Lesson 233 • August-21

I give my life to God to guide today.


Practice Instructions

See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:

  • Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
  • Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
  • Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
  • Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
  • Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.

Practice suggestion: I find that it helps to make the idea more specific by saying, "I give this situation to God to guide today."

Commentary

One thing I find very interesting about the Course is that it is not persnickety about its theology. There are places in the Course that make it quite clear that God does not hear the specific words of our prayers (although He does hear the prayers of our heart, of which words are only symbols, see M-21.1-2), and that, knowing only the truth, He does not know the details of our errors (He simply knows we are asleep [T-6.V.1:5-8]; the content of our nightmares, being false, is unknown to Him because He knows only truth). Technically, then, if we wanted to be theologically correct, prayer ought to be addressed to the Holy Spirit or to Jesus, who are specifically spoken of as intermediaries between truth and illusion, or as bridges between us and God. Yet, here in the second half of the Workbook, we have 140 lessons, each of which contains a prayer addressed to "Father."

In today's lesson, the Father is asked to guide us. Yet elsewhere, being Guide is defined as the function of the Holy Spirit. So I get the feeling that Jesus (the author) isn't particularly concerned with strict theological correctness. I think he is a good example for all of us to follow. Would he be teaching us to pray to the Father if it were some sort of substandard spiritual practice?

If we gleaned nothing more from the Course than the practice of daily giving our lives over to God's guidance, we would be quickly taken home. We can ask Him to replace our thoughts with His own, and to direct all our acts during the day, all we do and think and say. To act or think on our own is, literally, a waste of time. His wisdom is infinite, His Love and tenderness are beyond comprehension. Could we ask for a more reliable Guide?

The first step in following God's guidance is a stepping back, releasing our tight hold on our lives and deliberately placing them under His control. The guidance will come. Sometimes, perhaps rarely, we will hear an inner Voice. In my personal experience this is very rare. Other times, things will happen around us that make our way plain. Or an inner conviction will build for no apparent reason. We will "just happen to notice" something someone says, or a song on the radio, or a line in a book. If we are listening for it, we will hear it.

Another key is giving our day to Him "with no reserve at all" (2:2); that is, holding nothing back. Sometimes we are so fixated on what we think we want or need that we are not willing to hear any guidance to the contrary. And if we aren't willing to hear it, we won't. We're like a broken shopping cart that always wants to steer left or right; we just don't respond well to guidance. We have to be willing to let go of all our preferences, all our investment in the outcome, and become completely malleable, completely open to whatever direction He wants to give to us. An old Christian hymn says:

Have Thine own way, Lord,

Have Thine own way. Thou are the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me, After Thy will, While I am waiting, Yielded and still.

That is what stepping back means. That is how we give our lives to God to guide. He guides. We follow, without questioning (1:7).

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