I'm going to suggest that for the last two days of this year you read through the epilogue following the last lesson, as well as the lesson. I will share a few comments based on the epilogue over the next two days (all of the Course quotes that follow are from the epilogue unless otherwise indicated); however, your practice should still be of the final lesson.
The epilogue echoes two of the themes of this final lesson: following the Holy Spirit as our Teacher and Friend on the path, and the certainty of our reaching the end of the path successfully.
Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. (1:2-3)
You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises…Indeed, your pathway is more certain still. (2:1-2)
Today I will discuss the theme of following, and tomorrow, the certainty of arriving home.
The epilogue makes it clear that even when we complete the Workbook and have achieved the purpose it sets for us, having developed a daily habit of giving our lives over to the direction of the Holy Spirit, we have only begun our journey, and there is more to go. The path ahead may yet be long. There will yet be difficulties along the way. Why else would Jesus emphasize the certainty of the ending unless we believed we still have reason to doubt?
We are told this course is a beginning, not an end (1:1). We can expect troubles (1:5) and problems (1:7). We will still be going through lessons, although not the "specific" ones of the Workbook (3:1). "Efforts" will still be required (3:3). We will experience "difficulty" and will still have times in which we think that pain is real (4:1). We are still on the way to Heaven, but not there yet (5:4). We need guidance (5:5), so there must be obstacles or a path that at times seems unclear. We are still on the road towards home (5:7). "We will continue in His way" (6:2). Jesus says he will never leave us without comfort, so comfort will still be needed (6:8).
I am pointing out all the indications that a major portion of our journey is still ahead, because we are so easily inclined to think otherwise; we get impatient and want the journey to be over. The positive themes of this epilogue are designed to counteract the discouragement that may come over us when we realize that there is a long way yet to go.
First, we have a Friend Who goes with us. A "Friend!" Has my experience with the Workbook taught me that? The Holy Spirit is my Friend. (Perhaps, for some of us, that Friend has personalized as Jesus.) Has my interaction with Him been enough that He has earned my trust, "by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self" (4:4)? There are such wonderful promises given to us here of His helpfulness. We cannot call on Him in vain. He has the answers for everything we might ask, and He won't withhold them. All we need to do is ask. He speaks to us of what we "really want and really need" (2:4).
He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. (3:3)
We do not need to worry about the length or complexity of our journey. We have a Guide. The Workbook is not the journey; it is a training camp that prepares us for it, introduces us to our Guide, and teaches us to trust Him. By doing the Workbook we have learned how reliable and knowledgeable He is; now, we are ready to set out on the journey itself, walking with Him in confidence that He knows how to bring us home.