronouns Him, He or His in referring to God. I now find it is important for me to seek others ways to refer to God. I feel it right to cease referring to the divine in a way that personifies God as an anthropomorphic super-being.

    Some I know think it appropriate to refrain completely from using the word God because of how it continues to be understood by most people. I disagree with that point of view. I once wrote an article entitled, “Seven Reason I Still Say God.” Here are those seven reasons.

    1. It keeps me speaking the same language as those in my community.
    2. Speaking the same language gives me the opportunity to define what I mean by God, and what I believe.
    3. If I reject the use of the word God and want others to do the same, the conversation is usually over.
    4. What I find most effective is to use the word God, and then in the same sentence or thought also use a more progressive word like The Infinite, Spirit, Mind, Ultimate Reality, or Life Force to name a few.
    5. If others reject me for the use of the word God and refuse to hear anything else I say (which has happened) then that becomes their problem. You cannot explore ideas with anyone who has a closed mind.
    6. The use of the word God is “inclusive,” encompassing all viewpoints. The regular use of alternate terms could likely end up being “exclusive,” by leaving out viewpoints other than my own.
    7. By using the word God, I extend respect to those who use the word but with a different meaning. I don’t make others wrong just so I can be right.

    Finally, here are two closing thoughts that relate to our struggle to adequately describe the indescribable. Searching for a way to think of God, St. Bonaventure is credited with saying, “God is like a sphere whose center in everywhere, and whose circumference is nowhere.” And more recently, Forrest Church (1948 – 2009) U.U. Minister said, “No language about God is sufficient to the task.” And so it is that I still say “God.”

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