Lesson 186 • July 5


Lesson 186

Salvation of the world depends on me.

Practice Instructions

Purpose: To go past both your self-made roles and your doubts about your worth and adequacy, and hear and accept your assigned role in God’s plan for salvation. This will unify your scattered energies behind a single goal.

Morning/evening quiet time: At least five minutes; ideally, thirty or more.

Today’s practice consists of listening to the Holy Spirit, asking for Him to tell you what your role in His plan is (this is similar to Lesson 135). To really listen, you will need to set aside your notions of your roles in life, realizing how shifting they are and how much they scatter your energies. You will need to open your mind to the fact that you have an essential role in the Holy Spirit’s plan for the salvation of the world. Don’t let your ego tell you that such an idea is arrogant, that you cannot possibly be worthy, that you are not strong enough, wise enough, or holy enough. Banish this arrogant chatter from your mind. Let go of all words. Open your mind and listen in genuine humility. Let the Voice for God reveal to you what He would have you do in His plan. Trust that the role He has selected for you suits you perfectly, that you can do it, because He knows you better than you know yourself. If the role you hear sounds beyond your capabilities, ask yourself who is more likely to be right: your ego’s voice or God’s Voice?

If you hear nothing, keep repeating your question with genuine desire. And keep setting aside the ego’s chatter as it intrudes. Know that you are at the very least drawing closer the day when the answer will be yours.

End the practice period by trying to genuinely “accept the function given you” (10:1). If you have received a sense of what it is, try to accept that as your role in life. If you haven’t received anything, try to accept your role in advance.

Hourly remembrance: One or two minutes as the hour strikes (reduce if circumstances do not permit).

Suggestion: Thank God for His gifts to you in the hour gone by. Then let go of your notions of your role in the coming hour, and ask God’s Voice what role He has selected for you in that hour.


Our individual salvation and our happiness depends on our accepting what this lesson teaches: the salvation of the world depends on us. Our function is to save the world, to bring the light and joy and peace of God to every mind within our reach—which is a far greater number than we imagine.

The lesson is not simply saying that it would be a good idea for us to accept this thought. It is saying that acceptance is imperative to our own personal freedom:

There is one way, and only one, to be released from the imprisonment your plan to prove the false is true has brought to you: Accept the plan you did not make instead. (5:1)

The Course is often so uncompromising: “one way, and only one.” If we want to experience our own wholeness, if we want to find our Self, we must accept that salvation of the world depends on us. Why? Because the nature of Who we are demands it. If I am an extension of God, and if Love, which created me, is what I am, then how can I possibly accept that fact and not accept that my function is to give myself to the world? Giving is what Love does!

To take our place among the saviors of the world is not arrogance, if we are as God created us. It is merely accepting what has been given to us by our Creator: “We did not establish [our function]. It is not our idea” (2:2-3). In fact it is arrogant not to acknowledge this as our function. The self-image we make in arrogance pictures us as weak, ignorant, and helpless (6:3-4). It seems humble, but it is mountainous arrogance masquerading as humility. This self-image thumbs its nose at the Creator and says, “I am what I make of myself, and not what You created me to be.”

The last week or so I have frequently been finding myself feeling at loose ends. I seem to drift from one task to another, and to have a great deal of difficulty concentrating on anything. The description in 10:4 seems to describe me exactly: “The functions which the world esteems are so uncertain that they change ten times an hour at their most secure.” And as I read this lesson I recognize that I have been trying to define my function for myself, instead of simply accepting the one God gave me. I have been fighting my function. Yet when it is accepted, it is so unambiguous that life simply straightens out, and all the confusion is gone: “In lovely contrast, certain as the sun’s return each morning to dispel the night, your truly given function stands out clear and wholly unambiguous” (11:1).

So then, let me today stop resisting my function. Let me stop listening to my self-made image, which trembles as God speaks to me of my true function, sensing that the basis of its existence is being cut away (7:1-2). Let me simply let go of my plans for myself and surrender to the plan I did not make, trusting that everything I need to fulfill it has been given me; trusting that I am worthy to be counted among the saviors of the world; trusting that all my needs are answered by God, even though He does not see them, in whatever form is most useful at the moment (13:4-5).

Salvation of the world depends on you who can forgive. Such is your function here. (14:5-6)