“Routines as such are dangerous, because they easily become gods in their own right, threatening the very goals for which they were set up. (M-16.2)”
1 – Routine or “Rut”?
The word “routine,” in this passage, seems to me to be akin to a “rut.” All of us know that ruts, while comforting because we try to eliminate or, at the least, reduce variety in life, are also confining. We find that trying to avoid change is stressful in and of itself. Of course, it is possible to reduce the pace of change, which may, in the short term, be a good thing. If we are addicted to drama (something A Course in Miracles counsels against), then we might well benefit from some slowing down of change. But to seek out routine and ruts as a way of life is counterproductive to a full life, the kind of glorious living that Jesus would have us to find in this world.
2 – This World
This world is not necessarily bad in and of itself, but what we have made of this world is often bad. We struggle more than is necessary. We come to see our struggle as the “way of the world,” not subject to our own whims. But if projection makes perception (as ACIM says), then we do have some choice in the manner of how we perceive the less enjoyable parts of this world. We do not have to focus on the bad. We can do what we can to help (and we should do that much), but we can remind ourselves that our brothers and sisters, on some level–the level of the Self–have chosen these experiences for reasons that we can only guess. We ourselves, in the meantime, need to be certain that we do not attract into our personal space the things that hurt. Attitude is everything.
3 – Lilies Do Not Work to Be Beautiful
It is important to note that ACIM wants our material needs met as well as our emotional. We are reminded that lilies do not “work” to be beautiful. We too can see that our way would be smoother if we were not our own worst enemy. Let us pray today that we cease bringing trouble onto ourselves by default. We can and must attract better living, and A Course in Miracles (and A Course of Love) are two of the many books that are here to help us.
4 – Our Help
Our help, of course, does not have to come solely through books. Our brothers and sisters may offer words of encouragement, or even just a quick word said as an aside–and with these words we can see our way clear to living a better way. God’s Way is always the best way, but (in a personal interpretation) I do not think that God requires that we accept more than we are ready to see. If we have intellectual problems with a Deity, God will be patient with us. And Jesus will help, a concept that we may find even more unlikely than the fact of God’s existence. We need to realize that our way in this world can be a beautiful experience, especially when we live and walk in love and forgiveness.
Give me a soft voice today. I sometimes think that I speak too authoritatively when I am right about something, something that somebody else is “wrong” about. These can even be objective facts, not opinion. But nobody appreciates being corrected. I need to soften a bit, not to raise ire by being so “right.” Would I rather be right or happy? ACIM recommends being happy.
Help me not to fall too quickly into routines/ruts. I think that I need a schedule to my day, so that I feel at the end that I have accomplished something. But is this what the Holy Spirit would counsel me to do? I think not. I think that the flow of the day is more line with spiritual teaching. And stopping often to help another, a brother or sister.
Be with me today as I seek to avoid routines/ruts. Thank You for the morning that took me out of myself. Ease my relationships in this new place for me.