ACIM Daily Lesson 186 Salvation of the world depends on me.
Salvation of the world depends on me.
1. Here is the statement that will one day take all arrogance away from every mind. ²Here is the thought of true humility, which holds no function as your own but that which has been given you. ³It offers your acceptance of a part assigned to you, without insisting on another role. ⁴It does not judge your proper role. ⁵It but acknowledges the Will of God is done on earth as well as Heaven. ⁶It unites all wills on earth in Heaven’s plan to save the world, restoring it to Heaven’s peace.
We are the saviors of the world. We made this world we see and it is we who must undo it. But we are not alone in this function. We are given a particular function to fulfill and it is perfect for us. It might sound arrogant to think of ourselves as saviors of the world, but it is actually arrogant to think that we decide what we are and what we can do. We did not create ourselves and it is the belief that we did that we are undoing. So I accept my function as the savior of the world and let the Holy Spirit show me where I am needed and tell me what I am to do and say.
Let Us Accept Our Part
2. Let us not fight our function. ²We did not establish it. ³It is not our idea. ⁴The means are given us by which it will be perfectly accomplished. ⁵All that we are asked to do is to accept our part in genuine humility, and not deny with self-deceiving arrogance that we are worthy. ⁶What is given us to do, we have the strength to do. ⁷Our minds are suited perfectly to take the part assigned to us by One Who knows us well.
This lesson says that the salvation of the world depends on me, but not me alone. I only need to do my part, but I must do my part because it is necessary to the whole. This one paragraph answers all objections. I am worthy, I have the strength, and I am perfectly suited to do my part. I don’t even have to worry about what my part is, that will be shown to me as the need arises. In the end, everyone’s part is to awaken, but in the meantime, we each have things to do.
Perfectly Suited in Spite of Appearances to the Contrary
Some things I have been led to do include studying A Course in Miracles, becoming ordained, writing a book, accepting students, presenting at conferences and workshops, becoming aware of my thoughts and deciding which ones I choose to believe, learning to hear the Voice for God, and learning to meditate.
If I had applied for these jobs, I would have been turned away. There was nothing about me that would make anyone think I could do these things. But as it turns out, I am perfectly suited for each part I have been given. All I had to do was lay my false humility aside and say yes. My life was a series of opportunities to fulfill each part. Some I had to work on for years and some I just needed to say yes in spite of fear. But all, as it turns out, were doable.
The Father Still Remembers You
3. Today’s idea may seem quite sobering, until you see its meaning. ²All it says is that your Father still remembers you, and offers you the perfect trust He holds in you who are His Son. ³It does not ask that you be different in any way from what you are. ⁴What could humility request but this? ⁵And what could arrogance deny but this? ⁶Today we will not shrink from our assignment on the specious grounds that modesty is outraged. ⁷It is pride that would deny the Call for God Himself.
4. All false humility we lay aside today, that we may listen to God’s Voice reveal to us what He would have us do. ²We do not doubt our adequacy for the function He will offer us. ³We will be certain only that He knows our strengths, our wisdom and our holiness. ⁴And if He deems us worthy, so we are. ⁵It is but arrogance that judges otherwise.
I did argue against this at first. I didn’t feel like I could save myself much less the world. In fact, I didn’t think I had any gifts to offer and I couldn’t think of what I could possibly be asked to do. When I was in the last part of my ministerial course and with the group that was going to be ordained with me, there was one minister’s robe someone was selling and everyone stood back and encouraged me to buy it. They evidently believed in me even if I didn’t.
I could not even imagine what I would do with a ministry once I got home, but I was at least humble enough to accept that maybe there was a part I was to play. So, I made a commitment right there. I told Holy Spirit that I would go where He sent me and do what He would have me do. I have been doing that ever since.
Judge Not Your value
5. 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. ²Accept the plan you did not make instead. ³Judge not your value to it. ⁴If God’s Voice assures you that salvation needs your part, and that the whole depends on you, be sure that it is so. ⁵The arrogant must cling to words, afraid to go beyond them to experience which might affront their stance. ⁶Yet are the humble free to hear the Voice which tells them what they are, and what to do.
We wound up here in this dream of life because we had plans of our own, different than God’s plan for us. So, the way out is to accept a plan that is not our own. I started my ministry with a lot of doubts. I thought I was being humble when all along I was being arrogant as I was reluctant to accept my part in God’s plan for me. But I had made that commitment and I stood by it and everything is working out exactly as it is supposed to.
Let Go the False Image
6. Arrogance makes an image of yourself that is not real. ²It is this image which quails and retreats in terror, as the Voice for God assures you that you have the strength, the wisdom and the holiness to go beyond all images. ³You are not weak, as is the image of yourself. ⁴You are not ignorant and helpless. ⁵Sin can not tarnish the truth in you, and misery can come not near the holy home of God.
7. All this the Voice for God relates to you. ²And as He speaks, the image trembles and seeks to attack the threat it does not know, sensing its basis crumble. ³Let it go. ⁴Salvation of the world depends on you, and not upon this little pile of dust. ⁵What can it tell the holy Son of God? ⁶Why need he be concerned with it at all?
It’s very strange, really, how we listen to the little voice of the ego tell us how unworthy we are, how weak and powerless, as if anything could tell the Son of God what It is. We are strong and powerful. We are wise and very holy. This image we made to represent us is ridiculous and has no meaning outside what we give it. The meaning I give it is as a way to discover what thoughts in the mind I am here to forgive. That’s all.
We Find Our Peace
8. And so we find our peace. ²We will accept the function God has given us, for all illusions rest upon the weird belief that we can make another for ourselves. ³Our self-made roles are shifting, and they seem to change from mourner to ecstatic bliss of love and loving. ⁴We can laugh or weep, and greet the day with welcome or with tears. ⁵Our very being seems to change as we experience a thousand shifts in mood, and our emotions raise us high indeed, or dash us to the ground in hopelessness.
9. Is this the Son of God? ²Could He create such instability and call it Son? ³He Who is changeless shares His attributes with His creation. ⁴All the images His Son appears to make have no effect on what he is. ⁵They blow across his mind like wind-swept leaves that form a patterning an instant, break apart to group again, and scamper off. ⁶Or like mirages seen above a desert, rising from the dust.
What Has This Got to do with Me?
It has been very helpful for me to accept that nothing this body does and nothing that happens in this story of Myron has anything to do with Who I Am. I heard Keith Kavanagh say something that describes this attitude perfectly. He said, “The “movie me” was insulted. What has that got to do with me? Absolutely nothing.” The pains and sickness the body experiences have nothing to do with me. The changing moods have nothing to do with me. Myron has felt angry, fearful, and terribly guilty. What has that got to do with me? Nothing.
10. These unsubstantial images will go, and leave your mind unclouded and serene, when you accept the function given you. ²The images you make give rise to but conflicting goals, impermanent and vague, uncertain and ambiguous. ³Who could be constant in his efforts, or direct his energies and concentrated drive toward goals like these? ⁴The functions which the world esteems are so uncertain that they change ten times an hour at their most secure. ⁵What hope of gain can rest on goals like this?
The answer to our fear and guilt, to our sorrow, to all suffering, is that we remember who we are. We are the Sons of God. We have always been the Sons of God and this has not changed while we slept a while and dreamed of being different. Remembering this is the way we end the nightmare and find peace. We each have a part to play in the undoing of the ego.
That is why we are studying A Course in Miracles. It is so that we can wake up from the dream and take our place as saviors. How do we know that this is our part? Because here we are, every day doing the lessons, watching our minds, asking the Holy Spirit to heal us. We are here doing these things because it is our time to awaken and our time to take up the mantle of savior.
Do As God’s Voice Directs
11. 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. ²There is no doubt of its validity. ³It comes from One Who knows no error, and His Voice is certain of Its messages. ⁴They will not change, nor be in conflict. ⁵All of them point to one goal, and one you can attain. ⁶Your plan may be impossible, but God’s can never fail because He is its Source.
12. Do as God’s Voice directs. ²And if It asks a thing of you which seems impossible, remember Who it is that asks, and who would make denial. ³Then consider this; which is more likely to be right? ⁴The Voice that speaks for the Creator of all things, Who knows all things exactly as they are, or a distorted image of yourself, confused, bewildered, inconsistent and unsure of everything? ⁵Let not its voice direct you. ⁶Hear instead a certain Voice, which tells you of a function given you by your Creator Who remembers you, and urges that you now remember Him.
Forgiveness Is Our Function Here
In the last paragraph, Jesus emphasizes that forgiveness is our function here and that this is what the world depends on us doing. Like love, forgiveness takes on many forms depending on need. In fact, forgiveness itself is a form of love. Sometimes saying I forgive you is neither needed nor appropriate, but I love you might be the thing another needs to hear.
Maybe giving a homeless man a little money is the way to forgive the idea of lack and express love at the same time. I never know what form love and forgiveness will take until I receive that information from within. All I have to do is stay open to hearing and willing to do.
Choose to Heed the Voice for God
These two paragraphs are so important. Read them carefully and remember them as you go about your day. Who will you listen to? Who will you believe? Will you choose to obey the sad little voice of the ego? It will tell you that your salvation is to play small and hide behind false humility. Or will you choose to heed the Voice for God. It will remind you of your reality and of your part in returning to that reality?
When I was still uncertain about what to believe, this is the part that helped me to overcome my doubts and uncertainties. ³Then consider this; which is more likely to be right? ⁴The Voice that speaks for the Creator of all things, Who knows all things exactly as they are, or a distorted image of yourself, confused, bewildered, inconsistent and unsure of everything? Surely, you will find, as I did, that the answer is obvious.
What Is Needed Here Is Given Here
13. His gentle Voice is calling from the known to the unknowing. ²He would comfort you, although He knows no sorrow. ³He would make a restitution, though He is complete; a gift to you, although He knows that you have everything already. ⁴He has Thoughts which answer every need His Son perceives, although He sees them not. ⁵For Love must give, and what is given in His Name takes on the form most useful in a world of form.
14. These are the forms which never can deceive, because they come from Formlessness Itself. ²Forgiveness is an earthly form of love, which as it is in Heaven has no form. ³Yet what is needed here is given here as it is needed. ⁴In this form you can fulfill your function even here, although what love will mean to you when formlessness has been restored to you is greater still. ⁵Salvation of the world depends on you who can forgive. ⁶Such is your function here.
Salvation Depends on Forgiveness
And so right here at the end of the lesson, Jesus tells us what our function is. ⁵Salvation of the world depends on you who can forgive. ⁶Such is your function here. This is so simple and yet we make it hard. We tell ourselves that we cannot forgive this one or that one because they really did sin. We complain because it seems so unfair that they should get off the hook for what really happened. But the truth is, no one did anything. We all just fell asleep and dreamed a long dream.
We are dreaming still, but we are safe even in our sleep. And we remain in God and as God created us. We are not affected by dreams. No one has sinned, and we all are innocent. There is nothing to forgive except a mistaken thought, an untrue belief. And as we do this simple thing, we take up our part in saving the world from this terrible dream. Wake up, world! Wake up children of God! You who have never sinned are forgiven.
The first and primary part we do to save the world is to save ourselves. That is why Jesus says that our only function is to accept the Atonement for ourselves. I spent years working toward that function and am still doing so, though more quickly and certainly now. In addition to this, we also are given a specific part to play in the Atonement. Some parts seem big, like Helen scribing the Course. Other parts seem small, like my sister-in-law whose greatest desire is to be kind. Our part is not for us to decide. It is given us.
I was thinking of the Biblical story of Moses who was told that his part was to speak and lead. He had a speech impediment and argued that he was obviously not the one for the job. And yet, God knew something about him that Moses was unaware of. And He knew Moses was perfect for the job. If you knew me when I was young, you would never have figured me as a minister or a teacher of spirituality.
I Was an Unlikely Candidate
On the contrary, I was the poster child for sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Then you could throw in irresponsibility, unworthiness and fearfulness, the things the sex, drugs, and rock and roll were helping me to hide from myself and everyone else. My life seemed designed to prove that I could never answer a call from God and God knew it and would call on someone qualified.
But then I found A Course in Miracles and ever so slowly I came around. What I was asked to do was a whole lot of inner work. I didn’t have to stick my neck out and say to the world, “Listen to me, I am here to save the world.” I was just asked to do the Lessons. That took me years, but as Jesus says, he will teach us to be like him if we want him to, and if we don’t, he will wait until we change our minds. This is what happened.
Each Small Effort Increased My Confidence
I was asked to watch my mind vigilantly and to choose God instead of ego. That took years, too, and I still do it. It was scary sometimes until I learned a little about not being guilty for what I found. But it wasn’t scary like speaking out is scary. But very slowly, I realized I was going to have to step out into the world with my message. Because of my fear, it started slowly. I wrote stories of my life that showed how the Course was helping me. I started posting the thoughts I was given in a yahoo group.
Each time I would post something, I would be so afraid sometimes I would cry. I thought people would read what I wrote and see me for the fraud I was secretly afraid I was. But I kept doing it, just as I had finally kept doing the lessons, just as I had kept watching my mind even though I was afraid of what I would find. This is all that is asked of us, that we just keep doing what God would have us do.
Writing Was a Surprise!
I don’t know why I was chosen to write. I always wanted to write (the seed planted for this purpose I am sure) but every time I tried it came out horrible. This didn’t change until I started writing for Spirit. I was amazed I was chosen to speak, and am still surprised when that works out. I kind of got that I am a natural teacher, surprised but accepting of that. But the rest was a real revelation.
What has happened is that over time I figured out that I am a messenger. I don’t choose the message or the recipient. I just do my job the best I can, that is to deliver the message without changing it or interfering with it in any way. Though I don’t do it perfectly, I do it willingly, and evidently, it is good enough. And with each message I deliver, I am gifted with the message.
No Doubts About My Purpose
I still experience doubts and fears in my life, but not in my purpose. I don’t care how anyone reacts to the message. It doesn’t need my protection. I don’t care what people think of me as the messenger. That is not my business. I’m just doing my job. I am incredibly grateful that my part in saving the world has been revealed to me, and that I said yes.
Teaching and ministering and speaking are parts of that plan, but not the most important part. I was given the job of allowing my mind to be healed, that is, accepting the Atonement for myself. And of learning what it means to forgive. I was given the job of learning that I am one with everything, that I am love. This part is given to everyone.
Everyone Has a Role
Each person has a certain role to play. Being a loving mother or wife might be the part. Healing an ancient hatred might be the part. Learning to live an ordinary life peacefully might be the plan for someone. Forgiving an ancient hatred might be the very thing one came for. But whatever the plan for us, to accept the plan and do our part in the salvation of the world, we only need to set aside the arrogant belief that we know better what we can do.
The Holy Spirit has led me step by step to where I am now. Everything is so much easier now because I trust the Holy Spirit and believe Jesus when he tells us that we can do whatever he asks of us and that he will hold our hand if that makes us feel safer. I used to have this underlying anxiety about everything I did on my spiritual path, afraid I was doing it wrong or not enough of it, that I was failing. Now, I don’t even question any of it. I assume I am doing exactly what is needed and if not, the Holy Spirit will get me the message to do it differently. Instead of questioning myself all the time and worrying about it, I wait with curiosity and happy anticipation for what comes next.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 186 click here.
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