I will step back and let Him lead the way.
Morning/evening quiet time: At least five minutes; ideally, thirty or more.
We are obviously getting fewer instructions for what to do during the longer practice periods. We are meant to increasingly rely on what has worked for us before and what the Holy Spirit inspires us to do in the moment. During today’s longer practice, we are meant to mentally link up with God, Who will speak to us, telling us how much He loves us and how He has entrusted our brothers to us, trusting perfectly that we will lead them home to Him. So repeat the words given (“I will step back and let Him lead the way, for I would walk along the road to Him.”), and then enter deeply into your mind, listening quietly for His Voice. Remember your training in how to do this: listen in stillness, in confidence, and in patience, repeating the lines when your mind wanders.
The purpose of the morning practice is to firmly take hold of His Hand, so that He can lead you, while you in turn lead your brothers. By preparing you to serve your brothers, the purpose of today’s practice is essentially the same as that of yesterday’s.
Hourly remembrance: One or two minutes as the hour strikes (reduce if circumstances do not permit).
Repeat the idea and then listen quietly for God’s Voice. Ask Him how He would lead you in the coming hour, how He wants you to guide your brothers along the way to Him. And thank Him for His leading in the hour gone by.
“There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be” (1:1). And to this way of living we all aspire. The remarkable thing about the Course is that it offers what might be called a middle way between renouncing the world and diving into it. Many, perhaps the majority, of spiritual seekers make the mistake of thinking that a spiritual life must somehow look different. Some dress differently; some abjure the modern conveniences; some find spirituality in vegetables; some fill their homes with incense; some live in poverty, or apart from normal worldly concourse.
This lesson is one of the clearest statements in the Course that a good Course student does not change appearance—except that perhaps he smiles more frequently. There are spiritual paths that demand a changed appearance—a shaved head, difference in dress—and this is not to put down these other paths. But they are not the way of the Course. One of the more difficult lessons for students of the Course, in my observation, seems to be learning to be normal. A true student of the Course is like anyone else, so much so that “those who have not yet perceived the way will…believe that you are like them, as you were before” (1:5).
Yet we are different. The difference is inward; we have stepped back, taken our hands off the controls of our lives, and we are letting our Inner Guide lead the way to God. Everyone, including ourselves, came to this world by choice, “seeking for a place where they can be illusions, and avoid their own reality” (2:2). But we have discovered that we cannot escape our reality, and we have chosen to place diminishing importance on the illusions, and to follow the truth. We have taken up our function, and we recognize that we are here now, not for ourselves alone, but to serve those around us as we serve ourselves (5:4). We walk to God, and we lead the world to God with us (12:1; 13:1). We step back, and let Him lead the way.