The third review period in the ACIM workbook makes a couple of helpful observations about our practice of the lessons.
First, it emphasizes that we are not to get overly-worked up about those times when we are unable to meet a specific practice session. Rituals are not our learning goal (W-pI.rIII.2:4).
Indeed, allowing our practice to become merely mechanical is self-defeating because it denies our mind an active role in its own learning.
Just as self-defeating, however, is failing to notice when we are using adverse circumstances as an excuse for failing to practice. Too easily we can use the details of our lives to avoid responsibility for our ACIM practice. Doing so is a form of unwillingness, and the workbook urges us to be vigilant against this.
Unwillingness can be most carefully concealed behind a cloak of situations you cannot control. Learn to distinguish situations that are poorly suited to your practicing from those that you establish to uphold a camouflage for your unwillingness (W-pI.rIII.3:3-40).
And yet, even when we do utilize life situations as a means of avoiding healing, the effects are neither permanent nor catastrophic. We simply come back to the missed session and do it now that we are ready and willing (W-pI.rIII.4:1).
There are no consequences to our apparent failure, other than we linger a little longer in time than is necessary.
This all has to do with the value which we assign our practice. The value we perceive in practicing is correlated to the extent we are willing to “cooperate in practicing salvation” (W-pI.rIII.4:2). Thus, when we find ourselves finding lots of reasons to avoid A Course in Miracles, we can set aside a little time to investigate our commitment.
How badly do we want to be saved? How ready are we to let go of the world and its worries and give attention instead to the one who has established the healing plan of salvation? The Holy Spirit waits on nothing but our willingness, and this is a function of how badly we want to remember what we are in truth.
When we do this with this review sequence – when our practice is committed in a reasonable sustainble way – then we can rest in faith that the end of our practicing is nigh.
Place the ideas within your mind, and let it use them as it chooses. Give it faith that it will use them wisely, being helped in its decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you . . . Have faith, in these reviews, the means the Holy Spirit uses will not fail (W-pI.rIII.6:1-2, 4).
The truth is, we are looking for proof that A Course in Miracles works! We want to know that we are not wasting our time and energy. We want to know that the promises of the Atonement really are ours for the asking.
God is not disappointed in us for this, and his appointed Teacher will not disappoint in turn. The gifts of our practice are tangible and real (W-pI.rIII.9:3).
Finally, this review period emphasizes the practicality of A Course in Miracles and urges us to think of it as such. The lessons are not meant to be litanies or rituals; rather, they are tools which we can bring into all the apparent circumstances of our living. We need observe no separation between the course and our lives in the world.
Do not repeat the thought and lay it down. Its usefulness is limitless to you. And it is meant to serve you in all ways, all times and places, and whenever you need help of any kind (W-pI.rIII.10:3-5).
Thus, rather than be bored with the repetition of yet another review session, let us use it throughout our day in order that the day might be made holy, “worthy of God’s Son, acceptable to God and to your Self” (W-pI.rIII.11:6).