1 – An Exchange
“Is not this an exchange that you would want? The world would gladly make it, if it knew it could be made. (M42)”
2 – Life Rooted in Separation and Sacrifice
This passage refers to the preceding one, discussed yesterday. It is talking of life rooted in sacrifice and separation, a life that can be exchanged for Heaven on earth. The alteration from egoic sacrifice and separation to Heaven on earth is the exchange that is meant. And would we not want this? The world can make it, when its understanding has bloomed.
3 – Blooming
And we have a part in that blooming, if we accept the function of salvation.
4 – Weary World
The world is very weary now. Stress is omnipresent. Anger and attack, all too often, arise from this sole emotion of stress. And stress is a form of fear—one of the two emotions, fear and love.
5 – Personal Experience
I was, years ago, told that I had a fear that was keeping me from glorious living. I puzzled over this interpretation for quite a long time, for I could not identify the fear. Finally, someone else said to me that the problem was “stress,” and to this I could relate.
6 – Stress
I knew what the problem of stress was, and I could take steps to minimize stress in my life. All of us can, but it takes some right knowledge to know how to do it. One way is to factor in breaks from the routine of work every 90 minutes to a couple of hours. This is a recommendation of Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in The Power of Full Engagement. This book is a manual devoted to balance in life and work. It is not a religious book, but for us who are trying to grow spiritually, we may so read the advice. Balance in life is a way to live the spiritual life, and if stress is pronounced, it is very, very hard to practice spirituality, for we are distracted by our pain.
7 – Take a Break
All too often, when stressed, we just keep going—driven by the need to succeed, finally. We are determined. But we would be better off taking a break.
8 – Recovery
But breaks will allow for emotional recovery. This is the message that Jim and Tony are getting across to us in their book and their counseling practice. Just stop when stressed. Stop. Stop. See if when you return to work, your concentration is not better.
9 – Concentration
Always the concentration will be better.
10 – Teach What You Have Learned
“It is God’s teachers who must teach it that it can. And so it is their function to make sure that they have learned it. (M42)”
11 – Unhealed Healers
We will be “unhealed healers” if we try to teach what we have not learned. And we sometimes have to relearn, over and over, many times, for we forget—even when we have studied A Course in Miracles for a long time. I myself have to keep studying to keep the concepts in my mind. All of us do. To an extent the concepts become habitual, but only to an extent. The full blossoming takes repeated immersions in the text, the workbook, and the manual.
12 – God’s Teachers
As God’s teachers (and all of us are His teachers), we must teach the world that the exchange of sacrifice and separation for Heaven on earth can be made. This is our function! And what a glorious function it is. Fulfilling this function will make us happy.
13 – No Risk
“No risk is possible throughout the day except to put your trust in magic, for it is only this that leads to pain. ‘There is no will but God’s.’ His teachers know this this is so, and have learned that everything but this is magic. (M42 – M43)”
14 – Magic Thoughts
This passage builds upon the one for yesterday. It asserts that putting our trust in magic thoughts is the bottom line for why we feel pain. What an empowering thought this is! We can avoid pain if we follow the Holy Spirit. We will not necessarily avoid struggle, but struggle does not have to be (and is not) pain, and certainly struggle is not suffering. Our minds can intellectually wrap around this concept, and the result will be only good.
15 – God’s Will
“There is no will but God’s.” We only live in illusion when we doubt the truth of this statement. The real world will dawn upon our sight when we have accepted God’s will as our own (an interpretation of the Course, not stated therein).
16 – Our Days Will Go Well
Our days will go well when they are started out well. Putting our trust in God and not in illusion is the way to go. Then we will surely and certainly be led away from pain.
17 – God’s Will II
“’There is no will but God’s.’ His teachers know that this is so, and have learned that everything but this is magic. (M43)”
18 – Gate of Heaven Reopened
“All through his training, every day and every hour, and even every minute and second, must God’s teachers learn to recognize the forms of magic and perceive their meaninglessness. Fear is withdrawn from them, and so they go. And thus the gate of Heaven is reopened, and its light can shine again on an untroubled mind. (M43)”
19 – Untroubled Mind
What a blessing is an untroubled mind! And to have this boon, we have only to learn how to recognize the various forms of magic, and learn to avoid them in all their manifestations. We need not fear magic, because ultimately it is meaningless. But magic can cause great havoc in our lives in the meantime, until we have recognized its meaninglessness.
20 – Vigilant against Magic
There is an indication in this passage that we must be vigilant against magic (“every day and every hour, and even every minute and second”). Surely, we tell ourselves, we will fail. And we will. But as we practice, the failure rate goes down, surely and steadily. This assurance is motivation to practice well.
21 – Home with God
If the gate of Heaven is reopened, we are indeed Home. And Home can be while still on earth. There is even a well-known passage in the New Testament in which Jesus asserts this while he is in fellowship with his disciples. Surely it is no different for us now. Recognizing this is a blessing that will quiet our days and give us hope.
Help me this day to place in Your hands and in Your trust. In truth I have no will but Yours, and this has always been true, but I have not understood. Help me to understand today.
May this day go well. I know that when I place my trust in You, I always have a good day–however many upsetting things may happen. You are with me always, and this gives me certainty and confidence to face all occurrences.