My part is essential to God’s plan for salvation.
A salient quality of unity with God is joy. When we ascend to the Christ within us – when we accept that Christ is within us – then joy becomes a natural condition. We can no more avoid it than we avoid the stars while walking at night under cloudless skies.
You are indeed essential to God’s Plan. Without your joy, His joy is incomplete. Without your smile, the world cannot be saved. While you are sad, the light that God Himself appointed as the means to save the world is dim and lusterless, and no one laughs because all laughter can but echo yours (W-pI.100.3:1-4).
Lesson 100 of A Course in Miracles makes clear that salvation is not about suffering. It is not about enduring sacrifice upon sacrifice, loss upon loss, grief upon grief. And it is not about putting off happiness until we meet some metaphysical conditions in the far off future.
Rather, lesson 100 urges us to see that we can be happy now – here in the world, here on earth – and that this happiness is a condition of what we are in Truth, and – importantly – that happiness is intimately yoked to service.
Just as your light increases every light that shines in Heaven, so your joy on earth calls to all minds to let their sorrows go, and take their place beside you in God’s plan. God’s messengers are joyous, and their joy heals sorrow and despair (W-pI.100.4:2-3).
Thus, our joy serves as a beacon to our brothers and sisters. It reminds them that this world is not their home, and that together we will recognize what is our home. Heaven is joining, as separation was division.
And so in a sense we are putting our foot down. There are many reasons to feel sorrow and grief: war and hunger, sickness and death. We can’t pay the bills. We are powerless before the vacuum of internal fear and guilt. The world and our bodies in them will always offer a reason to be down. Lesson 100 insists that we say no to that, and opt instead for another – for a better – way.
We will not let ourselves be sad today. For if we do, we fail to take the part that is essential to God’s plan, as well as to our vision. Sadness is the sign that you would play another part, instead of what has been assigned to you by God (W-pI.100.5:1-3).
We need to trust that if joy is God’s will for us, then it cannot be impossible to achieve. It cannot even be hard to achieve. If it is – if we perceive it as such – then we are heeding the dictates of the ego. God longs to extend joy as we long to receive it.
Where is joy? Within us. How do we find it? By looking for it. By actively looking for it. By faithfully looking for it. That which is undertaken with full trust that it is not undertaken alone cannot fail.
So we remind ourselves that joy is natural and God’s will for us – that salvation is incomplete without it – and that our brothers and sisters await our acceptance of this simple and essential truth. We begin the day with this reminder and we make contact with it hourly, more than hourly even.
When we do this, the light will dawn on our still-darkened minds. And as it does, it will automatically extend to other minds. How will we know this? We will experience it as both an interior warming and an exterior helpfulness. The feeling will arise and its symbols will follow in the world. Expect kindness and offer it as well! Don’t deviate from Christ in either form or content.
It is your Self Who calls to you today. And it is Him you answer, every time you tell yourself you are essential to God’s plan for the salvation of the world (W-pI.100.10:6-7).
The secret to joy is that there is no secret: it is there always, awaiting only our recognition. To recognize it is to offer it up. And to share it with others is the essence of Heaven itself.