“Being first does not mean being better. That I was the first to demon¬strate what you can be does not mean I am better than you. Just as in your sporting events, a “first” is applauded, and soon a new record replaces that record-setting first; just as someone had to be “first” to fly a plane or land on the moon, being first implies only that there will be a second and a third. That attention and respect is given to those who first achieve anything of merit is but a way of calling all others to know what they can achieve. One may desire to best a sporting record and another to follow the first man into space and the one who desires to best a sporting record may feel no desire to follow the first man into space and vice versa, and yet, what one achieves but opens the door for others and this is known to you. Even those who did not desire to fly in a plane when this feat was first accomplished have since flown in planes.” (ACOL, T4:2.11)
Jesus, we are told, was the first to accomplish what he is trying to effect in us. Being first does not mean “better.” He has repeatedly said that even he is equal to all of us. And he would show us what he has accomplished. We need only listen to the words of the New Testament, A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, The Way of Mastery, and others to recognize that his words hold great truth. His words hold the secret of living well in this sometimes troubled world.
Jesus was first in returning to God. Of course, we also think of the Buddha. And I have no explanation for that. Enlightenment is yet a mystery for us to solve. But we who follow ACOL need to take Jesus at his word, for if we start doubting him, we will be lost in miseries and dismay. He shows us a way back to God; let us take him at his word, and do the things that he says. Then we will indeed get to ultimate salvation in the quickest and most efficacious way.
It is egoic to want to be the “second” to Jesus, to want to “get there” before our brothers and sisters. We don’t know the timetable, and there may be good reason that our progress is delayed. Certainly a desire to achieve enlightenment prior to our brothers and sisters is an ego-oriented desire. And Jesus has told us that we have left the ego behind, and so this can only be a previous pattern, come back to taunt us.
Accept enlightenment when it comes in glimpses. Seek to remove the barriers to our experience of love, our awareness of love. Accept life as it is lived.
And our way back will be hastened and made real to us.
I would slow down and be grateful for what I have. So often I do things that seem to me to be less than the best. I am more sensitive as I walk ever closer to enlightenment. Help me to realize that being human and making mistakes are natural for me. As for everybody..
I do no one a service when I fail to acknowledge mistakes that call for an apology. I do nobody a service when I am overly sensitive, seeing fault where there is only bluntness. Help me to choose the best and highest way in every instance that I can. Help me to fine my way home by the shortest route.