The thing I love about A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is that it saves me from my own thinking; the root of my problem. If I look around and see a bunch of sinners, including myself, and go to a regular church with this information, I would be counseled to accept the world, confess my sins and forgive the sins of others. In this, Jesus is my Savior who hides my sins from God so I can go to heaven when I die.
In ACIM, I am taught that the sin I see is the sin I chose to see, want to see. I am given tools for looking beyond my illusion to see the Love of God, Christ, residing in everyone. As I overlook what I made for me to see, I am free and so are they, my brothers. Jesus is my friend and brother who helps me change my thinking.
This morning I read in the ACIM text, 20.IV:
- Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so.
- Power is of God, given by Him and reawakened by the Holy Spirit…
- He (Holy Spirit) gives no power to sin, and therefore it has none; nor its results as the world sees them—sickness, and death and misery and pain.
- Salvation is a lesson in giving as the Holy Spirit interprets it. It is the reawakening of the laws of God in minds that have established other laws, and given them power to enforce what God created not (this world of sin I see).
- Your savior (your brother) gives you only love, but what you would receive of him is up to you. It lies in him to overlook all your mistakes and therein lies his own salvation. And so it is with yours.
- Sin has no place in Heaven…and therein lies your need to see your brother sinless. In him is Heaven. See sin in him and Heaven is lost to you.
My ACIM workbook lesson for the day is: I will receive whatever I request.
Why is this all so important to me today? I looked out at my world and made this assessment. I have to go to a dinner on Wednesday evening for work. The way I see it is I’ll have to drive to an inconvenient part of town, park in a strange garage and then pretend to be nice for a few hours, getting home way past my bed time. Then, I have to go to Texas for work; flying down on my Sunday afternoon and coming back on Monday and having to hassle with airplanes and an unfamiliar city. Then, worst of all, I have to fly halfway around the world to attend a work seminar for 10 days; spending 12 hours a day with guys from work with whom I can only have superficial conversations, disrupt my eating routines and running routines and risk illness from being cooped in an airplane for two long long flights, trying to get home on the day before Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of the year.
So, this morning as I prayed, I realized how hateful I am. As I read ACIM text, I realized that the hate was my choice. I was projecting hate and sin onto Mr. Vice President who was causing all the inconvenience in my life. I was making him, my brother, into a sinner because I wanted to. It was all my choice. Whereas, if I overlooked, looked beyond, the man and saw only the Christ residing within, I would be much happier. In fact, my hate instantly faded and was replaced with gratitude. Gratitude for the man and his situation, gratitude for Jesus and the Holy Spirit for teaching me to think differently.
Reading on in the text:
- Those who choose freedom will experience only its results. Their power is of God, and they will give it (power) only to what God has given to share with them. Nothing but this can touch them, for they see only this, sharing their power according to the Will of God. And thus their freedom is established and maintained. It is upheld through all temptation to imprison and to be imprisoned.
It is my ego who dwells in hatred and projects it on the world. This morning, in taking my own inventory and bringing it into the Holy Spirit’s thought system, I was set free. I am not in ego prison right now. I am free to see what I can do contribute to life instead of hate it.
So, I went for a run. Lightening was all around but no rain on me. I went the hilly route and enjoyed the fresh warm wet air. As I ran, I reflected: I have requested a new outlook on life and I was given it immediately. I am so grateful.
I’ve entered a very small low keyed race this weekend in Blue Springs MO. Good thing I did because my Texas trip precludes the Springfield marathon the following weekend. So this Sunday, I will be blessed with the company of maybe 50 other runners on a quiet flat bike path, with someone handling our snacks and water, as we mosey our way through 31 miles (50k). We pass one point three times, so I can leave a bag there with my own goodies, drinks and extra clothing. We’ll get t-shirts but no medals or age group awards. Afterwards, I’ll pack up my stuff and drive in silence back to my apartment; where I will eat and lay on the bed. Quiet. No big deal.