This morning, I was studying fear in A Course in Miracles (ACIM). Here are a few ideas that struck me:
- My (Jesus’) control can take over everything that does not matter, while my guidance can direct everything that does, if you so choose.
- Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate and have not allowed me (Jesus) to guide it.
- When you are fearful, you have chosen wrongly…You must change your mind, not your behavior, and this is a matter of willingness.
- Before you choose to do anything, ask me (Jesus) if your choice is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.
- Fear is always a sign of strain, arising whenever what you want conflicts with what you do.
- Say to yourself that you must somehow have chosen not to love, or the fear could not have arisen.
-…when you are afraid, you have placed yourself in a position where you need Atonement.
- Perfect love is the Atonement.
[Atonement is not what you read in the bible. Stick with this one definition: perfect love.]
I was thinking about how fear clutters my mind. It is so pervasive. Think of a cluttered house and then think of your mind filled with millions of not only useless but frightening thoughts. I focused on running and in particular my marathon race this weekend. I realized that I am afraid. So I said, “Jesus, my thoughts must not be under your control. My body’s pains are miscreations due to fear.” I realized that I am afraid of all the races I’ve signed up for this year. Why? The fear comes from ego motives: maybe I signed up to achieve ego glory. I chose them for ego reasons, so I am afraid and in pain. I feel pressure because my ego wants to win and boast of its triumph. In my heart, I know all my ego triumph is really my ego thinking it has defeated God and is flipping its tiny finger at The All Loving; actually hating Love Itself.
So I talk further to Jesus. “Jesus, I want to run a great race but I also want to serve you. But really, I want to run fast more than I want to serve you. Is there any way to have both in accordance with love?” I feel like I am asking Jesus for cake and planning also to eat it. I am being honest, but I feel like a schmuck. Then, come what I consider to be the miracle thought, “If I thought I was going for love, I wouldn’t be afraid.” Can running and racing be an expression of our (me and Jesus) love? Somehow, as I imaged myself running, I knew it could be an expression of love if that was my choice and intention and the focus of my thoughts.
So, I went out running. It was a nearly full moon, perfectly clear sky and about 56F; perfect. I thought more about love and the Maryville Marathon. Two years ago, I ran for quite awhile with a guy who had lost 200 lbs and the race was his victory celebration. How great that he got to tell me. He was an anonymous guy. No newspaper reporters were following us around. But I was being his audience and I felt honored to listen on behalf of myriads of angels. Last year, I only ran the half marathon (2:05), but it was a celebration for me because it was only a month since I had got the brace off my broken arm and started running at all. Last year, I ran for a long time with a young woman who was doing her first marathon. She didn’t really know what she was doing but she must have felt comforted running with me. She could have run faster, but she didn’t. Near the end of the half, she said she felt sick. I told her it was because she was out of fuel. I gave her my spare Gu packets and wished her well on the second lap. Thinking of it now brings tears to my eyes.
Now I am at work. Here too, living must be an expression of love. Love belongs to God and is given to me. If I accept it, I have accepted the Atonement for myself, which is the whole point of ACIM. I can’t be a miracle worker until I have received the love.
I am feeling quite weepy with gratitude that I am somehow willing to accept love.