Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
LESSON 122 Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want
- What could you want forgiveness cannot give? Do you want peace? Forgiveness offers it. Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world? Do you want care and safety, and the warmth of sure protection always? Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed, a gentleness that can never be hurt, a deep, abiding comfort, and a rest so perfect it can never be upset?
- All this forgiveness offers you, and more. Is sparkles on your eyes as you awake, and gives you joy with which to meet the day. It soothes your forehead while you sleep, and rests upon your eyelids so you see no dreams of fear and evil, malice, and attack. And when you wake again, it offers you another day of happiness and peace. All this forgiveness offers you, and more.
- Forgiveness lets the veil be lifted up that hides the face of Christ from those who look with unforgiving eyes upon the world. It lets you recognize the Son of God and clears your memory of all dead thoughts so that remembrance of your Father can arise across the threshold of your mind. What would you want forgiveness cannot give? What gifts but these are worthy to be sought? What fancied value, trivial effect or transient promise, never to be kept, can hold more hope than what forgiveness brings?
- Why would you seek an answer other than the answer that will answer everything? Here is the perfect answer, given to imperfect questions, meaningless requests, half-hearted willingness to hear, and less than halfway diligence and impartial trust. Here is the answer! Seek for it no more. You will not find another one instead.
- God’s plan for your Salvation cannot change, nor can it fail. Be thankful it remains exactly as He planned it. Changelessly it stands before you like an open door, with warmth and welcome calling from beyond the doorway, bidding you to enter in and make yourself at home, where you belong.
- Here is the answer! Would you stand outside while all of heaven waits for you within? Forgive and be forgiven. As you give you will receive. There is no plan but this for the salvation of the Son of God. Let us today rejoice that this is so, for here we have an answer, clear and plain, beyond deceit in its simplicity. All the complexities the world has spun of fragile cobwebs disappear before the power and the majesty of this extremely simple statement of the truth.
- Here is the answer! Do not turn away in aimless wandering again. Accept salvation now. It is the gift of God, and not the world. The world can give no gifts of any value to a mind that has received what God has given as its own. God wills salvation be received today, and that the intricacies of your dreams no longer hide their nothingness from you.
- Open your eyes today and look upon a happy world of safety and of peace. Forgiveness is the means by which it comes to take the place of hell. In quietness it rises up to greet your open eyes and fill your heart with deep tranquility as ancient truths, forever newly born, arise in your awareness. What you will remember then can never be described. Yet your forgiveness offers it to you.
- Remembering the gifts forgiveness gives, we undertake our practicing today with hope and faith that this will be the day salvation will be ours. Earnestly and gladly will we seek for it today, aware we hold the key within our hands, accepting heaven’s answer to the hell we made, but where we would remain no more.
- Morning and evening, do we gladly give a quarter of an hour to the search in which the end of hell was guaranteed. Begin in hopefulness for we have reached the turning point at which the road becomes far easier. And now the way is short that, yet we travel. We are close indeed to the appointed ending of the dream.
- Sink into happiness as you begin these practice periods, for they hold out the sure rewards of questions answered and what your acceptance of the answer brings. Today it will be given you to feel the peace forgiveness offers, and the joy the lifting of the veil holds out to you.
- Before the light you will receive today the world will fade until it disappears, and you will see another world arise you have no words to picture. Now we walk directly into light, and we receive the gifts that have been held in store for us since time began, kept waiting for today.
- Forgiveness offers everything you want. Today all things you want are given you. Let not your gifts recede throughout the day, as you return again to meet a world of shifting change and bleak appearances. Retain your gifts and clear awareness as you see the changeless in the heart of change, the light of truth behind appearances.
- Be tempted not to let your gifts slip by and drift into forgetfulness but hold them firmly in your mind by your attempts to think of them at least a minute of each quarter of an hour passes by. Remind yourself how precious are these gifts with this reminder, which has power to hold your gifts in your awareness through the day: Forgiveness offers everything I want. Today I have accepted this as true. Today I have received the gifts of God.
Notes and Personal Application: When we were young we had memory verses that we learned in Sunday School and at Vacation Bible School. I loved my memory verses – scriptures from the Bible that were meant to be instilled in our young minds and keep us from falling into sin. Last year this time while I was going through the lessons for the first time, I decided to remember the last few lines of our lesson as a memory verse. “Forgiveness offers everything I want. Today I have accepted this as true. Today I have received the gifts of God.”
I wrote the verse on the Notes app of my phone and I recorded a voice memo. I set reminders throughout the day to read, to listen, and to practice saying the verse without looking at the words. While I tended the seedlings, while studying the Course text and preparing lessons, when we went to Jonathan’s lacrosse game, on the stepper, to my meals and even with me in the bathroom, every fifteen minutes, I practiced the memory verse. “Forgiveness offers me everything I want. Today I have accepted this as true. Today I have received the gifts of God.” Perhaps you may think of this as overload, but for me it was a wonderful boost, a lift of the Spirit within. Sometimes the words would form a rhythmic canonic round in my mind, as if other voices were joining in and chanting with me in song.
Focusing on the words and opening my heart and mind to the gifts of God, helped me to learn the true meaning of forgiveness in a way that I had never experienced before. At the time I was afraid to let the world go – no matter how much it had hurt me, it had also seemed to bless and fulfill me. I loved the world for my husband, for our scrubby little acreage I fondly call the Friar Patch. I loved the warm nest we had made, our French roast coffee, preparing our lovely meals. I loved my kids and grandkids, friends, cousins, travels, adventures, books, and cars. I loved my pretty clothes, the fat hens and Peking ducks which supplied us with an abundance of eggs, Velvet and Tom our quarrelsome, feline twosome. I loved our bonfires, holiday feasts, the Ozarks, Broadchurch, and Halifax series on Netflix. As I listened to the Voice for God calling to me, I mistakenly thought that I would have to sacrifice all for Him, and it was breaking my heart a little – though I was willing.
In the process of letting go of the world as my reality, I learned to forgive the false promise of the world. I learned not to hold the past – the “story we made” – accountable. In forgiving the foibles of others, we learn to forgive our own. We learn to laugh, we learn to ease up, we learn to come down off our crosses and let the world be exactly what it was made to be – a story of separation, a story of doing it our way, instead of His way.
God wasn’t waiting with stern impatience for me to give up my love for the world; He was, with eternal good-nature and the certainty of love, waiting for me to come to my senses and realize that all my little joys and cherished pleasantries were part of my happy dream, goodness bestowed from His love and devotion to me. He was not about to snatch them away; He would, instead, increase my love, my joy, my indulgences, as I gave my loves to Him. As I learned to forgive the world for its false sense of reality, its multitude of strutting characters for their temperamental, boisterous egos, its birth and death cycles – the veil lifted and I could see beyond the world, experience the peace and calm and tranquility that only God’s Kingdom with its changeless, ageless, endless favors can bestow.
Jesus is gently arousing us from our sleep. He is calling to us. In our lesson today He is quite descriptive of the state of our minds in the realm of ego. He calls it hell – where hate and fear, malice and attack entertain and enthrall us, seduce and tempt us down the paths of holding grudges and keeping us from the love of God and one another. We may have made the hellish dream our reality, we may love certain aspects of our nightmare, but once the veil is lifted, nothing here can tempt us to delay our awakening, to pull ourselves from sleep, to walk directly into the light and love and happiness of God. Forgiveness is the key.