Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 86 These ideas are for review today:
- (71) Only God’s plan for salvation will work. It is senseless for me to search wildly about for salvation. I have seen it in many people and in many things, but when I reached for it, it was not there. I was mistaken about where it is. I was mistaken about what it is. I will undertake no more idle seeking. Only God’s plan for salvation will work. And I will rejoice because His plan can never fail.
- These are some suggested forms for applying this idea specifically: God’s plan for salvation will save me from my perception of this. This is no exception in God’s plan for my salvation. Let me perceive this only in the light of God’s plan for salvation.
- (72) Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation. Holding grievances is an attempt to prove that God’s plan for salvation will not work. Yet only His plan will work. By holding grievances, I am therefore excluding my only hope of salvation from my awareness. I would no longer defeat my own best interests in this insane way. I would accept God’s plan for salvation and be happy.
- Specific applications for this idea might be in these forms: I am choosing between misperception and salvation as I look on this. If I see grounds for grievances in this, I will not see the grounds for my salvation. This calls for salvation, not attack.
Notes and Personal Application: Morning meditation – review of Lesson 71) Only God’s plan for salvation will work – I have tried to find meaning and happiness in many different things throughout my life, but I have not thought of it as trying to find my salvation in those things until I realized that this is exactly what I was trying to do! After all this time, I have reached the conclusion that only God’s plan of salvation will work because His plan is the only one that will give me happiness and meaning!
When we stop chasing after salvation in what the world tells us will bring us happiness and meaning, we have two choices. We can try to fill our days with meaningless pursuits and temporary pleasures which will only lead us farther into despair and hopelessness, or we can ask God to show us the way. When we finally realize that all of our worldly dreams will never bring salvation, not only ask God to show us what to do, but ask Him to personally teach you how to listen, how to know His Voice, and learn to show respect to Holy Spirit by actually following His guidance (instead of allowing the clamoring of the ego to drown out His words.)
When I prayed this prayer, Holy Spirit told me stop trying to find what I am looking for in other people, and to focus only on going within – discovering God’s Kingdom where It has been all along. Holy Spirit instructed me to study this Course. Holy Spirit instructed me to stop being ashamed of the Voice for God and begin sharing His Voice in this blog and with those with whom He would send to me.
When I began to actually listen to the Voice for God instead of distracting myself from it out of fear and shame, I learned that God loves me, that my desire to be happy and to have meaning is His Will for my life, making our wills the same. That God’s perfect Will for my life will never lead me to chaos, pain, or suffering. God gave me a deep understanding of the difference between the ego perception of Him and the true perception of my loving Father. The purpose of the ego is to hide our true identity from us and make us into manipulated manipulators called bodies which must fight and struggle and suffer to survive. I learned that it is only through recognizing that the world the ego made is an illusion that we can be saved from its enchantment. Without God’s plan of salvation nobody will ever find lasting joy, meaning, or happiness, because it is the only one that works!
God’s plan for salvation offers forgiveness, forgetfulness, and it-never-happenedness, to our brothers. A year ago today, Holy Spirit directed me to stop to see an estranged friend, and though I questioned it, I obeyed. While she did not answer the knock, there was still a certain joy in realizing that I had trusted the Voice for God and followed through with what He directed me to do instead of talking myself out of it! In other words, I trusted that God’s plan for salvation works. Because of this God gave me another opportunity to love Linda, to walk with her hand-in-hand and heart-to-heart. In God’s eyes the grievances between us never happened. There is no place in God’s plan of salvation for grievances of any kind or for any reason.
There is no exception in God’s plan for salvation. It doesn’t matter what someone said or what they did. We must always let grievances go and let God’s plan of salvation shine its light in our mind. The same day that Holy Spirit directed me to stop at Linda’s house, He reminded me of Liz. Liz did not slander me; she did not beat me and leave me for dead. All she did was snack on a big bag of nuts and not offer to share with me, as I drove us back to our office after a three-day workshop. I was hungry, but it was too dangerous to stop at a restaurant and wade through the floodwaters and she was concerned about not being able to get to an appointment on time. Hunger is a particular temptation to me, and I started to make up stories in my head in which she personified selfishness, bad manners, and lack of empathy. When I delivered her safely home, she hopped out of my car with not so much as a thank you and rushed off to her client. She may have thought we were the best of friends, but inside I was judging her, blaming her for how shaky with hunger and nerves I felt. I had not thought of it for years, but there it was.
It felt so justified! But I told Holy Spirit to take it. Then Holy Spirit revealed another grudge I had cherished toward Liz, one in which I had seemingly forgotten but which was still festering in my subconscious where grudges tend to burrow deep and construct their grubby cases in the dark. In this scenario, Liz had “set me up,” at her friend’s art show. She invited me to speak at her friend’s art show in order to get a free ride and someone with whom to accompany her, at least according to my ego. Because it was only clear to me (after it was all over and done with), that her friend had not rented a gallery, hung up all her beautiful paintings, and provided a banquet of gourmet food in order to share the spotlight with another guest, especially one with a dissimilar agenda, I held Liz responsible for how ashamed I was to fall for such a ruse.
Holy Spirit had answered my prayer for bringing grievances to the light. Now Holy Spirit was asking me to let them in the light and give them no safe harbor. Although Liz has passed from this life to the next, my hidden grievances toward her, no matter how small and inconsequential they appear to be, keep us from walking hand-in-hand and heart-to-heart, in perfect love and trust and holiness forever.
Now here is the thing about God’s plan for salvation. When I am willing to let grievances go, they must go. All the darkness that gave it cover is gone. It may still seem to linger and bother me, but now that it is in the light, I can recognize it and let it go. Using my grudges toward Liz as an example, I perceived wrongly. I perceived Liz with my ego. I related to her with my body. Not because I am especially stupid, blind, or suspicious, simply because this world is built upon perceptions instead of truth – it perceives and makes its own stories to suit purposes based on that which is not love but fear. In the first case with Liz, I needed a friend who would share her food with me and appreciate the fact that I took unnecessary risks to get her back in time for an important appointment. In the second case, I needed respect and honesty, not someone who would cheekily invite me to speak at her friend’s art show in order to get a free ride and someone to show up with. In both cases, I blamed Liz for what I saw as her attack on me. She would see me starve. Her appointment was more important than our lives or any damage that the high water may have done to my car. She would see me as someone who would try to steal the show, as long as she got what she wanted. But now I see the grudges as an opportunity to choose forgiveness, to choose God’s plan of salvation and let it go!
God’s plan of salvation is the only one that works. Any other avenue will not save us. Surely we will find joy and love and peace, but it will not last because God’s plan of salvation is the only one that works. And we can thank Him for that.
Evening 15-minute meditative review of Lesson 72) Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation. This morning I meditated upon why God’s plan of salvation is the only one that works. Holy Spirit revealed more grievances that were hiding below my consciousness, even as I wrote out the lesson idea! The Voice for God assures us that we were created in love and to love one another, to abide in peace and joy and love with one another. There is no other way that eternity can be everlasting unless only love and communion exist between the created beings. Eternity would not last if there was fighting and blaming, scarcity and blight. That we would call hell! When I bear accusations against others and think mean thoughts about them, this is an attack on God, and His plan of salvation. I asked God to make this real to my mind. I want to get this on every level of my understanding.
No matter what the shortcomings and failures of others may be in my eyes, when I build cases against others, I build them against the Kingdom of God. I am projecting all my own ill will and unforgiveness for being a body and having an ego to others in order to feel better about my own separation from God. I have learned this about grievances.
But don’t grievances seem so justified at times? Our precious grievances! Oh let us hold on to a few of them so we can mull it over in our minds and pretend that except it be for this little one, we could be saved. Jesus tells us in the Course that just as there are no levels of miracles, there are no levels of grievances. A grievance is a grievance. We must let them go and hold nobody accountable for their failures and shortcomings in the separated state. If I hold them accountable and seek to withhold my love, I am attacking God’s plan of salvation.
When I stand for a brother, I am standing for myself. I am standing for God’s plan for salvation. When I cast a stone at a brother, I am casting one at God’s plan for salvation. I am saying – God’s plan of salvation is not real; this is real. My brother is not a spirit. He is a body and he does terrible things to survive and thrive in this competitive dream of scarcity and fear. He eats more than his fair share! He takes things that do not belong to him. He is driven by his lust and greed. He does not give to the poor. He doesn’t go to church. He is trying to find his salvation in drugs. He is trying to find his salvation in money…That brother of mine is so wicked, and I am happy because then I can distract myself with his big wickedness to hide my own pathetic separated state behind his. I can blame him for the evil that is in the world and let myself go free.
Our prayer: Today we ask You, Heavenly Father, for a deep and abiding understanding of Your plan of salvation. Help us to see the many illustrations of opportunities taken and opportunities missed in which we chose to share salvation or keep it from others. Let us convey the joy of relinquishment of grievances and the happiness of salvation to our brothers who surround us and are waiting for their release. Let each grievance, whether it seem big or small, be brought to the light of Holy Spirit and given to forgiveness as we take our stand for Your plan of salvation. For only then can our grievances be transformed into opportunities for forgiveness, spiritual growth, and our return to You. In Jesus name. Amen.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 86…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p.