ACIM Workbook Lesson 287 – for Friday, October 14, 2011
“Where would I go but Heaven? What could be a substitute for happiness? What gift could I prefer before the peace of God? What treasure would I seek and find and keep that can compare with my Identity? And would I rather live with fear than love?
“You are my goal, my Father. What but You could I desire to have? What way but that which leads to You could I desire to walk? And what except the memory of You could signify to me the end of dreams and futile substitutions for the truth? You are my only goal. Your Son would be as You created him. What way but this could I expect to recognize my Self, and be at one with my identity? (WB441)”
1 – Our Relationships to Our Higher Power
All of these lessons are meant to solidify our relationship with our Higher Power. For me this is God, though there are some students/teachers of A Course in Miracles who believe that God does not know about us, that we made this world, and that His channels of communication are closed (which He does recognize). In this understanding, God thinks that His children sleep and must be awakened. And He is lonely without our communication with Him.
2 – Does God Know about Us?
I do not personally subscribe to this interpretation. I wonder why the Workbook is filled with lessons that discuss God and prayers that are addressed to Him, if God is oblivious to us? In addition, and importantly, a remote God is not part of my personal experience of Him. I pray, and I receive answers to my prayers. Often, what comes is an experience of the peace that passeth understanding (from the Bible), and this peace reminds me of the peace and strength that surely passed into Jesus during his earthly mission. He retreated often for prayer, often in the night. He prayed in Gethsemane, while his disciples slept. ACIM says, of course, that Jesus did not hold their sleeping against them, He knew that he could not be abandoned. And why not? Is not this biblical testimony to a God who listens and responds to prayer?
3 – The Presence of the Holy Spirit
If you do read those passages alluded to above, and you feel that the Holy Spirit is the Universal Communication, the One who answers prayer, then all is well with you. Neither you nor I are depending on self alone, which would only mean that the ego is in ascendancy. We would turn to the greatest understanding that we have of the Higher Power to which we have access, and let that Higher Power guide us through our days. I turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance also. But I see Him as an instrument of our salvation, created by God for us as soon as we, the Sons and Daughters of God, had “forgotten to laugh at the tiny, mad idea.”
Thank You for answering my prayers. Thank You for being there for me. Even in the past, when I went through dark nights of the soul, I knew that You were there, perhaps hiding from me for reasons that I did not fully understand, and still don’t. But I trust You. I trust you implicitly. And I thank You that now I am feeling Your presence when I pray; I am not going through a dark night of the soul.
Be with all of us who reach for You. If we find solace in knowing that the Holy Spirit is Your Communicator, let us be glad for one another. We know that we are not alone. And that is enough.