The Choice To Listen

God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice (T-13.V.6:6).

This is a variant on the words famously uttered by Jesus in the New Testament so long ago: “For many are called, but few are chosen.” In A Course in Miracles, Jesus updates that warning with this helpful gloss:

“Many are called but few are chosen” should be, “All are called but few choose to listen.” Therefore, they do not choose right. The “chosen ones” are merely those who choose right sooner (T-3.IV.7:12-14).

We are actively maintaining a world in which God is not welcome. We do not want to be saved. And our efforts to bar God and refuse salvation can be very sophisticated, very subtle. They can wear the mask of wellness. They can be – they are – extremely effective. In order to wake up in God, we have to come to terms with our the depth and tenacity of our resistance to that event. Until we see that we do not really want God, then we are going to be stuck in scarcity, pain and death.

When I say that we refuse to make a home for God, what I mean to say is that the egoic self has pitted itself against God. What we are in Truth – which for most of us remains deeply obscure if not altogether forgotten – loves God more than anything and yearns only to celebrate that love. Yet everything we believe we are and every law that we think rules the world in which we live hides that God and is forever throwing up more barriers against God’s presence.

So what can we do?

We can use our voice – the one that is traditionally so busy drowning out the still and quiet voice of the divine – to ask for help. We can say something like “here is the mess I have made of my life and the mess I have made of the world. You take it, God. Do with it what you will.”

And we have to see – we have to be at least willing to see – that this “mess” is a fact, even if our lives appear to be going swimmingly. If you are here in this world, then you are living according to the laws of separation. Period. You believe that you and God are at odds. It’s okay – the God police aren’t going to come and put you in chains. But Jesus might gently point out that you are putting yourself in chains. By believing that God is over there while you are here, you ensure that suffering remains the core theme of your existence.

It is not true, of course. But we can believe it’s true. And our belief is very powerful. Just look at what is has wrought! The only way out is to give our lives over to God. The paradox of surrender is that it means our ultimate victory. If we offer up our bruised and injurious sight to God, it will be undone for us.

Yet He would release you from it and set you free. His sane Answer tells you what you have offered yourself is not true, but His offering to you has never changed. You who know not what you do can learn what insanity is, and look beyond it (T-13.V.7:4-6).

So the choice that we have to make is simply to listen to God. And when we say “listen,” we are really talking about a way of being present. We aren’t talking about our physical ears! Rather, this “listening” is a quality of attentiveness, of being fully and willingly open to the song of God. As much as we can, we have to suspend judgment for it inevitably excludes. God’s love – God’s word – is inclusive. This is what we are trying to learn. It is a process and a practice.

Love is one. It has no separate parts and no degrees; not kinds nor levels, no divergences and no distinctions. It is like itself, unchanged throughout. It never alters with a person or a circumstance. It is the Heart of God, and also of his Son (W-pI.127.1:3-7).

Who amongst us lives that way? Or experiences this reality as fact rather than just a nice idea that we might get around to manifesting in the future? If we really consider it, doesn’t it seem impossible? It should because it is the precise opposite of the world that we made. If that is God’s law, how far are we from the experience that it promises?

We have to give up the world entirely. Entirely! We have to let go completely of the laws and rules and codes which organize that world and appear to dictate the terms and conditions of our happiness. We have to stop looking for answers and solutions in a world that was specifically designed to have no answers and provide no solutions. Our personal voice can only mislead us, no matter how loving its tone, no matter how seductive its promises. No shift in external circumstances will reveal God. So seeing God – hearing God – is going to have to happen in another way, one with which we we are as yet unfamiliar. It won’t come from us, not as we presently understand ourselves.

This is why we pray. This is why we enter a quiet space and invite God to join us there. Because only God can teach us the reality of what we are. All the support of Jesus and all the insights of the Holy Spirit can but bring us to that moment where we turn to God and say without pretense or expectation, “help.”

Love’s meaning is your own, and shared by God Himself. For what you are is what He is. There is no love but His, and what He is, is everything there is. There is no limit placed upon Himself, and so are you unlimited as well (W-pI.127.4:2-5).

That is the goal. It is on that lesson that our sight – our vision – is set. That is the atonement – the remembering that what we are in truth is neither distinct nor separate from God. In that memory we recall and bring into application ourĀ Christ nature and are instantly restored to peace.

It begins with listening. It begins with the call of God that – even now – echoes in your heart. Listen!

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment