Opening to God’s Grace

Specificity often reflects the ego’s insistence on gain, on getting at another’s expense. This can be quite subtle and often apparently harmless. The particular form of the error doesn’t matter, but the underlying belief in scarcity and gain does because it is a form of resisting Love.

A fairly innocuous example might be a cashier at the food co-op or bookstore. We enter the line and our goal is singular: pay for what I’m purchasing and leave. The cashier’s specific purpose unfolds accordingly: ring me up and complete the sale as efficiently as possible. It’s clean and simple, thank you very much.

But if I look closely at that example, I see that I have decided what is happening, and I have assigned a role for the cashier based on my decision, which necessarily reflects my judgment. This is about me getting a book and you making that happen. Period.

Obviously, at the level of form – which is the level of specificity – this makes a lot of sense. After all, I am a teacher and I don’t feel used or manipulated by students who expect me to teach when class begins! Why should it be a different with a cashier? We all have jobs, we all have to eat, we all have to read.

And yet.

What happens if I choose not to invest in specificity? If, when I buy grociers, say, I literally ask Jesus to direct and guide me through the experience? If I literally ask the Holy Spirit to handle the shopping so that the experience can benefit the whole of Creation rather than my limited and selfish ideas about Creation?

If I do that, it is a way of affirming my commitment to non-interference as a spiritual practice. By releasing my own judgment – however logical or reasonable it appears – I am essentially consenting to becoming a channel for the Grace of God.

Suffice it, then, that you have work to do to play your part. The ending must remain obscure to you until your part is done. It does not matter. . . As you take the role assigned to you, salvation comes a little nearer each uncertain heart that does not beat as yet in tune with God (W-pI.169.11:1-3, 5).

Life is a benevolent mystery in which grace is never not present. When we treat it as anything else we are refusing God.

We do not do this. It is done through us when we willingly set aside our insistence that we know what is going on, where it is all going, and precisely what we and everyone else needs to do to make it happen. Life is a benevolent mystery in which grace is never not present. When we treat it as anything else we are refusing God.

Thus, our willingness to shop with Jesus – I mean literally entering the grocery store and giving attention only to Jesus and the Holy Spirit – isn’t just a good idea. It’s the only idea.

The Holy Spirit is the only Therapist. He makes healing clear in any situation in which He is the Guide. You can only let Him fulfill His function. He needs no help for this. He will tell you exactly what to do to help anyone He sends to you for help, and will speak through you if you do not interfere (T-9.V.8:4-8).

I am not suggesting that every time we enter a grocery store we should be prepared to raise the dead and see angels break-dancing in the cookie aisle (though we should not, as a matter of course, refuse those possibilities). Rather, I am suggesting that we give attention to letting go of the idea that our idea is right and then see what happens – then give attention to what happens.

There is so much peace in simply moving through our day gently, steered by grace and gentleness and letting-be. Yes, sometimes we will be called on to make seemingly big gestures, or play seemingly dramatic roles. Sometimes we will be called on to be blessed by a brother or sister’s gesture or role.

But mostly we are called upon to be quietly happy and peaceful, which is natural when we are clear and confident that God’s provision is sufficient unto all needs, so that all we really need to do is get out of the way and just let healing be.

Remember that you choose the guide for helping, and the wrong choice will not help. But remember also that the right one will. Trust Him, for help is His function, and He is of God. As you awaken other minds to the Holy Spirit through Him, and not yourself, you will understand that you are not obeying the laws of this world. But the laws you are obeying work (T-9.V.8:9-3).

When we find ourselves investing or attaching to specificity – this situation means this, that person should do that – it is always helpful to step back and ask the Holy Spirit and Jesus to offer their gently corrective healing thoughts. “I don’t know, but you do, so I am asking for guidance.” I have yet to find a situation where that prayerful sentence is not relevant and helpful.

The simplicity of this gesture – asking for help and consenting it be offered through us – belies its powerful capacity to manifest salvation now. Why seek Heaven when it is already given, revealed the moment we step willfully into its light, bringing nothing with us but minds open to God?

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Richard July 8, 2014, 1:57 am

    Hi Sean..

    I got you’re wee book on miracles & turtles. I like it a lot, its already dog eared from bus rides, back pocket bike rides, etc..

    many thanks

    Richard

    • Sean Reagan July 8, 2014, 5:44 pm

      You’re welcome, Richard. Thank you for reading it – very flattered. Miracles and turtles make me smile!

      Sean

  • Cheryl July 8, 2014, 10:32 am

    Hi Sean,

    Have begun “One or Two Steps Only” and I like your word flow. So much makes me pause — as it is meant to — but I stopped here:

    “Wherever you look in the world, whatever you think, it is all reflective of this system of thought that is powerful, dysfunctional and in denial about what it is doing and how it works.”

    Lately, I keep asking myself, as well as saying it out loud to others: “Who made all the rules, anyway?” Who decides what is “important?” “in style?” “success?”

    Little by little, in this process, I come to see not only does the emperor have no clothes, but that there never was an emperor to begin with (at least in the way we think of it in this world). This is a very helpful thought, particularly when I start feeling those acquisitive urges, when I assess myself and my life through “ego” eyes, using the powerful, dysfunctional system of thought you discuss and come up feeling less than.

    And that, of course, is when comparison, competition and projection kicks in and then revs its engine. Reading the course — and books such as yours — not only helps me remember to step away from this merry-go-round, but also offer a still space in which to rest. Thank you.

    • Sean Reagan July 8, 2014, 5:44 pm

      You’re welcome, Cheryl. I’m so glad it’s helpful, in its way. Yeah, the emperor has no clothes, and there is no emperor and then I guess the next natural step is there is nobody watching the emperor either!

      Looking at those rules is always healing for me – the more attention I give them the more I realize there is nothing there, other than what I put there, and then the whole situation changes and becomes a question of whether it works and whether I want it and whether it’s helpful and so forth. And that is such a peaceful and powerful place to be.

      Thanks again, Cheryl . . . glad you are here.

      Sean

  • Christine July 9, 2014, 1:17 pm

    Wow!!! Thank you for sharing, Sean! This post is truly a “miracle”. It totally shifted my perception on a beautiful level! Thank you!! <3

    • Sean Reagan July 9, 2014, 1:33 pm

      Hey there Christine . . . I’m glad it was helpful – thank you so much for reading – I hope all is well!

      Sean

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