Wednesday, April 16, 2008

LESSON 42 God is my strength. Vision is His gift.


God is my strength. Vision is His gift.

The idea for today combines two very powerful thoughts, both of major importance. It also sets forth a cause and effect relationship that explains why you cannot fail in your efforts to achieve the goal of the course. You will see because it is the Will of God. It is His strength, not your own, that gives you power. And it is His gift, rather than your own, that offers vision to you.

God is indeed your strength, and what He gives is truly given. This means that you can receive it any time and anywhere, wherever you are, and in whatever circumstance you find yourself. Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts.

We will have two three-to-five-minute practice periods today, one as soon as possible after you wake, and another as close as possible to the time you go to sleep. It is better, however, to wait until you can sit quietly by yourself, at a time when you feel ready, than it is to be concerned with the time as such.

Begin these practice periods by repeating the idea for today slowly, with your eyes open, looking about you. Then close your eyes and repeat the idea again, even slower than before. After this, try to think of nothing except thoughts that occur to you in relation to the idea for the day. You might think, for example:

Vision must be possible. 6 God gives truly,
God's gifts to me must be mine, because He gave them to me.

Any thought that is clearly related to the idea for today is suitable. You may, in fact, be astonished at the amount of course-related understanding some of your thoughts contain. Let them come without censoring unless you find your mind is merely wandering, and you have let obviously irrelevant thoughts intrude. You may also reach a point where no thoughts at all seem to come to mind. If such interferences occur, open your eyes and repeat the thought once more while looking slowly about; close your eyes, repeat the idea once more, and then continue to look for related thoughts in your mind.

Remember, however, that active searching for relevant thoughts is not appropriate for today's exercises. Try merely to step back and let the thoughts come. If you find this difficult, it is better to spend the practice period alternating between slow repetitions of the idea with eyes open, then with eyes closed, than it is to strain to find suitable thoughts.

There is no limit on the number of short practice periods that would be beneficial today. The idea for the day is a beginning step in bringing thoughts together, and teaching you that you are studying a unified thought system in which nothing is lacking that is needed, and nothing is included that is contradictory or irrelevant.

The more often you repeat the idea during the day, the more often you will be reminding yourself that the goal of the course is important to you, and that you have not forgotten it.


Lesson 42
“God is my strength. Vision is His gift.”

Remembering the earlier lesson that God goes with me wherever I go, this lesson tells me that I always have His strength and His vision. I can never be without them. I am always safe, invulnerable and have the ability to see the innocence, the wholeness, the holiness that God sees. If I am feeling vulnerable in any way, if I am not seeing innocence, then I am believing in a false image of what I am. That is all. It is simply a false belief that needs to be undone.

I am grateful to know this because beliefs can be changed. This is my salvation. If beliefs could not be changed, I would be stuck forever in this hellish world of conflict, fear, pain and death. Yet all this that I perceive is only the effect of a false belief. The strength of God is in me to help me let it go. I do not have to do it by sheer determination, relying on my own strength. As it says in another lesson, “If you believe you must rely on your own strength, you have every reason to be fearful.”

Gratefully this lesson reminds me that God is my strength. I am not on my own. He has never left me. His strength has never left me. Any time a problem appears to be insurmountable, it is not because I don’t have the strength to pass through it. It is because I am unwilling to accept God’s strength. This unwillingness may be because I believe I am unworthy of His strength or it may be like a teenage temper tantrum saying, “I’d rather do it myself.” Perhaps it is some kind of masochistic pride in thinking I have the ability to work this out without God’s help. I can be independent. This pride is masochistic because it insists on being separate from my Source of strength and thus vulnerable, weak and the victim of all kinds of dire circumstances.

I can choose differently. I can choose to remember that God is my strength and vision is His gift. His vision shows me my invulnerability and my holiness. It shows me the holiness of everything I look upon. With His vision, I can see the gates of Heaven. His vision brings me to the threshold and His strength takes me in and holds me safely in God’s arms. Whether or not I feel God’s strength in any particular moment does not matter. His strength is still with me. Each time I remind myself of this today, it becomes a little easier to feel his strength working in me, to feel His peace. I am truly grateful.

God is my strength. Vision is His gift. This vision opens me to the truth. I can apply opening to God’s vision and God’s strength to every experience I have today. It helps me step back and remember I do not know on my own. Why would I use the weakness of the ego, when I have the strength of God available to apply to every circumstance? The strength and vision of God is available to me if I am willing to step back and open up to it. I am willing to practice today.

I have just one thing to practice, opening up to the strength and vision of God. I can let the light be turned on in my mind. It will help me see clearly. It will help me be of service in a way that is most appropriate. I do not know on my own, but with God, true vision is mine. It is His gift. I will receive hundreds of opportunities today to accept His gift. This is my practice. This is the means of my awakening. Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God. I can open to the truth today. I can receive God’s peace. God is my strength. Vision is His gift.

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