II. SECTION 11. What is Creation?
Lesson 328 I choose the second place to gain the first.
- What seems to be the second place is first, for all things we perceive are upside down until we listen to the Voice for God. It seems that we will gain autonomy but by our striving to be separate, and that our independence from the rest of God’s creation is the way in which salvation is obtained. Yet all we find is sickness, suffering, and loss and death. This is not what our Father wills for us, nor is there any second to His Will. To join with His is but to find our own. And since our will is His, it is to Him that we must go to recognize our will.
- There is no will but Yours. And I am glad that nothing I imagine contradicts what You would have me be. It is Your Will that I be wholly safe, eternally at peace. And happily I share that Will which You, my Father, gave as part of me.
Jesus explains in today’s lesson that when we choose to put God first, we are putting our Selves first. It reminds me of when I was teaching my children the value of good manners. While making that extra effort may seem like an imposition, the fact is, I told them, that when we use good manners, people like being around us. Since it is unpleasant to sit across the table from a friend who chews with their mouth open, we may not get invited to dinner if we do not take the measures to keep our mouth closed while we masticate our meal. When we accept another’s hospitality, it benefits us to be the kind of guest that picks up after themselves and refrains from nabbing the biggest potato nor taking dibs on the most comfortable seat in the house. Be the kind of guest that makes a lot of extra work for your host and chances are you simply will not be invited back. When we receive a present, it is not only nice, but smart, to follow up with a big thank-you. The little bit of effort that this entails, guarantees goodwill – people who do not express appreciation often get overlooked the next time a gift-giving occasion comes around. The fact that neither one of my children nor myself particularly enjoy getting overlooked when it is time for invitations or presents, may seem like a selfish incentive to practice good manners, but God in His great love and desire for oneness and unity, has made our individual happiness and well-being dependent upon the appreciation, love, and respect we show for Him and for all Creation.
While etiquette can only take us so far in this world, it serves as a means to understand the logic behind the how and why of putting God before our selves. Put ourselves first, and we have removed ourselves from God and the oneness we share with Him and with all of Creation. We see ourselves as separate beings. Each one of us must then find our own way in a dog-eat-dog world. Even our most special and cherished alliances will fail and disappoint us in this state of putting ourselves first. We thought it would be our happiness to set ourselves apart and strive to be Boss, but apart from Creation, we simply do not fare well. Here in our isolated bits and parts we can not truly know one another, we can not truly comfort one another, we can not truly know and give the love with which we were created for and with.
Today Jesus asks us to consider our true will – we will to be happy, we will to be secure, we will to have peace. God’s Will and Creation’s Will are one – an idea never leaves its source. When we will with God we are willing with our own will. When we put God first, we put ourselves first for we are giving up our vain imaginings about who and what we are and have accepted our reality as His Son.
A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 328. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 465.
Audio credit: the friar patch @ www.eckiefriar.com