“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”
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.
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.