II. SECTION 12. What is the Ego?
Lesson 339 I will receive whatever I request.
- No one desires pain. But he can think that pain is pleasure. No one would avoid his happiness. But he can think that joy is painful, threatening, and dangerous. Everyone will receive what he requests. But he can be confused indeed about the things he wants, the state he would attain. What can he then request that he would want when he receives it? He has asked for what will frighten him and bring him suffering. Let us resolve today to ask for what we really want, and only this, that we may spend this day in fearlessness, without confusing pain with joy, or fear with love.
- Father, this is Your day. It is a day in which I would do nothing by myself but hear Your Voice in everything I do, requesting only what You offer me, accepting only Thoughts You share with me.
In our prayer today, we ask that the altars of our mind are free of opposites. We ask that our confusion about right and wrong, pain and pleasure, happiness and unhappiness be swept away. We no longer want the ego’s version of Creation where every pleasure is the result of blood, sweat, and tears. We seek to go beyond the ego and experience that which is unblemished love, joy, and peace that comes from the one and only Source.
In the world, we are often confused about what we really want – we chase after things that ruin our health, strip us of wealth, keep us pandering to an aim that is driven by an “I’ll show them” attitude. We call our suffering success; we brag about our blisters and the sacrifices we make. We are driven to outdo others to show them we are not sissies, we are not welfare riders, we are not dropouts or deadbeats or second rate. We hold others accountable for all the ways in which their reproaches, putdowns, and bullying motivated us to show them we were not what they said we were and would always be. But to what end?
No matter the arena in which we put our efforts, deny our pleasure, endure pain and suffering, the rewards we chase are temporal and cannot sustain us. When we chase fame, when we give up our happiness and joy at the expense of having bragging rights or proving to those who did not believe in us that we are a force to be reckoned with – we receive exactly what we ask for! We grow afraid for we learn that no matter how hard we work to attain our titles, our accomplishments, our rewards and aplomb, it does not bring us the happily ever after that we thought it would. There is no rest for the weary when it comes to chasing after the world’s offerings. After all the hand clapping, after all the interviews, after all the spots in the limelight we realize we still are not happy. And nobody really cares.
This all changes when we give our days to God. When we ask for what God Wills for our lives, we experience love, joy, and peace on a moment-to-moment basis for we are freed of pandering to the changeable fads of the world, we are liberated from all of the voices which would spur us to damage ourselves in the process of “proving” them wrong. When we give God first place in our lives, we find true wealth, health, and happiness where it has been all along.
Today in our devotional practice, meditate upon the lesson idea for today. Think of all that you think will make you happy – and bring that list to God. As you give your list to God, humbly ask Him to give you what He knows will make you happy. Relax and trust in Him. As you come to know Him you will find that God is for you and never against you. He never withholds anything that will bring you true joy and happiness – His will for you is not starvation, suffering, or sacrifice. Trust in Him to liberate you from confusion and show you the way. You will receive whatever you request.
A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 339. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 472.
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com