Part 2:2 WHAT IS SALVATION
Lesson 236 I Rule My Mind, Which I Alone Must Rule
- I have a kingdom I must rule. At times, it does not seem I am its king at all. It seems to triumph over me and tell me what to think and what to do and feel. And yet it has been given me to serve whatever purpose I perceive in it. My mind can only serve. Today I give its service to the Holy Spirit to employ as He sees fit. I thus direct my mind, which I alone can rule. And thus I set it free to do the will of God.
- Father, my mind is open to Your thoughts, and closed today to every thought but Yours. I rule my mind and offer it to You. Accept my gift, for it is Yours to me.
Thoughts for Today
Our mind is our kingdom. We are its king. When things come along to tempt us to choose thoughts that bring us unhappiness, unease, feelings of abandonment and bewilderment, we can choose to think only thoughts of goodwill. When we think thoughts of goodwill, we think with God. When we think thoughts that bring us sorrow and pain, worry and concern, we are not thinking with God. In the kingdom of our minds, we rule supreme.
Every single moment of the day we are faced with a decision about what we are going to think about, what thoughts we are going to allow in our mind, what people with whom we are going to give our ear, what books we are going to read, what movies we will watch, who we call on the phone, who we invite into our lives, where we go and who we go with. Few of us have ever been taught to exercise vigilance with our thoughts and keep our minds whole and holy.
Lest we think that this is a matter of burrowing our head in the sand, Jesus makes it very clear what we are to do with worries, cares, doubts, fears, and forms of attack and defense. We are to look at them with perfect confidence that God can handle them. There is nothing too big or small, too sinful, shameful, prideful, or sorrowful to give to God to take care of for us. We identify all that is not goodwill and we bring it to God and trust in Him to work it out.
In keeping with a tradition that started several years ago, my third grandson and I spent the day at Knoebel’s Grove, a local amusement park that I has been around since before I was born. As a rule we do not invite other people to go along – it is something that we look forward to doing together. Zachary encourages me to get out of my comfort zone and get on the more daring rides. A few years ago, he had me ride the Impulse for the first time. With its four upside-down turns and 90 degree drop, it was a thrilling ride which left my head spinning but only in the most exhilarating way. Today the Impulse and several of our other favorite rides were closed. Although disappointed, we did not let that stop us from having a good time. We rode the Phoenix, Paratrooper, the Twister, the Giant Flume, and the carousel. With only a minimum of coaxing, I braved a new (for me) and exciting ride called the StratosFear – a scenic ride to the top of a 148-foot-high tower and then a freefall back down. The Alamo where we had intended to eat lunch was not open. So we each ate a delicious slice of pizza and shared a pickle on a stick. We visited the carousel museum. We stopped at the fudge and nut shoppe and bought Grandpa some dark chocolate covered cashews. We tried some Turkish Delight for the first time. The weather was perfect – sunny, breezy, and it did not start to drizzle until we were in the car pulling out of the parking lot. It was a lovely day full of fun, adrenaline rushes, and laughter.
We could have sulked and slunk about today, resenting the fact that our plans to ride the Italian Trapeze, the Impulse, the Fandango, the Downdraft, and the Flying Turns was closed. We could have bemoaned how our plans to dine at The Alamo fell through. In the afternoon when my energy levels were flagging and I ordered an iced coffee, it was the poorest excuse for a caffeine boost ever. There were some people in line with us that were pushy, rude, and said dumb things that could have wracked our nerves. Wearing the required mouth and nose coverings and breathing warm, damp, recycled air tends to nauseate me. Instead of dwelling on any of this, we kept our kingdoms full of gratitude and goodwill. We smiled at people. We said please and we said thank you to the workers who ran the rides, provided refreshment, curated the museum. We appreciated the free admission and parking that Knoebel’s offers to the public. We liked that the prices of the rides and the food were reasonable. We were grateful to the personnel who keep the park free of dirt and grime to ward off disease.
This is how we manage to live in this world while not being of this world. We focus on what is good, happy-making, kind, grateful, and nice. We are vigilant about what we tune in and what we tune out. We do not obligate ourselves to our own ego or the ego of others who would abuse or use us in ways that do not glorify God or bring His goodwill. We practice mindful living – after I invited James to go along with Zachary and I to Knoebel’s last week, I was reminded by Holy Spirit that this was my Grammy time with Zachary. There was no need to feel obligated to include Grandpa or anybody else in our time together. We do not overtax ourselves with vain imaginings, worries about the future, or shame or sorrow from the past. We rule our minds with the standard of God and His good Will, where we harbor only His thoughts and His kind and loving Words, and we let all the rest be washed away.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 236. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
Audio credit: The Friar Patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com