Today I claim the gifts forgiveness gives.
See complete instructions in a separate document. A short summary:
- Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
- Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
- Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
- Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
- Read the “What Is” section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
“I seek but the eternal” (2:1). This lesson is about deciding not to waste any more time going after the supposed gifts of the ego. “I will not wait another day to find the treasures that my Father offers me” (1:1). The primary use we are making of our free will is to delay our acceptance of our divine inheritance. We are holding on like crazy to our illusion of independence, and denying ourselves the only thing that will ever content us (2:2), like a homeless person stupidly clinging to his rags while being offered brand new clothing.
Let me keep in mind today that nothing in this world is of lasting value. “Illusions are all vain, and dreams are gone even while they are woven out of thoughts that rest on false perceptions” (1:2). This reminds me of the verse in Ecclesiastes that says all our seeking is like trying to hold on to the wind. The illusions of the ego are so evanescent; they can never satisfy a Son of God. Only that which is eternal can satisfy me. A Christian hero of mine, Jim Elliot, once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Let me remember that what I truly want is God and His peace in my heart. When I think I want something else, Holy Spirit, please help me to translate that desire into what it truly is, a symbol of my longing for the Father and for Home. God’s Voice is offering peace; let that be my only aim, and let everything else fall by the wayside.
“The gifts forgiveness gives”: What has all this got to do with forgiveness? Simply this: Every goal other than peace generates unforgiveness, putting me in competition with someone or something for that thing, whatever it is. Peace comes through forgiveness. If peace is my only goal, I will not judge my brothers because a mind in judgment is not a mind at peace. Only a mind free of lesser goals, free of desire for ephemeral things, can see his brothers as sinless.
Every encounter today offers me a chance at Heaven. There does not need to be any great crisis. All the world is my classroom, and every instant is a moment of choice. Today, let me choose peace.