ACIM Workbook Lesson 268 – for Sunday, September 25, 2011
Affirmation: “Let all things be exactly as they are.”
“Let me not be Your critic, Lord, today, and judge against You. Let me not attempt to interfere with Your creation, and distort it into sickly forms. Let me be willing to withdraw my wishes from its unity, and thus to let it be as You created it. For thus will I be able, too, to recognize my Self as You created me. In Love was I created, and in Love will I remain forever. What can frighten me, when I let all things be exactly as they are?
“Let not our sight be blasphemous today, nor let our ears attend to lying tongues. Only reality is free of pain. Only reality is free of loss. Only reality is wholly safe. And it is only this we seek today. (WB429)”
1 – God Is Not to Blame for Suffering
We often blame God when we see suffering in our world. Jesus says in the Text that nobody has failed to believe at one time or another that God is cruel (a paraphrase). But God did not “do this” to us! We did it to ourselves. This is one of the theological concepts in ACIM that may be hard to wrap our minds around. But, as Jesus also says, do not let theology delay us; we are here to heal the perceived separation from God, and to do that we have to forgive Him for what He never did.
2 – Considering Our Ambivalent Feelings toward Jesus
We are also likely to have ambivalent thoughts toward Jesus. Helen Schucman, the co-scribe of ACIM, did so. Would we be very likely to have it better than she? Her suffering was very real, but the book that she brought forth has given comfort to many, comfort that she was not usually able to feel. May we be the lucky ones who benefit from the joy found in studying A Course in Miracles. May we be healed by our study and the contemplation that the Workbook encourages. But, most of all, may we be healed in our special-relationships-turned holy. This latter is our way. We do not need to spend long hours in contemplation, which Jesus describes as “tedious.” But a few moments at the beginning and end of the day would be time well spent as we seek to walk a closer pathway with God.
3 – How Long Will We Live in the Real World?
We would have reality, not illusions. I think that the “reality” meant here is the “real world” also spoken of in ACIM. Reality is not fearful. Only our illusions scare us. If we can come to understand this, we will not be so likely to let the vicissitudes of our daily life upset us. We will move into reality, perhaps only in snatches, but more and more as time passes. These are the “glimpses” that revelation gives us; the means to reach the end (Awakening) is given in ACIM. ACIM says something that appears confusing at the outset. At one point the Text indicates that the time of experiencing the real world will be brief, and that then God will recognize that we are ready for Awakening, and He will reach down for us (metaphorically). I speculate in an interpretation that the “briefness” is a way of looking at time that is not ours in normal, day-to-day living. Eternity is the eternal Now, but we see time in segments. When viewed against the backdrop of eternity, we may find that many years are considered “brief.” I offer this interpretation for prayerful consideration, because ACIM does not elaborate in this way.
I would not be frightened today, because I would let You and Your Love lead the Way. How should I doubt that I am safe, even in this world where suffering sometimes seems so ever-present?
May my perceived “suffering” be recognized for the illusion that it is. May I recognize that I am the recipient of many blessings from You. And may I here express my gratitude for those blessings. I need only ask, and I do receive. The solution is found with the problem. May I realize that only when I am not flexible enough to follow Your Guide consistently do I get into trouble. When I remain flexible, I walk a straight line to You. Thank You for pointing out the Way.