Purpose: To accept the perfect holiness that is your right, to recognize the Son of God in you. And to thereby bring this acceptance and recognition to everyone.
Morning/evening quiet time: At least five minutes; ideally, thirty or more.
My suggestion: Spend this time in deep meditation. Let the power of these sacred words (“I am as God created me”) carry you to the place in your mind where you experience the Self that God created as you. You might want to begin this meditation by reviewing the various images you hold of yourself, stating each one in the form “I see myself as…” and letting each one go by affirming, “But I am as God created me.”
Hourly remembrance: One or two minutes as the hour strikes (reduce if circumstances do not permit).
Dwell on the idea and let it carry your mind to stillness. Then thank your Father for His gifts in the hour gone by. And ask His guidance for the hour to come.
Overall remarks: I recommend making a conscious decision to steep your mind in these words today. Begin the day with them, end the day with them, and try to keep them with you all the time in between. If you do so, you will experience their power to uplift your condition. They can transform your mind into the treasure house in which all of God’s gifts are stored, ready for you to distribute them to the world. Today’s lesson assumes that your understanding of this idea has deepened, for whereas in earlier occurrences of it (94 and 110), you were given additional lines to repeat, this lesson says you need no extra thoughts to draw out its meaning (4:2).
For the third time we encounter as the main thought of a lesson what may be the single most repeated thought in the Course. (The first two lessons were 94 and 110; the idea was featured in Lesson 93 as well.) The phrase “as God created” occurs 105 times in the Course. We will see it as a focus of our Workbook review period in another twenty lessons, 201-220.
Why is this idea so important and repeated so often? “This single thought, held firmly in the mind, would save the world” (1:1). In the Text, our entire spiritual journey is characterized in terms of this idea: “You but emerge from an illusion of what you are to the acceptance of yourself as God created you” (T-24.II.14:5). If these statements are true, it is reason enough to memorize this idea and repeat it over and over until it becomes part of our pattern of thought. We might say that the entire Course is aimed at nothing more, and nothing less, than bringing us to the point where we hold this thought firmly in our minds.
In paragraph 4 our practice for the day is described as a very simple practice. All we need are the words of the main idea: “They need no thoughts beyond themselves to change the mind of him who uses them” (4:2). The change of mind the Course aims at is simply the acceptance of ourselves as God created us. By focusing on this thought, meditating on it, repeating it, and chewing it over in our minds, we accelerate this change of mind. “And thus you learn to think with God. Christ’s vision has restored your sight by salvaging your mind” (4:4-5).
In Lesson 93, there was a useful addition to the words that helped clarify their meaning for me:
Salvation requires the acceptance of but one thought;—you are as God created you, not what you made of yourself. Whatever evil you may think you did, you are as God created you. Whatever mistakes you made, the truth about you is unchanged. Creation is eternal and unalterable. (W-pI.93.7:1-4)
We are not what we made of ourselves. Our mistakes have not changed the truth about us. That is what accepting this idea means: the recognition that nothing we have done has been able to alter our relationship to God in the slightest, nor to change our nature, given us by God in creation. Our most shameful acts, the thoughts we would never want exposed to the world, have, none of them, changed God’s creation in the slightest. There is no reason for guilt, no cause to shrink from God in fear; our imagined “sins” have had no effect. We are still safe, and complete, and healed, and whole.
How are we to use this thought? “Holy indeed is he who makes these words his own; arising with them in his mind, recalling them throughout the day, at night bringing them with him as he goes to sleep” (3:1). It reminds me of the words written about the words of God in the Old Testament: “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut 6:7). In other words, make them a part of your entire life, especially on rising in the morning and when going to bed.
To acknowledge that “I am as God created me” is to recognize the Son of God. It is to be free of guilt. It is to know the innocence of every living thing. It is to acknowledge God as perfect Creator. It is to release the past. It is to forgive the world. In these words is everything we need: “I am as God created me.”