[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]
As we go through these early sections in the Text, I am realizing how much Jesus is not only teaching us, but also training us. He’s sharing his teachings with us ultimately to help us become the miracle workers he needs in his Great Crusade (T-1.III.1; especially the Urtext version)––and he’s doing this right from the very beginning. This really is a training course in becoming miracle workers! This realization is making me read his words and study his teachings more attentively and in a more concentrated way, noticing this deeper purpose behind his words.
For instance, when he talks so much in these early sections about letting go of fear and accepting the Atonement, it is because he knows this is absolutely necessary if we are to become effective miracle workers. Reading it in that context makes it about so much more than just me.
Another simple example is noticing Jesus’ use of the word “constructive,” as in:
Each day should be devoted to miracles. The purpose of time is to enable you to learn how to use time constructively. (T-1.I.15:1-2)
From this, it sounds as if using time constructively is using it to perform miracles. So, when he says to Helen (in the Urtext), “Have a good day. Since only eternity is real, why not use the illusion of time constructively?” he is really saying that she will have a good day if she uses time to perform miracles.
Janet [Wilson] and I were saying that when we review our days, we tend to evaluate whether or not it was a good day based on how much we accomplished. “Did I get a lot done? Was I able to tick off several points on my ‘to do’ list?” If so, then it was a “good” day. However, a good day has nothing to do with production and performance, but with miracle working––offering acts of loving kindness. This reminds me of the saying that the measure or a person’s life is not how much she accomplished, but how much she loved.
We talked about setting the goal for the day, as in “The Rules for Decision” (T-30.1), and how different our day would be if, when we asked ourselves what kind of day we wanted, we answered, “a good day; a day in which I perform miracles.” And at the end of the day, when we asked ourselves, “Did I have a good day today?” our response would be in terms of, “How loving was I? How well did I practice forgiveness? Did I offer miracles today?”
(Of course, we would have to be careful not to let the ego use this as a variation on judging ourselves on how well we performed and how much we produced, but as an honest assessment of how we did in realizing our goal, and with a desire to be more effective as a miracle worker. And, in the spirit of “The Meaning of the Last Judgment” (T-2.VIII), we wouldn’t be hard on ourselves for the ways in which we failed to love, but we would choose to keep only the loving thoughts and acts in our day.)
What if, every time we said to someone, “Have a good day,” just as Jesus had done with Helen, we would sincerely be wishing them a day in which they used time constructively by loving?!
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus has to train us to do what is meant to be totally natural? Since God gave us all His love in our creation, we must still have all that love. Since he created us as love, we must still be love. And if this is true, what else are we here to do but give that love? What else can we really give?! Since giving love is how we realize that it is what we have and are, you can see why it is crucial that we learn how to love, how to become miracle workers––masters of love (T-2.VII.4:4; Urtext version).
Here’s my prayer for a good day (based on T-1.III.1 [Urtext version] and T-2.VII.4 [Urtext version]):
Help me have a good day today.
Help me share your unwillingness to tolerate lack of love in myself and in others,
and join you in the Great Crusade to correct it.
Help me learn the mastery of love.
Help me use my time constructively today by letting you use me to perform whatever miracles you want of me.
The power to work miracles belongs to me,
and I will see miracles through my hands, through yours.