My grievances hide the light of the world in me.
My salvation comes from me.
For no particular reason, these two lessons – in this particular review format – make me think about that old ditty “This Little Light of Mine.” It tends to be presented as a children’s song, but its thematic roots come from a serious and provocative section of the New Testament. Jesus is not-so-subtly talking about our contribution to the Atonement, to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
These two lessons are focused on “me.” That is to say – they are specifically asking us to come to terms with our identity as perfect children of God. We are not the selves we think we are. We are the Christ, and as such we have certain responsibilities – namely, to act in the name of Love, and to reflect the light of Heaven here on Earth, so that all our brothers and sisters may enter the Kingdom beside us.
Yet this is easier said than done – or so it seems in our broken state. Yet Jesus is patient, knowing that the only meaning Heaven has is the one where we get there of our own volition. We have to choose. And when we choose wrongly, we have to choose again. Sooner or later, we choose right. The end is assured – that is perhaps a subtle theme of these two lessons. The light of the world is already in us. Salvation is already inherent in what we are.
All we have to do is figure this out.
We can start by actively questioning our grievances. Who are we angry at? Who is pushing our buttons? What issues in the broader world tend to tug at our heart strings or direct our thoughts away from God? We have to find these grievances – we have to see them where they are and for what they are. When we do, it is the same as giving them over to the Holy Spirit to be undone. Why? Because when we clearly see and understand that we are acting in a non-Christ-like way, we are going to want to change. We are going to want to give that behavior over, not to mention the fear that underlies it.
The course is about removing hindrances that obscure love; nothing more. It’s hard to accept that sometimes. We want a bigger experience, or a flashier one. But that’s not what ACIM is. Never has been and never will be. It directs us quite specifically to an interior experience of undoing, the better to remember or realize what has always been the truth: that we are the light of the world and salvation is natural and sure.