LESSON 173 (Review V)
"God is but Love, and therefore so am I."
"I will step back and let Him lead the way."
"I walk with God in perfect holiness."
Purpose: To prepare for part II of the Workbook. To give more time and effort to practicing, that you may hasten your slow, wavering and uncertain footsteps, and go on with more faith, certainty and sincerity. Make this review a gift to Jesus and a time in which you share with him a new yet ancient experience.
Central Thought: "God is but Love, and therefore so am I." This thought should start and end each day, start and end each practice period, and be repeated before and after each thought to be reviewed. Each of these thoughts, in turn, should be used to support this central thought, keep it clear in mind, and make it more meaningful, personal and true.
Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes - at least; 10 - better; 15 even better; 30 or more - best
* Repeat and dwell on central thought and review thoughts.
* Let go of the words, which are only aids. Try to go beyond their sound to their meaning. Wait for experience, place your faith in it, not the means to it. If your mind wanders, repeat the central thought.
* Close with the central thought.
Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)
(Suggestion) Repeat the central thought and the review thoughts slowly enough to see and receive their gifts. Spend a quiet moment with them.
Frequent Reminder: Take one of the review thoughts and surround it with the central thought ("God is but Love, and therefore so am I."). Use the review thoughts to keep the central thought clear in our memory throughout the day.
Response To Temptation: (Suggestion) When tempted, respond with a review thought, the central thought, or both.
Paragraph 5 of the Review Introduction:
The Self that is only Love, perfectly consistent in Its thoughts, is What "waits to meet us at the journey's ending" (5:1). I often need to remind myself of what it is I am "going for" in this spiritual walk. Sometimes it seems like such a long journey -"countless situations...through time that seems to have no end" (T-24.VI.7:2). Keeping the goal in view, in the forefront of my mind, is a necessity for me. "This," with a capital "T," "is promised us" (5:4). I am on a journey to find my Self, and at the end of the journey, it is promised, I will find It. A Self in constant union with God. A Self at perfect peace within Itself. This is worth "going for."
The journey seems long, but every step brings me a little nearer (5:2). Each time I pause for a minute to remember brings me nearer. Each time I open my heart in love to a brother brings me nearer. Each morning or evening I take the time to practice, sitting in silence, listening, brings me nearer. The path offered by the Course is not a flashy one. It is not, sometimes, a very exciting one. But it works. It is so clear to me that this work must be done somehow; the twisted thoughts of my ego must be undone and replaced with something else. The multitude of fear's disguises must be unmasked and replaced with love. Sometimes I wish it could happen overnight. Sometimes I wonder why it seems to take so long and proceed so slowly. And then I catch my own thoughts, turning me away, delaying me, and I know why. Occasionally I even feel gratitude that God does not force anything on me against my will, because when, at last, I end the journey, there will be not one shred of uncertainty that it is my will, as well as His. And I return to the steady work the Course sets forth, knowing that - for me, at least - this is the only way I have found that works.
"This review" - done as we are asked to do it, of course -"will shorten time immeasurably" (5:3). So if I feel impatient, here is the means to shorten the time it takes. The means are being given to me, handed to me on a silver platter, put before my eyes day after day. Will I take them? Will I use the means given me to shorten time? I say so often that I want the journey to proceed more quickly. Yet if, given the means to shorten the time, I do not use them, what does that say about my wanting? My regularity in practice is the measure of my true desire.
If I practice with the goal in mind, if I remember why I am doing it, the benefit will be there. If, however, I trudge through the practice as if it were some kind of duty being imposed on me, a tedious chore, it will probably not have much benefit.
Today let me raise my heart from dust to life as I remember (5:4). Let me lift up my eyes and recall the glorious goal, the completeness of my Self that awaits my remembering. Let the inner hunger that never leaves me have its way and draw me onward.
"...this course was sent to open up the path of light to us, and teach us, step by step, how to return to the eternal Self we thought we lost" (5:5).
Thank You, Father, for this course. Thank You for its step by step instructions. Thank You for this time of review, for the times I can spend with You, quietly, listening, waiting, knowing that every minute draws me nearer to my goal, every minute saves immeasurable time. Thank You for opening up the path of light.
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