Tag Archives: Jonah

There Is No Strain in Doing God’s Will as Soon as You Recognize that It Is Also Your Own

manet - girl with earring“There is no strain in doing God’s Will as soon as you recognize that it is also your own. (T30)”

Affirmation: “no strain in doing God’s will”

Reflections:

1 – Theory

This sentence is a primary theoretical foundation for the Course. Much of our rebellion has been predicated upon the idea that we would not believe that God’s will would be desirable; we think that we can choose better. We even think that His will is punitive. But we are a part of God, and He chooses for us when He makes decisions. We truly want what He wants for us. He chooses in our best interests, nothing punitive at all. And we are happier when we follow His Will as conveyed by the Holy Spirit. This conveyance can come by way of intuition, locutions (inner thoughts that appear to be beyond us), silence in which we come to “know,” words that we say to ourselves that somehow seem to be a wisdom that is greater than our own. God’s ways of reaching us are myriad. Being sure that we want what He wants for us is the most important point.

2 – Procrastination

If we cannot fulfill what we feel to be God’s will for us, then let us change our decision as soon as we can. Often we are stubborn. And we set ourselves on a given course of action, thinking that some small thing will satisfy us, when we want it “all.” A Course in Miracles makes this clear. It is according to our natures to want the All, everything. And to decide that some small boon is what we want, and that we will be satisfied if we have it, is to listen to the ego, which wishes us no good.

3 – God’s Will and Our Real Will

How wrong we are! God’s will and our own “real” will are the same! What a relief this can be. Our thoughts of Jonah and the whale may be relegated to an Old Testament/Hebrew Bible story, not meaningful in the world in which we live today. With Jonah, the idea that God would pursue us and demand that we do His will, is the main crux of the matter. In ACIM, we are gently led to do God’s will, once we have understood that we are actually doing our own will at the same time. The God of A Course in Miracles is in no way a punitive God.

4 – Personal Experience

I used to fret quite a bit about God’s will, for I determined a course of action for my life when I was 22 that did not let up until I have followed that pathway through the early months of my 35th year. I had various “signs” along the way that I was on the right pathway, but nobody believed me. God had shut me up to Himself alone, and there He kept me. Thankfully, I stayed true to the course. I think that maybe I would have had emotional crises unless I had, and my life from age 25 to 34 was rather smooth. I was not happy about following this course that appeared laid out by God, but though a reluctant follower, I did not seriously consider leaving aside this pathway. I still, many years later, don’t know if I was really right, but what I know of God has expanded, and it seems to me that I would have followed a very wrong pathway if I had deviated. Most people do not have to follow a Jonah’s pathway for 14 years, and that is good. I ultimately got what I really wanted out of life, though that life has taken a very different form than I thought at age 22. God does care for us when He gives us specific missions, missions of which we cannot be sure even years later on.

5 – No Strain

So, we experience “no strain” in doing God’s will. We see no conflict in following God’s pathway. It is the pathway that we would choose if we could see the whole picture. Our judgment is not that wondrous; we see imperfectly and only in part. But when we acquiesce to the Holy Spirit, we truly know the peace of following God’s will as our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

What a relief to learn that God’s will is really our real will! Thank you, dear Father, for this insight.

When we know that doing God’s will, as we perceive it, is really our own real will, we do not feel coerced. Thank you for this insight, this great blessing.

May I have a good day today, years after my wrestle with You about Your will for my life. May I recognize that ultimately I will know whether or not You were really demanding a certain course for my life. My certainty has wavered over the years. But I thank You that You shut me up to Yourself alone. That gave me a solidarity about my life that no other circumstance could have wrought.

Amen.

Have You Heard a Call?

manet - a day in paris“Why would we begin a Treatise on Unity by talking of treasure? To pave the way for talking of calling. What is it in you that recognizes talents that lie fully realized within? The practical mind is not the source of such imagination. The practical mind makes of imagination a fantasy. It is the heart that sees with true imagination and the heart speaks to you in terms that are consistent with the idea you currently hold of hearing a call or having a calling. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 2.1)”

Affirmation: “May I listen to my heart today.”

Reflections:

1 – Definition

A calling in the religious/spiritual sense is normally thought of as God placing His hand on one’s heart, and asking one to devote a lifetime to spreading the Gospel. Many individuals feel themselves called to the ministry, and they feel that they themselves have no choice in the matter. God has asked, and He is not to be refused.

2 – Refusing the Call

The Old Testament story of Jonah is the story of a man who tried to refuse a calling. And with dire consequences. He gets swallowed up in a sea monster and there spends, strangely, three days before the monster spits him out on dry land. Then and only then does Jonah go preach in Ninevah. Most callings are not so severe, but this story is meant to illustrate that there is no going against God’s will once He has placed a hand upon one.

3 – Personal Experience

I once heard a missionary lecture to young people (myself being one of them) about the call that she had felt to be a missionary. I sat there in wonder, drinking it all in, and I said to myself, “I hope God doesn’t call me!” I think that God’s call is normally something that is akin to the individual’s personal talents and personal bent. He would not ask for the impossible. And later on, at age 22, I did feel a calling that was much more to my liking, though not something that, over the 14 years that I followed that “call,” always well-received by me. Yet I was not asked to go abroad and be a missionary, something that would not, in all likelihood, have been suited for the personality that God had implanted in my being.

4 – Proselytize?

Jesus does not ask us to proselytize with A Course of Love. He does not ask us to try to convert others to our way of thinking. This is an important point to be noted, for it is concept that might easily be misconstrued. Jesus just makes the teaching available, to be shared with those who find a welcome place in their hearts. He says, similarly, in A Course in Miracles, that some may be ready for only a smile. So there is no license to devote one’s life to converting others to our way.

5 – Jesus’s Words

If another is interested in what Jesus says, though, that is another matter, and we would do well to share, letting guidance choose our words for us. Then and only then we do carry our a calling to the very best of our abilities. And we are certain not to run ahead and try to direct the course of our sharing. We speak softly and let God’s holy guidance do the remainder.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the concept of a calling, but may we never make the mistake of believing in a call that is actually non-existent. So often the ego turns wily, and we think that we are to passionately “save” another, but Jesus has better ways to work. Often the one sure way to turn a person off is to try to save his/her soul in an aggressive way.

May I listen for guidance in the matter of a call. Always the call is something that would be fitted to the personality that You gave me and that I developed. It is never an appeal to the ego, and I would not have the ego mislead me today.

May I follow any legitimate call that comes into my heart and mind.

Amen.

God’s Will Is My Will

“The contrast between His Will [God’s Will] and yours but seemed to be reality.  In truth there was no conflict, for His Will is yours.  (M-20.6)”

Affirmation:  “God’s Will is my will.”

Reflections:

1 – Only in Illusions Do We Differ from God about Will

We only, in illusions, believe that we want something for ourselves that God would not will for us.  When we are thinking this way, we are thinking through the ego.  When the Holy Spirit prompts us to say or do or think something, He is speaking for our real will, the one we share with God.  He is getting ready to give us what we really want.  Would we turn aside from this?

2 – Jonah

The distinction between God’s Will and our will then disappears.  We do not have to feel like the Jonah of the Old Testament, a lesson that would have us believe that we cannot escape God’s Will, even when we are acting as hard as we might to do something else.  I don’t know all the nuances of that type of thinking, but it is fallacious reasoning.  Jonah’s best action was actually to do what God wanted him to do.  In that alone would he find the joy and happiness that he, and all others, seek.

3 – Personal

I spent a long time in my early adulthood puzzling over God’s Will.  He seemed to be asking me to do something that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do.  But in my deepest heart of hearts, I did want to do what it seemed I was being asked to do.  I still do not have all the answers, but I followed that pathway for 14 years, and 30 years beyond, I have no regrets.  I expect that as time goes by, I will come to understand more than I do even now, 30 years later.

4 – How to Live Magnificently

Be with God.  Let His Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit, guide our steps.  There is no more magnificent way to live the best life imagined.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for putting to rest my conflict over Your Will for me.  We actually wanted the same things so many years ago!  I did not ask for my prayer to be answered, because I wasn’t sure that You wanted it.  You walked with me through 14 years, and now You have walked with me through more than 30 more.  You taught me much in that 14 years, and certainly I hope that You have done the same in the years since that pivotal time.  Be with me now ias I follow my heart and try to write in a way that will be beneficial.

Be wtih all of us.  Lead us to see the way that we can follow our hearts.  May we not toil and sttrive and worry in our lives.  There is so much stress in the world as we live it.  Let us realize that the stress originates in our own minds, and there it can be overlooked.  Let us have a flow to our das, following Your guidance.  May we turn to the Holy Spirit or the Christ deep within.  May we know what to do and say to help other people and ourselves.   We are One with You.  Thank You for the knowledge that this declaration is a truth for all of us.

Amen

God’s Will Is Your Will

“There is no will but God’s.  The idea for today [Note:  Workbook Lesson 74] can be regarded as the central thought toward which all our exercises are directed.  God’s is the only Will.  When you have recognized this, you have recognized that your will is His.  (WB 130)”

Affirmation:  “God will is my real will.”

Reflections:

1 – Jonah

Many of us get caught up in conflicts over God’s will and our own.  We wonder if we are really very different from the story of Jonah in the Old Testament, who was forced to follow God’s will, even though his own seemed in conflict.

2 – The Same Will

A Course in Miracles promises us that there really is not conflict.  God and we actually have the same will.  When we follow our Christ nature, we will know this.  Only when caught in temptation do we feel led to take a different pathway, one that we know at the time is not God’s highest and best choice for us.

3 – Personal Experience

I spent years in a Jonah-like situation, but, in retrospect, I realize that what I perceived to be God’s will for me was, in fact, my own real will as well.  Some of the details differed, but largely they were societal expectations, not God’s inclinations.  I wondered long and hard about God’s will, and I surrendered to Him countless times.  This was not in vain.  I found the incentive to continue my walk along this pathway, and I walked it for 14 years, to its conclusion.  I was not always totally willing, but I did comply.  I did not think I had a choice, so strong was the sense that I must do this thing that seemed almost thrust upon me.

4 – The Central Thought

This workbook lesson actually says that this statement can be regarded as the “central thought” toward which all exercises are directed.  Surely when we know that God and we share the same will, we will not get caught up in conflict again.  His choice for us is always best, and we will follow what we know from the Holy Spirit when Awakening beckons.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me through A Course in Miracles, and with this reading to have assured me that Your will and my real will are actually identical.  When I think that I want something different from what the Holy Spirit seems to be saying to me, I am thinking amiss.  My still-present ego has a toehold in me.

I would stay in the flow today as I seek to follow Your Guide for me.  I would be at peace and stress-free, for it is frequently simply too much stress that trips me up.  I would not be tripped up today.

Thank You for clarifying Your Will in my life.

Amen.

God’s Will Is Our Real Will

“There is no will but God’s.  The idea for today [Note:  Workbook Lesson 74] can be regarded as the central thought toward which all our exercises are directed.  God’s is the only Will.  When you have recognized this, you have recognized that your will is His.  (WB 130)”

Affirmation:  “I would follow God’s will, because He chooses what I really want.”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Will and Our Will

Many of us get caught up in conflicts over God’s will and our own.  We wonder if we are really very different from the story of Jonah in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), who was forced to follow God’s will, even though his own seemed in conflict.

2 – There Is Really No Conflict

A Course in Miracles promises us that there really is no conflict.  God and we actually have the same will.  When we follow our Christ nature, we will know this.  Only when caught in temptation do we feel led to take a different pathway, one that we know at the time is not God’s highest and best choice for us.

3 – Central Thought

This workbook lesson actually says that this statement can be regarded as the “central thought” toward which all exercises are directed.  Surely when we know that God and we share the same will, we will not get caught up in conflict again.  His choice for us is always best, and we will follow what we know from the Holy Spirit when Awakening beckons.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Certainly I fretted over God’s will for many years in my early adulthood.  I didn’t want to feel like Jonah, but I did.  Thank You that those days are behind me, thanks to the greater understanding that A Course in Miracles has given me.  I do not have to worry that You might want me to be a puppet–just doing Your bidding.  Your bidding and my desire are actually identical!  This reality is indeed grand!

Thank You for keeping me on the pathway that I thought You wanted for me when I was younger.  I would never have felt that I had loved You enough if I had deviated from that pathway, though I know that You would have forgiven me.  May the pathways ahead that You point out be ones that I can easily and peacefully walk, without conflict.  I would know Your peace.

Thank You for always being there for me, for I am a part of You.  That knowledge is also a blessing that You have granted me through ACIM.  Thank You for that knowledge.

Amen.

To Will Separately from God Is Senseless and Painful

ACIM Workbook Lesson 307 – for Thursday, November 3, 2011

Affirmation:  “Conflicting wishes cannot be my will.”

“Father, Your Will is mine, and only that.  There is no other will for me to have.  Let me not try to make another will, for it is senseless and will cause me pain.  (WB453)”

Reflections:

1 – The Father’s Will and Mine Are Identical

This prayer returns us to the important message that A Course in Miracles gives out to us:  Our will and our Father’s Will are identical.  When we ask for and receive guidance from the Holy Spirit, He chooses for us; He lets us know what we really want.

2 – An Imprisoned Will

Anything else engenders an imprisoned will that brings on pain (a Text tenet).

3 – Revisiting Jonah

It is hard for us who were schooled in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) and the story of Jonah to believe that what God wills for us is exactly what we will for ourselves, if we only knew our own mind.  But it is.  And this is the glorious promise that we are not puppets.  The Holy Spirit chooses for us.  He knows all circumstances–past, present, and future–that will impact any decision, and then He lets us know what decision is best, what we would best choose to say or do (or even think) next.

4 – Judging Amiss

The Manual discusses judgment quite a bit, and it points out to us that we have often thought that we judged aright, only to find out how wrong we have been.  The world, the Manual says, teaches us to rely on judgment as we mature, but this teaching is in direct contrast to A Course in Miracles.  We turn our judgment over to One Who does know, and we are infinitely blessed by this gesture.

5 – When in Conflict, Go Within

If we find ourselves in conflict, the best action that we can take is to go within, to God, to the Holy Spirit, in silence, and to get quiet.  Then the next step will appear without fail.  If it appears not to appear, we have allowed emotions to cloud our thinking.  Be still, wait in confidence, and the next right action to take will come to us.  Especially is this advice important when we find ourselves in conflict with one of our brothers or sisters.  Get quiet, do not engage in debate or argument, and listen to guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Then the conflict will dissipate.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would affirm today by my thoughts and actions that I know that my real will and Your Will are identical.  May I not get lost in foolish thoughts about puppets, thinking that if I do Your will, I will be little more than someone dangling on a string that You control.  This is not the Way.  The Holy Spirit knows what I really want in my heart, and in every way he seeks to have me realize these heartfelt truths also.  I would walk the Way that He directs.  I would not seek to make judgments about what to think or say or do, when it is completely impossible for me to know all the facts.  You do know all the facts, and Your Universal Inspiration will reveal to me what I need to know to walk the right pathway.  Thank You for caring for me enough to give me a Guide Who cannot fail.

Be with me all day today, as I seek to walk Your pathway.  May I intuitively know the next right thing to do, and may I never doubt that this intuition, if informed by Your grace, is the best way for me to go.

Amen.