All things are lessons God would have me learn.
It is possible to experience peace in this world, a facsimile of what we will know when we remember again that what we are in truth is not separate from what God is. The means of peace is forgiveness: the sharing of our perception with the Holy Spirit, that it might be directed toward Heaven rather than the ego’s self-serving hell.
Lesson 193 of A Course in Miracles is a clear and explicit statement of this principle: there is nothing in this world that cannot serve the purpose of salvation if we will simply share it with the Holy Spirit and Jesus. Given to the Teacher who knows the way Home, all things facilitate that longed-for return.
However abstract or unrealistic or even complicated this idea might seem, it is in reality quite simple: the only lesson that we really need to learn is “forgive and you will see this differently” (W-pI.193.3:7).
The form of the lessons changes constantly, but its content – the healing power of forgiveness – never does. Thus, we might be forgiving a spouse for being impatient or angry. Then we might be forgiving the President of the United States for advancing a policy with which we disagree. Then we might be forgiving the neighbor’s dog who barks too loud. Then the homeless guy outside our office. Then the rain. Then daylight savings. Then chocolate . . .
How do we know that these things – and myriad others need to be forgiven in the mode of A Course in Miracles? By the degree to which we still experience pain – if we are upset or angry or wracked with need or sad or grieving, then it is certain that we have not yet fully shared with the Holy Spirit.
Don’t let this become yet another source of guilt! Jesus and the Holy Spirit are models of truly infinite patience. They merely await our willingness, healing as much as we are able to share with them, and then quietly resting while we summon the willingness to offer yet more seeming strife and anguish. It’s not a crime to take this by degrees.
But when we are ready to be free of suffering – and to know the peace that surpasses understanding – we can begin to approach our lives with the earnest diligence of the student who is ready – like really ready – to graduate.
Let mercy come to your more quickly. Do not try to hold it off another day, another minute or another instant. Time was made for this. Use it today for what its purpose is. Morning and night, devote what time you can to serving its proper aim, and do not let t time be less than meets your deepest need (W-pI.193.10:2-6).
Our deepest need is to end the seeming separation and return to God. Nothing will satisfy us – nothing – but to restore to our memory the Source of our Creation and to know ourselves again as what we are in Truth.
The way to do this is to see in each form that presents itself – in work, in family, in friends, in the news, in our reading, our dog walks, our seeming idle thoughts, our dreams, our longings, our memories – as yet another opportunity to forgive and thus see differently.
God would not have you suffer thus. He would help you forgive yourself. His Son does not remember who he is. And God would have him not forget His Love, and all the gifts His Love brings with it (W-pI.193.8:1-4).
Joy is a daily thing – and peace is sure when we refuse to cling to the ego, the frail and malicious self, that seeks to replace God and control all things. Let go. Let the Holy Spirit teach you how to see the forest, how to see the other drivers, how to see children and cats, and sunsets and cheesecakes.
The purpose of our existence is merely to practice forgiveness that we might remember we are wrong about what we are and thus deeply confused about our true existence. We are given a Teacher who can lead us home as surely as a river finds the sea. In this lesson, Jesus urges us to avail ourselves of that Guide – and to give salvation as much of our willingness as we possibly we can.
Heaven waits on us. And we want nothing less.