Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 166 I Am Entrusted With the Gifts of God.
- All things are given you. God’s trust in you is limitless. He knows His Son. He gives without exception, holding nothing back that can contribute to your happiness. And yet, unless your will is one with His, His gifts are not received. But what would make you think there is another will than His?
- Here is the paradox that underlies the making of the world. This world is not the Will of God, and so it is not real. Yet those who think it real must still believe there is another will, and one that leads to opposite effects from those He wills. Impossible; indeed, but every mind that looks upon the world and judges it as certain, solid, trustworthy, and true believes in two creators; or in one, himself alone. But never in one God.
- The gifts of God are not acceptable to anyone who holds such strange beliefs. He must believe that to accept God’s gifts, however evident they may become, however urgently he may be called to claim them as his own, is to be pressed to treachery against himself. He must deny their presence, contradict the truth, and suffer to preserve the world he made.
- Here is the only home he thinks he knows. Here is the only safety he believes that he can find. Without the world he made he is an outcast; homeless and afraid. He does not realize that it is here he is afraid indeed, and homeless, too; an outcast wandering so far from home, so long away, he does not realize he has forgotten where he came from, where he goes, and even who he really is.
- Yet in his lonely, senseless wanderings, God’s gifts go with him, all unknown to him. He cannot lose them. But he will not look at what is given him. He wanders on, aware of the futility he sees about him everywhere, perceiving how his little lot but dwindles, as he goes ahead to nowhere. Still he wanders on in misery and poverty, alone though God is with him, and a treasure his so great that everything the world contains is valueless before its magnitude.
- He seems a sorry figure; weary, worn, in threadbare clothing, and with feet that bleed a little from the rocky road he walks. No one but has identified with him, for everyone who comes here has pursued the path he follows and has felt defeat and hopelessness as he is feeling them. Yet is he really tragic, when you see that he is following the way he chose, and need but realize Who walks with him and opens up his treasures to be free?
- This is your chosen self, the one you made as a replacement for reality. This is the self you savagely defend against all reason, every evidence, and all the witnesses with proof to show this is not you. You heed them not. You go on your appointed way; with eyes cast down less you might catch a glimpse of truth and be released from self-deception and set free.
- You cower fearfully lest you should feel Christ’s touch upon your shoulder, and perceive His gentle hand directing you to look upon your gifts. How could you then proclaim your poverty in exile? He would make you laugh at this perception of yourself. Where is self-pity then? And what becomes of all the tragedy you sought to make for him whom God intended only joy?
- Your ancient fear has come upon you now, and justice has caught up with you at last. Christ’s hand has touched your shoulder and you feel that you are not alone. You even think the miserable self you thought was you may not be your identity. Perhaps God’s Word is truer than your own. Perhaps His gifts to you are real. Perhaps He has not wholly been outwitted by your plan to keep His Son in deep oblivion and go the way you chose without your Self.
- God’s Will does not oppose. It merely is. It is not God you have imprisoned in your plan to lose yourself. He does not know about a plan so alien to His Will. There was a need He did not understand, to which He gave an answer. That is all. And you who have this Answer given you have need no more of anything but This.
- Now do we live, for now we cannot die. The wish for death is answered, and the sight that looked upon it now has been replaced by vision which perceives that you are not what you pretend to be. One walks with you who gently answers all your fears with this one merciful reply, “It is not so.” He points to all the gifts you have each time the thought of poverty oppresses you, and speaks of His Companionship when you perceive yourself as lonely and afraid.
- Yet He reminds you still of one thing more you had forgotten. For His touch on you has made you like Himself. The gifts you have are not for you alone. What He has come to offer you, you now must learn to give. This is the lesson that His giving holds, for He has saved you from the solitude you sought to make in which to hide from God. He has reminded you of all the gifts that God has given you. He speaks as well of what becomes your will when you accept these gifts, and recognize they are your own.
- The gifts are yours, entrusted to your care, to give to all who chose the lonely road you have escaped. They do not understand they but pursue their wishes. It is you who teach them now. For you have learned of Christ there is another way for them to walk. Teach them by showing them the happiness that comes to those who feel the touch of Christ and recognize God’s gifts. Let sorrow not tempt you to be unfaithful to your trust.
- Your sighs will now betray the hopes of those who look to you for their release. Your tears are theirs. If you are sick, you but withhold their healing. What you fear but teaches them their fears are justified. Your hand becomes the giver of Christ’s touch; your change of mind becomes the proof that who accepts God’s gifts can never suffer anything. You are entrusted with the world’s release from pain.
- Betray it not. Become the living proof of what Christ’s touch can offer everyone. God has entrusted all His gifts to you. Be witness in your happiness to how transformed the mind becomes which chooses to accept His gifts and feel the touch of Christ. Such is your mission now. For God entrusts the giving of His gifts to all who have received them. He has shared his joy with you. And now you go to share it with the world.
Notes and Personal Application: This afternoon as I finally set some time aside to pray and read my lesson, I was overtaken with gratitude and joy that God would entrust me with His gifts. Many times I let the ego talk me out of who and what I really am and let it convince me for a while that I am nothing but a leaky valve, a wishy-washy Christian wannabe, a laughable excuse for a Son of God. What a wonderful message to know that God knows me and that all that is His is given me. God not only knows me, but He trusts me, and He holds nothing back that would make me happy. If I choose to believe otherwise, it is not because God has forsaken me, but simply because I have left the dispiriting lies of the ego persuade me that the world that was made without God is real, that God would make a world that is uncertain, chancy, untrustworthy, and full of hate and sorrow, disease and death.
When we choose to get caught up in the world that our medias blather about on the news, we are choosing this world instead of the real one in which all is love and peace and joy. When we allow the upside down thinking of this world fill our minds with fear, with hostility, with choosing sides, with turning upon ourselves and each other with gnashing teeth and audacious accusations, pointing fingers and projecting our self-hatred and condemnation to this one or that one, we are making of ourselves outcasts, forgetting where we came from, where we are meant to go, and who and what really are.
No matter what we say or do, God’s gifts go with us. Whether we embrace them or ignore them, we cannot lose them. Whether we look upon them with gladness or with disdain, they never leave us – there is nothing we can ever do or say that can change who and what we are.
Last year at this time I was struggling with some guests that we had in our home who had invited themselves to stay with us during a time when we were simply not prepared for guests. James, in an attempt to be a gracious host, told them to make themselves at home, and before we knew it, they were preparing all the meals, clattering about in our kitchen, banging the hot iron skillet down on our newly installed quartz countertops, and cluttering nearly every surface in the house with their stuff. On top of this, they were speaking Chinese to one another and rarely included us in conversations unless they had a request. It was a most trying visit, and we were both only too happy when it came to an end.
As teachers of God, we are not to get our identity from the world and what the world would ask of us. There are some people who do not want to be reminded of who and what they are in Christ. We are not meant to cater to the earthly needs of people who are quite capable of meeting their own needs. We are not asked to let spongers suck up our resources or to treat our homes like hotels. The motto of the ego is to take as much as it can get and give as little back as it can get away with. As Sons of God, called to minister the truth to others, we withhold true happiness to ourselves and others by draining ourselves of energy and joy by pouring ourselves out to those who have no interest in the things of God.
In paragraph 13, Jesus says that God’s gifts are ours, entrusted to our care, to give to all who chose the world over the Kingdom of God. We are to spend our time teaching the happiness that comes to those who feel the touch of Christ and recognize God’s gifts. This means to share the good news of Christ. It does not mean we are to feed, house, and chauffer people around to worldly events and activities. There are plenty of people who are happy to do just that – there are hotels, rental cars, and buses that the world provides to cater to the needs of people intent on making the world real. As Sons of God, doing these things will only wear us down and bring us unhappiness. We are not to be deceived into thinking any good can come out of such so-called generosity.
Individuals and collectives alike will often get caught up in providing meals, clothing, and shelter for the lost and sincerely believe that they are doing the work of Christ. While there is nothing inherently wrong with helping our brothers in their time of need, our true ministry is not one of meeting the physical needs of others. We are called to share God’s gifts which are spiritual and everlasting, which transforms our minds, healing us so that we can bring truth and healing to others.
We are entrusted with the world’s release from pain. Jesus asks us to become the living proof of what Christ’s touch can offer everyone. When we get caught up in the old ways of making friends and catering to others, we are asking for what the world offers, special relationships, drained resources, and energy ill-spent. When we bear witness to the happiness that comes with accepting God’s gifts and experiencing the touch of Christ in our hearts, we are filled with joy and we share that joy with all the world.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 166. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com