"My only function is the one God gave me."
Longer: 1 for 10-15 minutes.
- Review idea. Close eyes and repeat idea again.
- Watch your mind carefully to catch any thoughts that arise to interfere with idea. Note each one dispassionately and dismiss it by saying: "This thought reflects a goal that is preventing me from accepting my only function." As you run out of interfering thoughts, try for a minute longer to find (without strain) any that escaped your attention.
- Then say: "On this clean slate let my true function be written for me"--or words to that effect.
- Repeat idea again and for remainder of exercise think about it, about the importance, desirability and happiness of your function.
Remarks: Try to do the longer practice period the same time each of the following days. Try to decide this time in advance and adhere to it. Thus you arrange your day to include time for God, as well as your trivial goals. This is part of training your mind for the Holy Spirit to use it consistently for His goal.
Shorter: 1 per hour.
- Close eyes and say: "My only function is the one God gave me. I want no other and I have no other."
- Look about you and say: "My only function is the one God gave me. I want no other and I have no other."
What I noticed as I read was the last sentence of the first paragraph:
The full acceptance of salvation as your only function necessarily entails two phases; the recognition of salvation as your function, and the relinquishment of all the other goals you have invented for yourself.
Some of us may be yet having trouble with the first phase, recognizing salvation as our function. It isn't a simple matter. To say, "My job is to heal and be healed," requires a major shift of mind for most people. To see ourselves as the light of the world is not something that comes easily to us. That is why the preceding few lessons have dwelt on that fact, and why it will come up again in later lessons.
This lesson advances beyond simply recognizing that salvation is our function; it adds the thought that this is our only function. It makes it very plain that for this to be so, every other goal must be relinquished. God gave us this one goal, and no other. The others we invented for ourselves, and every other goal in some way competes with and detracts from this one.
As I go through my day, I watch how my "trivial purposes and goals" interfere with my pursuit of this one goal. I can watch it in the simple practice proposed for the next several days, taking ten to fifteen minutes to try to understand and accept the idea for the day. The lesson asks me to arrange my day so that I have this time set apart for God. Setting apart these fifteen minutes will necessitate setting aside every other goal for those minutes. It will bring up the very issue addressed by this lesson, the way in which my other goals compete with the goal given me by God.
In my understanding of the Course the matter of recognizing my true goal can come fairly early in the journey I am on; the process of relinquishing all my lesser goals until I have no goal but God can take a fairly long time. At the start, we have no idea of how many competitive goals we have set up for ourselves. It takes time to discover and relinquish them all. Today is but a beginning, but the more seriously I take this idea, the more effective today's practice can be.
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