[acimlessons_list] Lesson 359 - December 25
sue at circleofa.org
Tue Dec 26 22:35:29 EST 2006
LESSON 359 - DECEMBER 25
"God's answer is some form of peace. All pain
Is healed; all misery replaced with joy.
All prison doors are opened. And all sin
Is understood as merely a mistake."
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
* Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in
* Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea often within each hour.
* Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
* Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
Today I want to share some thoughts just on the first line of this lesson.
Yesterday we were reminded that "no call to God can be unheard nor left
unanswered" and that "His answer is the one I really want"
(W-pII.358.Heading). Today we are told that when God answers, the answer "is
some form of peace." So the answer that I want is peace. Every call to God
is answered with some form of peace, and that is what I really want, despite
what I may think to the contrary.
I think that when we begin to grasp that what we really want is peace-in
every situation-things start to fall into proper perspective. Say it looks
like I may lose my job, or a relationship that I believe I need. Say it
looks as if I don't have enough money. I find myself, more or less, praying
for that job, or that relationship, or that money. Or perhaps I'm not up to
prayer so I just obsess about the situation. I'm thinking this is what I
If, when that happens, I can begin to recognize that what I really want is
some form of peace, I've made a giant step. It isn't the job I want; it's
the form of peace I think it brings. It isn't the relationship I really
want; it's the peace I think lies in it. It isn't the money I need; it is
the peace of mind I think it buys me.
The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete
things. It always requests some kind of experience, the
specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired
experience in the opinion of the asker. (M-21.2:4-5)
When I begin to realize that I am not really asking for things but for the
experience of peace I think they bring me, I can start to ask for peace
directly, bypassing my (perhaps) mistaken opinion that a certain "thing"
will bring me that experience. I can open my mind to the possibility that
God will bring me the peace of mind I seek through another avenue than the
one I see.
Once I can begin to let go of my insistence that the answer must come in a
certain form, I will much more quickly be aware of God's answer. I may find
I can experience the peace of God completely independent of form. I may find
that the peace comes to me in a form I could never have anticipated. I will
lose my anxiety over whether or not the form I first envisioned as what I
needed ever comes to me at all. If peace of mind comes, I am satisfied
because this is all I really ever want.
To tie this in with the rest of the lesson, just briefly, "Help us forgive,
for we would be at peace" (1:9). Peace is impossible if my mind is blinded
by unforgiveness. Peace is incompatible with anger. A lack of peace is
always some kind of unforgiveness, although often it is difficult to see how
that could be. When I ask for peace I am asking to be taught to forgive,
whether I recognize it or not. If I make peace my goal above all else, I
will learn forgiveness.
WHAT AM I?
Part 9: W-pII.14.5:1-2
Whether we really know it or not, "We are the holy messengers of God" (5:1).
That is our function; it is what we were created to do-express God. This is
our job here, and we won't be completely happy until we are carrying it out.
The way this is worded here seems significant; we are "carrying His Word to
everyone whom He has sent to us" (5:1); it does not say, "to whom we are
sent." It is not so much that we go out looking for people to give the
message to; rather, they come looking for us. That is a different attitude
than the one which says, "Let us go out and convert the world." This is
simply a passing along of the message of peace and the fact of forgiveness
to everyone who comes into our lives. People don't just "happen" to show up
in our lives; they are sent. And they are sent because we have something to
give to them.
Let me begin to learn to ask myself, when someone shows up in my life, in my
time, or perhaps in my face: "What do I have to give to this person? What is
the Word of God I can communicate to her? What does God want to say to this
person through me?" Or, in much simpler terms, "How can I be truly helpful
to this person?"
Doing this-actually doing it, not just thinking about it-is how I learn that
the Word of God is written on my heart (5:1). And doing this is <how my mind
is changed> about what I am and what I am doing here. My mind won't be
changed just by trying to change my mind; it is changed by carrying God's
Word to everyone He sends to me. When I engage in that kind of active
serving and forgiving of my brothers and sisters, I begin to form a new
opinion of myself. I begin to see myself in a different light. That is the
Holy Spirit's plan of salvation.
More information about the Acimlessons_list