A Course in Miracles and Trust in God

What does it mean, in the context of A Course in Miracles, to trust God?

Though I have my reasons for taking leave of the Catholic church, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the many gifts I learned within its rituals and influence. My parents in particular were devoted believers, models of the discipline and attentiveness that helpfully grounds any spiritual undertaking. In other words, I learned to trust God very early in my life!

My thinking has shifted somewhat since those early days. Back then God was a distant taskmaster, alternately loving and judgmental, capable of thunderbolts and car accidents. You just never knew. Trusting him – for it was a decidedly male God in those days – was as much a defensive, as a proactive, gesture. You didn’t want to be on God’s wrong side.

I do not perceive God in that way any longer. It is hard to say what God is – love, light, truth, creation are all reasonable enough, but also vague and capable of considerable misapprehension. I have always appreciated A Course in Miracles admonition that we say “God is” and then zip it. What else can you say? Besides, I am not really trying to define God so much as remember God, or experience God.

Putting one’s trust in God has to be complete and total. We can’t give over one part of our lives while holding on to another. If we are still trusting our own resources (however well we hide that fact, however much we deny it) then we are never going to know God. Because you can’t trust by degrees.

Also, when I talk about trusting God these days, it is less in the nature of deferring to the greater power of a separate deity, and more akin to saying that the future – such as it is or isn’t – is not the proper focus of my attention. All healing is in the present moment. When I am not obsessing with the future – with this or that outcome, with this or that goal, with this or that plan – then I am naturally able to give more attention to what A Course in Miracles calls the “Holy Instant.”

Nothing is wanting in the present moment. There is no lack. There are no problems. Everything is fluid but serene. Discovering this is critical to our inner peace and happiness. Who lives in the future (or the past) is by definition unhappy. And there is another way.

The other way is trust. It is taking on faith that the past and future are illusory states that have no bearing on truth. Reality cannot be segmented into periods of time, each period to be judged, and life lived in vain pursuit of those that are most or more desirable. To place one’s trust in God is to declare an intention to avail oneself of all the healing and all the power that is offered to any of us: the present moment, in which all creation extends to and through us, and we remember God, and are One.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Claudia May 23, 2014, 10:26 am

    Sean, I’ve been reading some Eckhart Tolle these days, and I have fallen in love with the first 10 lessons of the ACIM workbook again. The message that comes through loud and clear, and brings the peace my heart seeks in the middle of the night, is exactly what you say above – stay present. Nothing else past or future means anything – nothing I see, not my thoughts, or my upsets. Just this moment – presence, awareness, here, now, God. If I am seeking peace, that’s where it is found. Thanks for sharing so consistently with us all.

    • Sean Reagan May 23, 2014, 10:33 am

      Funny you should mention Tolle . . . I watched a couple of brief videos of him the other day and it made me very happy.

      Yeah, those first ten lessons are so lovely. I feel like I missed them in the early stages because I was so eager to get on with awakening – much more “result” than “process,” you know? But there is so much to learn in them, and they can take us so far – the whole essence of the course is there. Later editions of Tara Singh’s book “A Gift for All Mankind” include his meditations on the first ten lessons. They were profoundly helpful to me.

      And hey! Cool poetry! My favorite was

      this one. Very prayerful and clear. I hope you don’t mind my linking to it . . .

      Thank you for sharing, Claudia. I’m glad you’re well.

      Love,
      Sean

  • Claudia May 24, 2014, 10:20 am

    Thanks Sean. I don’t mind you sharing the link to my poetry, and I’m glad you liked it. I hope it is helpful somehow, even if just to let someone know that there are others out there working on this internal process as well.

    I agree with you – I missed the first lessons in my urge to get the party started. Now I’ve been reviewing and practicing the first 50 lessons for weeks and weeks. Baking it in, so to speak.

    I’m happy you’re here.

    Love,
    Claudia

    • Sean Reagan May 24, 2014, 8:41 pm

      Yeah, I think when we feel the impulse to create – a poem, a blog post, a painting, whatever – that the expression matters in a sacred way, that we are being asked by Love to express Love. How it helps or who it helps isn’t really our business (though it is very hard to let go of that!).

      Baking the lessons in . . . cool phrase.

      Sean

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