"How can illusions satisfy God's Son?"
(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)
The Course is telling us to "accept no substitutes." We want "the real thing" (Classic version, of course). The irony of it is that most of the time we allow ourselves to be satisfied with illusions: illusions of love (special love relationships), illusions of safety (financial security), illusions of meaning (fame, worldly rewards and recognition). We allow ourselves to be content with dreams, and sometimes even dreams within the dream, such as drugs and fantasies.
We do need lessons like these. We need to ask ourselves, "Can illusions bring me happiness?" (1:4) We know the answer if we are willing to ask the question. A Christian writer and missionary, Jim Elliot, once wrote, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Another missionary, Amy Carmichael, wrote, "It is the life that has no time for trifling that tells." When the glitter of the world attracts us, when a special relationship seems to promise us meaning and fulfillment here, in the world, let me remind myself: "I will accept no less than what You have given me" (1:6).
We may find temporary pleasure and satisfaction in some of our illusions. Ultimately, however, nothing can satisfy us but the memory of God (1:5). Nothing can bring complete contentment except the knowledge that "I am surrounded by Your Love, forever still, forever gentle and forever safe" (1:7). Today, will I pursue yet another illusion? Or will I use my time wisely, and choose Heaven and the peace of God?
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