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God is my refuge

I wrote a commentary on Lesson 261 the other day, “God is my refuge and security,” and it caused me to realize something important about my own journey.

The lesson is a masterful example of Course teaching. It takes a line from the Psalms—“God is my refuge”—a line we associate with God protecting our bodies, and radically reframes it in psychological terms. It says that we will experience ourselves as living within whatever we really think of as our safety. Right now, we experience ourselves living within our bodies because we unconsciously believe that the body is our safe place. But of course, it’s not, which is why we are all anxious all the time. The body is like a soap bubble in a shooting gallery. The promise of the lesson is that if we truly realize, on an emotional level, that God is our safe place, then we will experience ourselves as living in Him (which is, in fact, where we really are).

What I realized is that this is what I’ve been going after for a number of years now. I’ve increasingly realized that God is my safe place, my safe harbor, as I put it. And I’ve been gradually going more often to that safe place in my mind. It’s where I try to go in my meditations, and it’s where I often turn to during the day as relief from anxiety and meaninglessness.

I realized that this is what I’ve wanted for some time now. I want to live in that safe harbor, all the time. For in that place is not just safety, but everything else I want. One of my favorite Course lines is from Lesson 109: “In Him you have no cares and no concerns, no burdens, no anxiety, no pain, no fear of future and no past regrets.” Isn’t that the state we long for? I was just reading a near-death experience this morning where the woman described it this way: “I experienced an acceptance and love unparalleled by anything on earth. I have never wanted anything in my life as much as I wanted to be in that light.” It’s worth reflecting on that final sentence.

Realizing that I’ve been seeking this and gradually (very gradually) moving closer to this goal for some time, it occurred to me that if I’m really serious about this, I should step up the pace. Why not really train my mind, all day, every day, to get there and stay there? I’m not talking about some full-blown mystical awareness. If that happens, that would be wonderful. But I’m not very susceptible to that. I would be happy with just some genuine reflection of the full-blown thing.

So that’s what I’ve been focused on for the last several days. I could live in that place. I want to live in that place. I’ve been making moves in that direction for some time. I ought to just really go for it and train my mind to live there. Why on earth not?