Let me remember that my goal is God.
There are several Lessons here in a row that start with,
Let me remember."
W.257-260) Our issue is that we do forget our true purpose. We have forgotten our true identity and instead have chosen our individual, special, and separate identity. Resistance to knowing our true identity shows up daily, even with our commitment to this path. We forget our Lesson for the day. We forget to call upon the Holy Spirit when we are tempted by some situation or circumstance to throw away our peace. We forget to stop in the midst of conflict and ask for help. We forget to take the time to listen to the inner guidance, and instead, we listen to the demands of our egos.
How often do we get up in the morning and forget to set our goal for the day or go to bed at night and distract ourselves with TV, a novel, or listening to the radio? Or perhaps, we cannot sleep because we are obsessively focusing on disturbing thoughts from our day and strategizing our responses; or we may be trying to solve some problem we have encountered during the day. That is why we are reminded to open daily to the truth in the morning and turn our thoughts over to the Holy Spirit before we go to sleep. This is how we ensure that our days, as well as our nights, are focused on peace. We are the ones who have chosen to forget, and now, we are the ones who can choose to return our minds to the truth.
This does not mean we don't do anything in the world. It is not what we do, but it is about not making the body the focus of our doing.
"What plans do you make that do not involve its comfort or protection or enjoyment in some way? "
(T.18.VII.1.2) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.63) So much of what we do focuses on the body, but it is not so much about what we do, as it is the mindset we take in our busy doings.
"This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent."
(T.18.VII.8.3) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.70) Whose guidance are we following in our busy doings---the ego's or that of the Holy Spirit? Jesus tells us that the diversionary tactics of the ego are for the purpose of keeping us
"involved with tangential issues."
(T.4.V.6.4) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.75) He goes on to say,
"The ego's characteristic busyness with nonessentials is for precisely that purpose."
(T.4.V.6.5) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.75) Thus, he says that we should be asking,
(T.4.V.6.7) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.77) in everything we do.
"Whatever it is, it will direct your efforts automatically. When you make a decision of purpose, then, you have made a decision about your future effort; a decision that will remain in effect unless you change your mind."
(T.4.V.6.10-11) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.78)
To watch our minds and stay focused on our goal does take tremendous discipline and constant vigilance. Yes, in this world, we do get a temporary thrill from achieving something that we have set out to do; but when the thrill is gone, and it always goes, we feel a need to keep striving for more until the day comes when we ask ourselves the deeper questions: "What is it all for? Does what I am pursuing bring any lasting happiness, peace, and contentment?"
God's grace is shining on us all the time, but while our attention is focused on our empty, pointless goals, all His grace is obscured from our awareness. What we think is valuable to do in this world, Jesus refers to as,
"the toys and trinkets of the world."
(W.258.1.3) We get focused on shopping, careers, special relationships, gambling, entertainment, power, prestige, attention, vacations, and all kinds of things that we think we need and that we think will make us happy. No, they are not inherently bad, and we do not have to discard them when we are still attached to them, believing they have something valuable to deliver to us. It is that we will eventually come to recognize that they are not the source of our happiness. In fact, they keep us from our happiness because they offer us nothing. Keeping this thought in mind is helpful because then the attachment to these things is considerably lessened and eventually just falls away.
The problem is that we don't ask for too much from our lives. We ask for too little. We think the little we strive for will be the answer for our loneliness, but Jesus urges us to see that the answers for our loneliness will never be found by seeking for pointless goals. They will not bring the deep peace, abundance, and joy that can only come from getting in touch with the Love of God. His Love is already there, in our minds, waiting to deliver the gifts we yearn for. We are the ones who obscure them. It is not God Who remains in obscurity. We have made the choice to forget Him, and then we project this forgetting onto God and say He has forgotten us. "Where are you, God, when I need you?" we cry out plaintively. Yet He is right there in our right minds!
"He speaks from nearer than your heart to you. His Voice is closer than your hand. His Love is everything you are and that He is; the same as you, and you the same as He."
We need not strive for God nor seek Him. If we do not experience His love and peace and joy in our lives, we are blocking them. And how are we doing that? We block them by pursuing other goals in which we think our peace, happiness, and joy reside. Yet what happens when we get the babe or the stud, the new car, the money, the new house, the new piece of furniture, the recognition, or the power? It is all very fleeting. It does not satisfy us in a deep way. We keep looking for more and more. Can a trinket ever satisfy? Is there anything we can want more than to know the truth about ourselves? Obviously, it is clear that we think there is something better or our goals would not be so conflicted. These goals block our awareness of God's ever-present love for us. There is nothing to strive for. We carry the awareness of God with us all the time. We don't know it, though, while we find other goals more alluring and put all our attention on them.
When we stepped onto the spiritual path, in addition to pursuing some goals of the world, we included our spiritual goals as well. What happens now? Clearly, the conflicted state of our minds is now increased. We no longer have a clear focus in one direction. Sometimes we are loving and other times we attack. We try to find some ways to reconcile these opposing goals. Ultimately, we must come to the place where we put our attention on what is truly important, and as we do so, we will increasingly feel less conflicted. Clearly, we cannot go back to fully stepping on the side of our worldly ambitions once we have answered the call of Spirit. So the only way out of this conflict is to more fully embrace our spiritual goals. This is what the Lesson is about. This is what we are being called to do today. We cannot continue to come to some kind of arrangement with both worlds, as this will put us in a state of significant conflict.
Our path is one of forgiveness.
"Father, forgiveness is Your chosen means for our salvation."
(W.257.2.1) Thus, as we bring awareness to our unforgiving thoughts as they come up and we choose to release them, our will is being aligned with the truth of our Being.
Love and blessings, Sarah