PART II. SECTION 4: WHAT IS SIN?
Lesson 256 God Is The Only Goal I Have Today
- The way to God is through forgiveness here. There is no other way. If sin had not been cherished by the mind, what need would there have been to find the way to where you are? Who would still be uncertain? Who could be unsure of who he is? And who would yet remain asleep, in heavy clouds of doubt about the holiness of him whom God created sinless? Here we can but dream. But we can dream we have forgiven him in whom all sin remains impossible, and it is this we choose to dream today. God is our goal; forgiveness is the means by which our minds return to Him at last.
- And so, our Father, would we come to You in Your appointed way. We have no goal except to hear Your Voice and find the way Your sacred Word has pointed out to us.[i]
This morning, I bow my head and close my eyes against the world and all the distractions of being home! Of how much I want to pet the cat and coo over the chickens, of the cleaning and the organizing, the homey little chores that fill me with such joy and feelings of being necessary, that false sense of purpose, but still. Receipts to organize for expenses, food prepared, people to see, a meeting for which to get ready. And I bow my head and close my eyes to it so that I can see with my spiritual eyes that God is my only goal today.
This morning’s lesson again stresses forgiveness. There is no other way to reach God, Jesus reminds us repeatedly throughout the Course. “Search my mind, Teacher,” I’ve been asking Holy Spirit, “For those for whom I have not forgiven so that I may give my petty grudges, resentments, vulgar cherishment of wrongs to You.”
Yesterday in the Jeep after dropping Lover off at his job site in Virginia, taking the scenic route back to the hotel, Holy Spirit brought past scenarios to my mind. I saw these circumstances which had formerly filled me with anger, bitterness, sorrow, and confusion in an entirely new light.
“What did you learn?” Holy Spirit asks me most jocosely. I have come to call our Socratic-like exchange “the object lesson game.” For there is no distress in this practice; it is more like playful debate with a fun-loving mentor.
Some of the object lessons were so obvious that I laughed at how oblivious I had been at the time. Others posed consternation. “I need help with this one,” I said. “I am not getting what I learned or what I should have learned. It still stings. It still befuddles me.”
When the resolution appeared, the sting left. I experienced the wonderful aha feeling one gets when a puzzle is solved, when a burden lifts, when a light is turned on in a dark corridor. There in that holy instant, I could thank my brother for the role that he played in showing me how far I had removed my mind from God. There was belly laughter, bending over in glee, happy dances, and joy there in the holy instant.
This process seems fearful because what we look at is ugly, the only way to see what lurks inside of us, is to see it in others, so it is easy for the ego to convince us that it is the fault of others and not ourselves. That we did nothing to deserve what happened to us, that we are victims who deserve vengeance, recompense, and pity. That we have every right to lick our wounds and slurp up their lusciousness for the rest of our days, sharing them all around so that others can share in our blame and hatred. And hence, the ego world continues to go round.
My goal is God. I struggle with this because some of my behaviors and responses are so far from perfection. The message Holy Spirit tells me is not to judge myself, to refrain from feeling sorry or bad about myself, to give myself credit for what I do right and to forget and forgive all that I do that seems wrong or not with the program – to focus on what is right and ignore entirely what is wrong. Don’t even give it the benefit of a nod. What Holy Spirit instructs me to do with the shortcomings of others, I am to apply to my own process.
My goal is God. There
are going to be things that seem to knock me off the path. There are going to be people who make fun,
who think that this is a waste of time. There are going to be people, who are okay
with their vengeful god and their eternal hell, who put me on their prayer
lists worried that I have fallen into darkness.
If that matters to me, it means that I am projecting onto them my own
fears about my goal. None of that
matters. What matters is that I don’t
trip me up by judging my own progress, by accepting the ego’s version of me
which tells me that what I seek is impossible and that I am a fool to think
that little old me would ever know God. I
can accept the appointed way to come to the Father. Of all the things that call to me from this
world, I have no real goal except to hear His Voice and find the path that His
Holy Word has pointed out for us. In
Jesus name. Amen.