Purpose: "A beginning step in accepting your real function on earth" (3:2). This lesson is a continuation of what began in Lesson 37 ("My holiness blesses the world"), which contained "the first glimmerings of your true function in the world, or why you are here" (W-pI.37.1:1).
Exercise: As many as possible (suggestion: every hour on the hour), for no more than one or two minutes.
- Tell yourself, "I am the light of the world. That is my only function. That is why I am here."
- Then think about these statements. Let related thoughts come. If you can, close your eyes for this. If your mind wanders (rather, when it wanders), repeat the idea. This is the same kind of practice that you did in Lesson 50 and throughout Review I. By actively thinking about the idea, you make it your own.
Remarks: Begin and end the day with a practice period. These can be longer than the rest if you want. These practices will make your day one that begins, ends, and is filled throughout with affirmation of the truth about yourself. This is the day the Workbook is leading us into, one in which we practice morning, evening, and throughout the day.
This is the first of the Workbook's seven "giant strides"—giant steps ahead in your journey home. Try to make today exactly that. Use it "to build a firm foundation" (7:4) for the giant strides to come.
Probably most days, if you're like me, you don't feel like the light of the world. Some days I feel more like the last dying ember in the fireplace. But this lesson isn't talking about how I feel; it is talking about what I am in truth. "It does not refer to any of the characteristics with which you have endowed yourself. It refers to you as you were created by God" (1:5-6). It isn't about who I think I am; it is about my original design specs, straight from the hand of the Creator.
In traditional Christian teaching, Jesus is the light of the world and the rest of us are the blind people who need his light. To say, "I am the light of the world" can seem like quite a stretch. It can seem arrogant, full of pride, even egotistical. Perhaps even delusional. Actually, refusing to say it is what is egotistical. What is more arrogant, when God has made you the light of the world, than to say, "Sorry, Boss, You were wrong. I'm really a poor miserable sinner"?
You and I are here to be conduits of God's light. Being the light of the world is our only function, and the only reason we are here (5:3-5). We are bringers of salvation; there is no other way for salvation to come into this world except through us—all of us!
The lesson calls our acceptance and practice of this idea "a beginning step in accepting your real function on earth" (3:2), "a giant stride" (3:3), "a positive assertion of your right to be saved" (3:4). It isn't just another lesson; this is a big deal! Getting off the "poor me, I need to be saved" bandwagon and onto the "bringer of salvation" track can be a major turning point for us. The general tenor of the idea is reflected in the old sixties saying, "Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?"
At first it may seem that this idea asks too much of you. "Who, me save the world? Are you kidding? I can't even save myself!" But that belief about ourselves is exactly where our problem lies. Try giving love to someone today and you will find that you can bring light into someone else's life. Do this enough times and your opinion about yourself will begin to change. Your true sense of self-worth as a loving being will begin to blossom. In giving help, you will be helping yourself. In recognizing that being helpful, giving love, spreading kindness, and showing mercy is the very reason you are here, you affirm the divinity of your Source; you acknowledge yourself as a child of God.