LESSON 171 (REVIEW V)
"God is but Love, and therefore so am I."
Another review! As you read through the Introduction to the Review, you will notice that there are no detailed practice instructions. The summary, given in Paragraph 11, is the only reference to the actual practice we are meant to follow. A morning time, an evening time, and keeping the idea in our remembrance throughout the day - that's all the instruction we are given. Actually, the full instructions were given in Lesson 153, paragraphs 15-18. There, the instructions were said to be "a form we will maintain for quite a while." That "while" is still continuing. The daily practice is well summarized by Robert Perry along with this lesson, and every day's lesson, in case you have forgotten what it is.
In the ten days of review, I will be commenting mainly on the Review Introduction, rather than the daily ideas being reviewed. Today I'll cover the first three paragraphs, and then one paragraph a day for the remaining nine review lessons. The theme idea for the review is: "God is but Love, and therefore so am I." We are told (4:2) that each of the twenty thoughts we are reviewing clarify some aspect of the theme thought; I will also attempt to point out some ways the theme is connected to each day's two thoughts.
The Introduction to our review opens with a powerful appeal to us to take our practicing seriously, to "give more effort and more time to what we undertake" (1:2). Once again, as in Review IV, we are reminded that this series of lessons is meant to help us in "preparing for another phase of understanding." Review IV made it clear that this is a reference to the second part of the Workbook: "...this time...we are preparing for the second part of learning how the truth can be applied" (W-rIV.In.1:1). The realization that we are preparing for something more, a shift into another phase, is meant to motivate our efforts so that we "take this step completely, that we may go on again more certain, more sincere, with faith upheld more surely" (1:4). One gets the sense that the effectiveness of the second half of the Workbook depends, in large measure, on how much time and effort we are willing to put into our practicing right now.
I remember the first few times I did the Workbook, I always felt the second half was a bust. Anticlimactic. I also remember that I made no serious effort to follow the practice instructions; I just read the lesson every morning. I am absolutely certain that there is a direct connection between those two facts: my feeble practice, and my sense of anticlimax.
The Workbook recognizes that we have been wavering, and that we have had doubts that caused us to be less than diligent in practicing. It does not berate us over this, but it does make clear that if we want the results, we have to follow the program. The reward will be "a greater certainty, a firmer purpose and a surer goal."
The prayer in paragraphs 2 and 3 would be good, in my opinion, to use every day during this review. It needs no comment; the meaning of every line is quite clear. It is a prayer for diligence in practicing. It is an affirmation of faith that, even if we forget, stumble, or wander off, God will remember for us, raise us up, and call us back.
"God is but Love, and therefore so am I."
"All things are echoes of the Voice for God."
"The power of decision is my own."
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, for 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: Recall the central thought or one of the review ideas as often as possible.
Response To Temptation: Repeat the central thought.
Today's two thoughts connect easily to the theme idea. If God is only Love, and I am also only love, then everything echoes His Voice. Everything is nothing but an aspect of Him. The decision I face, today and every day, is whether or not to accept this fact. Will I live today as an expression of the Love of God, or will I choose to attempt what must be impossible: to be something else?
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