I perceive the rhythm and movement of A Course in Miracles as a subtle presence in my life – powerful but not overwhelming. It is reminiscent of a brook slowly carving away at the landscape, quiet and beautiful, and one only notices its transformational effects after months or even years .
In a sense, this is simply how I want to learn – and how I learn best. The course meets us where we are, but we also take it in the form and manner that works best for us. There is no use fighting this, no use resisting it. Part of accepting the Holy Spirit as a Teacher, and Jesus as a guide, means relinquishing our inclination to control outcomes and dictate means.
That said, there are certainly times in my life the course precipitates fairly significant – even dramatic – shifts in thinking. These moments are somewhat rare, but I am grateful for them indeed. They are in the nature of lightening flashes, quick and powerful, in the wake of which nothing is the same.
For me, one of those moments occurred early in my practice. One morning, while walking the dogs, I realized that the God to whom I prayed – and with whom I had been in relationship for well over three decades – had more in common with Jonathan Edwards (he of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God fame) than with the God inherent in A Course in Miracles.
This insight literally rocked me. Every time I turned toward familiar modes of prayer, there was nothing there. I felt weak and fluttery. I was embarrassed and chagrined. I was scared to move forward but even more scared to fall back to the familiar.
Driving home the other day past fields bright with dandelions it occurred to me that in many ways, I had finally integrated the course’s view of God: present, loving, trustworthy, kind and with whom I shared a powerfully creative Will. I don’t mean to suggest I’ve got it down perfect; only that I am not so torn between competing visions of God. I have settled on a belief system that empowers me to look closely and without fear and what still seems to obscure the divine.
So most of the time my practice is like a brook – steady, pulsing, strong, reliable – but then other times yes, it floods the banks, it pushes me hard where I need to go. I am grateful for that! As I am grateful for the quieter moments as well, all of them reminding me my Teacher knows the way.