Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
LESSON 195 Love is the way I walk in gratitude.
- Gratitude is a lesson hard to learn for those who look upon the world amiss. The most that they can do is see themselves as better off than others. And they try to be content because another seems to suffer more than they. How pitiful and deprecating are such thoughts! For who has cause for thanks while others have less cause? And who could suffer less because he sees another suffer more? Our gratitude is due to Him alone who made all cause of sorrow disappear throughout the world.
- It is insane to offer thanks because of suffering. But it is equally insane to fail in gratitude to One Who offers you the certain means whereby all pain is healed, and suffering replaced with laughter and with happiness. Nor could the even partly sane refuse to take the steps which He directs, and following the way He sets before them, to escape a prison that they thought contained no door to the deliverance they now perceive.
- Your brother is your “enemy” because you see in him the rival for your peace; a plunderer who takes his joy from you and leaves you nothing but a black despair so bitter and relentless that there is no hope remaining. Now is vengeance all there is to wish for, now can you but try to bring him down to lie in death with you, as useless as yourself; as little left within his grasping fingers as in yours.
- You do not offer God your gratitude because your brother is more slave than you, nor could you sanely be enraged if he seems freer. Love makes no comparisons. And gratitude can only be sincere if it be joined to love. We offer thanks to God our Father that in us all things will find freedom. It will never be that some are loosed while others still are bound. For who can bargain in the name of love?
- Therefore give thanks, but in sincerity. And let your gratitude make room for all who will escape with you; the sick, the weak, the needy, and afraid, and those who mourn a seeming loss or feel apparent pain, who suffer cold or hunger, or who walk the way of hatred and the path of death. All these go with you. Let us not compare ourselves with them, for thus we split them off from our awareness of the unity we share with them, as they must share with us.
- We thank our Father for one thing alone; that we are separate from no living thing, and therefore one with Him. And we rejoice that no exceptions ever can be made which would reduce our wholeness, nor impair or change our function to complete the One Who is Himself completion. We give thanks for every living thing, for otherwise we offer thanks for nothing, and we failed to recognize the gifts of God to us.
- Then let our brothers lean their tired heads against our shoulders as they rest awhile. We offer thanks for them. For if we can direct them to the peace that we would find, the way is opening at last to us. An ancient door is swinging free again; a long-forgotten Word re-echoes in our memory and gathers clarity as we are willing once again to hear.
- Walk, then, in gratitude the way of love. For hatred is forgotten when we lay comparisons aside. What more remains as obstacles to peace? The fear of God is now undone at last, and we forgive without comparing. Thus we cannot choose to overlook some things, and yet retain some other things still locked away as “sins.” When your forgiveness is complete you will have total gratitude, for you will see that everything has earned the right to love by being loving, even as your Self.
- Today we learned to think of gratitude in place of anger, malice, and revenge. We have been given everything. If we refuse to recognize it, we are not entitled therefore to our bitterness, and to a self-perception which regards us in a place of merciless pursuit, where we are badgered ceaselessly, and pushed about without a thought or care for us or for our future. Gratitude becomes a single thought we substitute for these insane perceptions. God has cared for us and calls us Son. Can there be more than this?
- Our gratitude will pave the way to Him and shorten our learning time by more than you could ever dream of. Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found. For gratitude is but an aspect of the Love which is the source of all creation. God give thanks to you, His Son, for being what you are; His Own completion and the Source of love, along with Him. Your gratitude to Him is one with His to you. For love can walk no road except the way of gratitude, and thus we go who walk the way of God.
Notes and Personal Application: Today Jesus teaches us that love makes no comparison. We do not give God our gratitude because we were born with more privileges than other people nor are we supposed to be jealous and ungrateful if someone has more. The only reason we offer thanks to God is that in Christ with whom we are one will all of creation find freedom. Nobody will remain enslaved while some go free – we are one in Christ and as one body we bring all into the Sonship of Christ, where there differences between us that seem so apparent in the world disappear and we one with Him.
With the vision of Christ, we do not differentiate between the Sonship based upon the color of skin, genitals, cultural traditions, or the clothes we wear. When we look upon our brothers we do not judge them according to their bank accounts, the car they drive, the house they live in, or their favorite football team. None of these matter in the eyes of love. Hatred cannot abide where comparisons and judgments are laid aside, when we walk in the light of His Love. In His Love, the world and all of its distinctions, competitions, differences, injustices, privileges and disadvantages, finger pointing, games of blame and shame melt away into the past that never was. The world is made new.
As we learn the plan of salvation we begin to see that it is no longer Jesus dying on a cross for the sins of the world that saves us from the hallucinations of sorrow, shame, and death, but that it is our minds and hearts becoming one with Him.
Love is the way we walk in gratitude when we single-mindedly and with no exception recognize the fact that we are given power over any thoughts of anger, malice, and revenge. We accept the gift of everything in place of nothing, and we are free. Our hearts and minds are filled with gratitude and we walk the way of God to God.
If we reject the gift of everything, we will experience animosity, we will feel persecuted, pushed about, enraged and at every disadvantage. We will rage and riot and demand that the injustices of the past be made up to us, as victims someone has to make things right for us and ensure our future. We think that the world owes us something; we fall for the deception that others live and work and breathe in a fairy land of privilege while we go without. We will fill our heads with disturbing images of past abuses, current injustices, and dark and mysterious rites and rituals performed by the atrocious one percent which rules the world, stealing our children, enslaving our minds, and blinding our vision. When we reject God’s gift of everything in exchange for nothing, we forget how to love each other, we think of ourselves and others as meat, as commodities, as competing with one another for the prime cuts, for the biggest slice of the pie.
In today’s lesson, Jesus is asking us to examine these insane perceptions and see them for what they really are! God loves us. He calls us His Son. What more could we possibly ask for? For this we are grateful and learning this powerful lesson – Jesus promises – will shorten our learning time by great measure. Love and gratitude go hand in hand. Love does not abide where there is ingratitude, ill will, and competition and comparison.
O Father Let us walk the way of love in gratitude. Deliver our minds of the world’s dark madness and give us the Vision of Christ. Thank you for every living thing, dear Father. Let us not see others as being different from ourselves but help us to recognize and accept our oneness in Christ. In the name of Jesus with Whom we are one. Amen.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 195. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com