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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 243 Today I Will Judge Nothing That Occurs

  1. I will be honest with myself today. I will not think that I already know what must remain beyond my present grasp. I will not think I understand the whole from bits of my perception, which are all that I can see. Today I recognize that this is so. And so I am relieved of judgments that I cannot make. Thus do I free myself and what I look upon, to be in peace as God created us.
  2. Father, today I leave creation free to be itself. I honor all its parts, in which I am included. We are one because each part contains Your memory, and truth must shine in all of us as one.[1]
Photo credit: http://www.facebook.com (Lisa C.)

Notes and Personal Application Lately I have been have a D.H. Lawrence fest.  It started with rediscovering the book Sons and Lovers that my friend Janet had given me for my birthday years ago when we were living in Shanghai.  I reread the book and ever since have been reading everything I can get my hands on from the author.  What he has to say about the reduction to absurdity found in idealism struck me as I was reading over today’s lesson.  We want the universe to be something else and not what it is.  We think we understand the way it should be from our little bits of knowledge, our extremely limited perception, and from our stunted viewpoints of reality.  We think the cat is cruel for playing games of death with the mice, and yet we do not want the pests pooping in our silverware drawers and nibbling holes in our tableware.  In the House that Jack Built, as Lawrence refers to the world, people should have been different than they are, everybody should have been somebody else and not himself![2]

Today I was processing a lot of veggies from our garden.  I made a big jar of refrigerator dill pickles from our excess of cucumbers.  The okra was soaked in vinegar solution, dried, and set aside for a future fry.  The ripe tomatoes were made into an Instant Pot full of ketchup ingredients for James who does not like all the corn syrup in Heinz.  The eggplants were put up.  It was a lot of work, but I enjoy doing things like this.  While I was working my mind dwelled upon our grandson Jonathan who left for Air Force basic training yesterday.  I was trying my best not to feel bereaved.  It seems as if not only our own children, but now our grandchildren have grown up and left the nest before I am ready. 

Only yesterday he was our little blonde, blue-eyed cherub who toddled about and tramped through mud puddles with me.  I thought of our candy picnics, our rides to Hershey to see his cousin, Halie, the times he traveled with us to Chattanooga to see our Friar clan.  How the grandsons used to quarrel amongst themselves about who got to sit next to Grammy when we sat down to eat, who got to sit in the front seat with me when we went for a drive, who got to carry my luggage or help bring the groceries in.  And then he hit puberty and adolescence and he was gone even before he went off to the Air Force, always up to something with his friends, with sports, with other interests.  My heart cried for him – not because I am not proud of his accomplishments, his courage, his stalwartness, and bright plans, but because he felt gone from me.  Grammy is not a big figure in his life anymore.  I feel put on a shelf along with all the other things from his childhood.  He has his own life to start now and because he chose to go away, it will be months before we get to see him again. 

When I opened up about my thoughts to James, he was experiencing much the same thing.  The distance between us and our bootcamp grandson looms large and worrisome in our minds, yes, but there is also the feeling of time having slipped past us way too fast.  Jonathan’s childhood is over and with it the vital role that we played in his life.

Last weekend we hosted a send-off dinner for him and then a brunch before he left, but it just did not feel like enough.  We were at a loss for words to express to him our love, our deep affection, our hopes, and high regard.  And so we left the good food, laughs, and memories suffice.     

But when we are honest with ourselves, we understand that time and people are not meant for us to hold on to.  We are in no position to make judgments, to put our own needs and desires to be important, necessary, and made mindful of on others.  It does not matter that we have collected bits of hard-won wisdom over the decades of our lives, our grandchildren must learn their own way, enjoy their own adventures, accomplish their own dreams.  All we can see, and experience is that our grandson grew up way too fast and now he is off on his own preparing to serve his country, with dreams of manning great flying machines.  It is not for him to stick around making sure that grammy and grandpa know where he is and who he is with and what he is doing, assuring them of his safety, comfort, and companionship. 

We free ourselves when we give up these concerns and go with trust in God.  Worries, concerns, and a sense of neediness, despair, and grief are gone when we accept the peace of God.  How we honor our grandson is how we honor all of creation – we leave him free of our own ego demands and desires.  We recognize our oneness, our certainty in God, and the truth that shines in all of us the world over, no matter where we are, whom we are with, and what role we choose to learn our way back to God. 

Today walk in this freedom.  Refuse to judge no matter what occurs.  Do not put a right or wrong on it.  All roads lead back to God – here in the house that Jack built.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 243. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] D.H. Lawrence, The Complete Novels…Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com