Purpose: To firmly and happily dedicate yourself to taking your part in God's plan for salvation; to really take a stand on this today.
Longer: Every hour on the hour, for five minutes (if you cannot do this, at least do the alternate).
This practice strikes me as similar to the practice you did in Lesson 77. There, you repeated, "I am entitled to miracles" and then waited for the Holy Spirit to give His assurance that these words are true. Here, in this lesson, you repeat, "I will accept my part in God's plan for salvation" and then expect the Holy Spirit to infuse your words with His certainty, so that you really do accept your part. Throughout the practice period, keep repeating the idea, and let Him make every repetition a total dedication, made with deep conviction, sincerity, certainty, and full understanding. Let Him turn a mere repeating of "I will accept my part in God's plan for salvation" into an actual accepting of your part. That is your goal for today, to use these practice periods to take a stand, to use them to accept your part in God's plan.
Frequent reminders: Often.
Repeat the idea. Try to think of each hour as preparation time for your next five-minute practice period. "Repeat [the idea] often, and do not forget each time you do so, you have let your mind be readied for the happy time to come" (10:3).
Encouragement to practice: Paragraphs 5 and 6 are a rousing pep talk. They ask the question: Is it not worth five minutes an hour to receive a limitless reward? I recommend reading these paragraphs over slowly and thoughtfully, letting their questions and promises do their intended work in you. Paragraphs 2 through 4 also contain wonderful encouragement. They tell us that by embracing our part in God's plan-which is the point of today's practice-we can lay aside all our doubts and find true certainty of purpose. They tell us that those who have done that will be with us in our practice, helping us to take the same stand they did. And these paragraphs also tell us that our stand will help others in taking theirs, which will in turn reinforce ours (as we were told in yesterday's lesson).
Today is a day of special dedication. We take a stand on but one side today. We side with truth and let illusions go. We will not vacillate between the two, but take a firm position with the One. (1:1-4)
How happy to be certain! All our doubts we lay aside today, and take our stand with certainty of purpose, and with thanks that doubt is gone and surety has come. (2:1-2)
Perhaps as I read these lines about certainty, I find myself doubting that very certainty. "Am I certain?" The thought surely arises. Perhaps I feel as if I don't belong with this lesson. My ego reminds me slyly that I am not beyond vacillation. How can I say, "Doubt is gone"?
Yet even in the words of the lesson is the recognition of my condition: "All our doubts we lay aside today" (2:2). Yes, doubts are there. Of course they are. Jesus knows that. He is only suggesting that in these five minutes we spend with him, we lay them aside. Just put them down and be without them for a few minutes. See what it is like. You can doubt later if you want; for now, see how happy it is to be certain.
Within me there is a place that is always certain. It has never doubted. It cannot doubt because it knows. This is my true Self. The doubts are thoughts that question the reality of that Self, the reality of the part of me that is certain, which is the only real part. I am brought by this lesson to question my questioning. I am brought to listen to the certainty, the eternal silence of spirit which knows.
When I am willing, even for a moment, to lay aside my doubts, to still the nattering mind, the yama yama of my idle thoughts, I encounter a still sureness. It is not a certainty of ideas and words; it is an assurance of being, a majestic calm. The stillness is beyond space and time. It has nothing to do with the drama played on this planet.
It is of this we speak today. It is of those who know to touch this eternal calm of which the lesson says:
They rest in quiet certainty that they will do what is given them to do. They do not doubt their own ability because they know their function will be filled completely in the perfect time and place. (3:3-4)
I take my stand with those who, before me, have come to this place. It is the same place for all of us. It is the same Self we come to know. And I know, in that holy instant, that if one has been here before me, all will come to find it. If one has been here-and I know that many have been here-all will be here, for one could not come unless it were the reality for all. The nature of this place, this quiet certainty, is a shared nature. It could not be here for me if it were not here for you as well. It could not have been there for Jesus if it were not also here for me.
They will be with us; all who took the stand we take today will gladly offer us all that they learned and every gain they made. Those still uncertain, too, will join with us, and, borrowing our certainty, will make it stronger still. While those as yet unborn will hear the call we heard, and answer it when they have come to make their choice again. We do not choose but for ourselves today. (4:1-4)
In the center of the storm of doubts and uncertainty there is an eye of calm. The storm rages on. We still can perceive it. Yet here, here, we are calm. We are quiet. We rest.
Of course you have doubts and uncertainty. That is what you are supposed to notice as you do this lesson! Just for the moment, be willing to have them disappear. There is One within you who is always certain, and He is you; you have forgotten that. Let yourself, however briefly, identify with His certainty, and let go of your identification with the doubts. Make that choice; this is all that is asked.
He will give the words you use in practicing today's idea the deep conviction and the certainty you lack. His words will join with yours, and make each repetition of today's idea a total dedication, made in faith as perfect and as sure as His in you. His confidence in you will bring the light to all the words you say, and you will go beyond their sound to what they really mean. (7:2-4)
"Give Him the words, and He will do the rest" (9:1). A wonderful statement! He is simply asking you to say your faltering "Yes." You are not being asked to turn your doubt into faith. He will do that. "My part in God's plan" is very simple: acceptance. My part is not an active role, but passive. It is to be willing to receive, and that is all. My part is to say, "Okay. Yes. I will accept." Give Him those words; that is all. He will respond with all His faith and joy and certainty that what you say is true.
Over and over through the day, over and over throughout life, give Him those words: "I will accept my part. Yes."
This is surrender. This is all we do. There is nothing else to do. So simple. So difficult to be so simple. So difficult to stop trying to make it on our own. Let go, and let God. "Yes, God. Yes, Holy Spirit. I accept my part."
Tell Him once more that you accept the part that He would have you take and help you fill, and He will make sure you want this choice, which He has made with you and you with Him.
Perhaps I'm not sure I want it. But He will make sure I want it. Come to Him just as you are, with all your doubts, all your fears. Just come. Just1 say, "Yes. I accept."
1. Just a note of interest: There is a poetic meter called iambic pentameter, which consists of lines of ten syllables, with alternating soft and hard emphasis: da-DAH da-DAH da-DAH da-DAH da-DAH. You should be able to detect that, after the title and first line, most (but not quite all) of today's lesson is written in that meter.
We take a stand on but one side today.
We side with truth and let illusions go.
We will not vacillate between the two,
but take a firm position with the One.
Tomorrow's lesson begins the first full lesson in iambic pentameter, and the entire rest of the Workbook, with minor exceptions, follows suit.