Lesson 242 • August-30

This day is God's. It is my gift to Him.


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.

Commentary

"I will not lead my life alone today" (1:1).

In a day that seems rushed and over full with things to do, it is a relief to remember that I need not lead my life alone. I can burden myself with a thousand little decisions, or I can relax into His hands. I may list what needs to be done, but I can let go of all attachment to doing any of them. In each moment, I can trust that I will know what to do next, and that my choice will be perfect.

What is important, however, is not the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but His companionship. I will not be alone today, although I may have no other human presence with me. I can consciously be with God, and God with me. Instead of talking out loud to myself, why not talk out loud to Jesus? He is a much wiser companion than my limited mind.

"I do not understand the world, and so to try to lead my life alone must be but foolishness" (1:2).

There is such resistance in me, in us all, to realizing that we do not and cannot understand the world. I understand nothing. My awareness of what is going on is about one five-billionth of just our physical planet and its people. I know nothing of other planets and galaxies, and I am nearly totally unaware of the numberless realms beyond the physical-spirit beings, angels, ascended Masters, whatever there may be. I don't know that the clerk in the laundry may need a smile, or whatever else is going on in minds apparently separated from me. How can I even think of rationally deciding what to do, where to go, what to say, all on my own?

Some event occurs, such as an appointment being juggled around from one time to another and finally settling on the time I least wanted (by my preferences). If I think I understand what is going on, if I think my preference is all that matters, I could be upset. If I realize I don't understand the world, I let go, I accept, I trust. And I show up at my friend's door minutes after she has heard the news about a friend's sudden death, present to comfort her when she needs it. And, not coincidentally, prepared by an afternoon of discussing death with another friend, when I had no idea why I agreed to take time for that discussion when I had other things I thought important to do. How foolish not to let Him lead me!

So today, again, I resign as my own teacher and settle a bit more deeply into the awareness that I do not know, I do not understand, and knowing that is wisdom. I release this day into God's hands; "It is my gift to Him." This is a really good deal! I let go of my day, and He makes it full of miracles! That's what He wants it for. It takes great effort, at first, to let go of wanting to understand. But when I do, nothing but joy follows.

But there is One Who knows all that is best for me. And He is glad to make no choices for me but the ones that lead to God. I give this day to Him, for I would not delay my coming home, and it is He Who knows the way to God. (1:3-5)

"Best for me" doesn't necessarily mean that I will get done all I think I have to do, or that everything will work out perfectly (in my eyes) in form. Often it does mean that, but sometimes not. "Best for me" means the things "that lead to God." It means "coming home" and making progress on "the way to God." Because that is all that life in this world is for. "The healing of God's Son is all the world is for" (T-24.VI.4:1), and nothing else. If I give my day to God, to the Holy Spirit, I will end the day closer to God, nearer home; that is my goal every day of my life. Nothing else. All other events are stage props for this one unfolding drama.

No matter what else may happen, if I spend this day more conscious of Jesus' companionship, a little more often at peace, a little more joyful in every minute or a few more minutes spent joyfully, it is a success.

And so we give today to You. We come with wholly open minds. We do not ask for anything that we may think we want. Give us what You would have received by us. You know all our desires and our wants. And You will give us everything we need in helping us to find the way to You. (2:1-6)

"Wholly open minds." No preconceptions about what should take place. "Wholly" means totally, completely open. As for what we expect to come, anything can fail to happen and we are not distraught. As for what we do not expect, anything can come, and we are not dismayed. I recognize that my mind does not want to be wholly open. For instance, I think if I did not finish writing my article before lunch I might be upset. If I have that thought, let me see it is only my thought. Not a fact. What other things am I attached to today? Jesus, I want to be wholly open. And it isn't easy.

How can I let go of my wants and needs? By remembering that "You know all our desires and our wants." He knows what I think I need, and I do not need to ask Him for those things. He knows. And if the day does not bring what I think I want, it is not because He did not know, or that He lost my case file, or that He is punishing me for some imaginary guilt. It is because what I thought I wanted was not best for me. The Holy Spirit is not inconsiderate nor forgetful. He "will give us everything we need in helping us to find the way to" God. Let me let down the defenses of my planning mind, and follow this advice: "Let no defenses but your present trust direct the future, and this life becomes a meaningful encounter with the truth that only your defenses would conceal" (W-pI.135.19:2).

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