Tag Archives: lessons

Trials Are Lessons Presented Once Again

But what if we have expressed the small willingness (T-11.II.4:3) required to go God’s way, and still bad things happen? The Course asserts that trials are lessons presented once again, that where we made a faulty choice before, now we can now make a better one. (T-31.VIII.3:1) In this world, we are retracing our faulty steps one by one, choosing this time the Holy Spirit as our Guide. We know that we have chosen wrongly in the past, and much of this faulty thinking has brought pain to us and others. Rarely (if ever) do people experience a radical about-face that rights all wrongs, allowing us to live wholly in the “real world,” where the dreams we experience are always happy. Until we retrace our steps, bits and pieces of our insanity will still seem to make sense to us, and to the extent that we buy into these old ego patterns, to that extent will we know pain.

So let us abandon an old dream of attack as often and as frequently as our strength will allow. We do not have to do so alone; the Holy Spirit will prompt the right action, if we but remain calm enough to listen to the inner Voice. In times of heated words, we are never listening to the Holy Spirit, and that is why the guilt comes about later on. Then we are bade to try again, and again, and again, and, indeed, in my experience as one forgives not only the other but also one’s self, the pathways gets lighter and happier as one walks along.

All Lessons Are Gifts

pennsylvania impressionism2“Acceptance of what is, is acceptance that whatever is happening in the present moment is a gift and a lesson. What comes as a lesson may not seem like a gift, but all lessons are gifts. . . .They will not be lessons that you find difficult or distressing if you accept them as lessons and realize that all lessons are gifts. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.6)”

Affirmation: “I would accept my lessons as gifts today.”

Reflections:

1 – Everything a Gift

When something good happens, we can readily see this as a blessing and a gift. When something bad happens, we bewail our fate, and sometimes we blame God for the unfortunate occurrence. Yet everything that happens, according to what Jesus channeled in this passage for today, is a lesson that is a gift. Even the bad things.

2 – Scary Things

Does anything ever have to be truly bad? Of course, here on this earth we interpret scary, frightening happenings as bad, and we recoil from them. We think that the world chaos is deplorable. We ask how a loving God could so create, and could so place us in this world. Yet this is not the right question. We have free will, and this free will means that sometimes bad things will happen. This includes illness, for physical bodies partake of the imperfections of our world as well. We never need to blame God for our misfortune.

3 – Dreams

Of course, when we dream the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles), we see far more blessings as gifts—for the happenings that occur to us are fortunate and blissful. These are easy to accept as being from God’s Hand. Are they always? Yes, for we have aligned ourselves with Him and His will (which always is our own real will as well).

4 – Struggle

Accept gifts today, accept lessons today. The lessons may entail struggle, but we will hone character by struggle. And we will grow thereby.

5 – Grow, Grow

Marianne Williamson often tells a Jewish parable about a blade of grass, always looked over by an angel who says, “Grow, grow.” We can see this parable as applicable to us. God would have us grow. And He does, I believe, send His angels to help us along the way.

6 – Prayer

So may we pray that our lessons be gentle, but may we accept them also if they are harsh. They will be less harsh when we do not have an imprisoned will (from ACIM), the type of will forged by the illusory ego. Turn to the inner Christ/Self, and see if the lessons that we all experience do not immediately seem more benign. And then we can recognize those lessons as the gifts that they are.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would grow today, even if there is struggle. I do not believe that struggle is inevitable. When we align ourselves with You in toto, we walk a smooth path. And that is what I would do today. Be with me to make it so.

I would accept all things that happen as a gift from Your hand. I do know that some things surely happen that are not optimal, that You allow but do not condone. But traditional Christianity often talks about what You “allow,” even when this allowing does not seem good. And surely You do stand aside so that our free will is not violated.

Be with me today as I seek to do Your will, which ever is my own.

Amen.

How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day?

“How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day?  To the advanced teacher of God this question is meaningless.  There is no program, for the lessons change each day.  Yet the teacher of God is sure of but one thing; they do not change at random.  Seeing this and understanding that it is true, he rests content.  He will be told all that his role should be, this day and every day.  And those who share that role with him will find him, so they can learn the lessons for the day together.  (M-16)”

Affirmation:  “My lessons do not change at random.”

Reflections:

1 – Assurance of Guidance

This passage once more assures us of guidance.  And that guidance is described as being from the Holy Spirit, or Universal Inspiration.  We need to consider very carefully the ways in which guidance can come to us.  In reality the ways are numberless, but it is also possible to categorize some of the more obvious ways in which guidance comes to us.

2 – Intuition

The primary quality for many of us is an internal feeling, which may be described as intuition.  We just have an inner knowing of the right next step to take.  We do not often see a whole pathway stretch out before us; normally we are given the route in a step-by-step fashion.  And we are given that route at the moment that we need to take it.  By what way could it happen otherwise, without confusion?  If the Holy Spirit showed us an end far in the future, would we not fret that we are unable to fulfill the often grand ideas that He has for us?

3 – Reading

Sometimes the guidance comes through reading, especially inspirational reading.  A Course in Miracles is an obvious choice, but I do not counsel opening the book at random and seeking for magical answers.  Jesus warns us about magical thinking, and we can be led very much astray by techniques that partake of randomness.  I believe that it is far better to read bits of ACIM meditatively, and to wait for the guidance to emerge full in one’s thoughts.  Of course, we are human and we do make mistakes.  So we must ask ourselves if anyone would be hurt by the thought or action that we contemplate.  Love is the central theme, along with forgiveness, and nothing borne of love or forgiveness is likely to lead us astray.  This is not romantic love, though, but a settled good feeling toward our brothers and sisters.  Romantic love often speaks to the emotions, and emotional reactions can easily be of the ego.

4 – Period of Quiet

A period of quiet at the beginning and end of the day is almost mandatory.  If we do not subscribe to this idea, there are other ways that the Holy Spirit can reach us.  But sometimes we can avert suffering by listening to Him ahead of time.  When we have been quiet, taking in His counsel, we are less masochistic.  And masochism is at the heart of many of the things that go wrong in our lives.  Not for all of us, but for some.

5 – Devote the Day to God

So, let us devote this day to God.  Let us follow His way with a dedication that we ask Him to give us.  And, at the close of the day, be sure to thank Him for guiding throughout the day.  If the day was not optimal, ask for a better tomorrow.  And seek to spend a few minutes in contemplation over what went wrong and why.  Over time, more days will go right than wrong.  This is my experience, though not stated directly in ACIM.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Guidance has been much on my mind today, and perhaps that is not a coincidence.  Indeed, Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that there are no accidents in salvation.  That is reassuring, even as it prompts me to be careful what I think and pray about.

Help me to follow my intuition today.  I am posting this blog late in the day, because I got an inkling of feeling that I ought to wait, to post later in the day today.  Why?  I do not know.  But I do think that maybe I will come to know.

Help my brothers and sisters who need help with their little as well as their large problems.  Give them (and me) the assurance of what to do to live a sane and joyous life.  I know that joy is the hallmark of my contact with You.  And I thank You for that.

Amen.

Trials

“Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you.  In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, ‘My brother, choose again.’  (T666)”

 

Affirmation:  “Trials are but lessons, presented once again.”

Reflections:

1 – A Passage for Times of Pain

This passage, beginning “Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again,” is to be remembered in times of pain, times of suffering (if the pain lead to that).  All of us will know weaker times as well as stronger, and if we recognize that we are bearing a trial that is meant to allow us, this time, a better choice, we will realize that we are learning through our pathway in this world.

2 – All Have Trials

All of us have trials.  Nobody escapes.  And there is a reason for this.

3 – Choose Again

We need the opportunity to choose again.  Somewhere, somehow, we made a faulty decision, and it brought pain to us.  Now we choose again, much as Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford walked another way when A Course in Miracles came to them.

4 – Class Reunions

I have often thought of the happy face that we put on at high school and college reunions.  And we know that it is a facade.  All of us have had pain, and most have had suffering.  We do not always have to hide these truths.  We are more human by having experienced the human condition, and we are more real when we, if the time is right, share this truth with our companions.

5 – Christ Is Present

And Christ is there to heal us.  We have the option to “choose again,” and we can seek the guidance that will allow us to know how to choose again.  We will come to know where we erred in the past, when a similar situation arose, and we will be led to make the better choice now.

6 – Walk in Greater Light

No greater blessing can we have than to go ahead in greater light along the pathway that this lifetime would lead us upon.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am at this moment in a small “trial.”  Help me to relinquish the upset in the right way, and to go on to have a good day.  Previously I have held onto my upset for the major part of a day, but now, after an hour, I would drop the upset, assuring my inner Self that the personal self has learned the lesson, and that I am choosing again.

May today be bright and cheery.  May I walk ahead with patience and forebearance, sure that my trials will melt away in the sun.

Thank You.  I will choose again.  And now.

Amen.