"The gift of Christ is all I seek today."
Often these closing lessons of the Workbook tell me that I can enter the real world today. "Today I can forget the world I made. Today I can go past all fear, and be restored to love and holiness and peace" (1:2-3). And it is true. If the "world so like to Heaven" (1:1) is truly real, then it exists now, and can be entered at any instant I am willing to do so.
And yet these lessons, to me and to many others, seem to be speaking from a vantage point that is beyond our current reach. Most of the time, I don't feel that I am on the verge of reaching the end of the journey; do you? I may think that I would like to go past all fear, but that hasn't been my general experience to date. Only, perhaps, in a few holy instants. So the lessons, perhaps, seem a little above my head. But really, they aren't.
The lesson for today itself implies a less than exalted state; it says that the gift of Christ is all I "seek" today. If I am seeking it, I don't possess it yet in full awareness. Strongly, then, the lesson reminds me that today I can forget the world; today I can go past all fear and be restored to love. It reminds me that, in the core of my being, this is what I want. Aware I am not there, I need to be reminded that the goal I seek is truly possible and not simply an idle dream.
More than that, though. One of the means for our salvation the Course propounds is the holy instant. The holy instant is, in simple terms, a brief interval in which I allow my mind to enter the real world, to reach to another state of mind (see T-27.IV.2:1-4) which is, in fact, my natural condition as God created me. I may still have too much fear to let go entirely, but I can come for a few minutes at least and, just for now, forget the world and go past my fear to experience a taste of Heaven's peace, a glimpse of Heaven's light. I can do this repeatedly during the day. Today, then, I really can forget the world and go past fear, even if just for a second or two.
I may not be able to sustain that state of mind. Yet I can taste it. I can bring back the vision of what I see there. The Course says that only in rare cases can this state be maintained; even Jesus, early in the Course, said that listening only to the Voice for God was the last lesson he learned, and that only with "effort and great willingness." We need not despair at this, and should not. The brief instants are all we need to guarantee that eventually, when we are fully prepared, we will make that final decision and choose at last not to draw back from Love. That end is sure. For now we can be content with the fact that we are healing, we are learning, we are nurturing our attraction to God, and that eventually it will carry us all the way home.
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