ACIM Daily Lesson 214 I place the future in the Hands of God.
I place the future in the Hands of God.
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
1. (194) I place the future in the Hands of God.
²The past is gone; the future is not yet. ³Now am I freed from both. ⁴For what God gives can only be for good. ⁵And I accept but what He gives as what belongs to me.
⁶I am not a body. ⁷I am free.
⁸For I am still as God created me.
The Journey Through the Workbook by Ken Wapnick says that sin is the past, guilt is the present, and fear is the future. I thought that was interesting. I had not looked at it quite like that, and I was especially surprised at the idea of the present as guilt. It makes sense, though, now that I think about it. When I think about the past, the feelings triggered are akin to regret, and I suppose you could call that guilt.
I almost never have that experience anymore because I have forgiven the past, and if regret does occur, I forgive it much more quickly and easily now. This change occurred because I had so much shame and regret about my past, and that afforded me ample opportunity to practice forgiveness. That practice paid off, and without the unforgiven past, there is much less guilt in my mind in the present.
Life With a Forgiven Past
Without all that present-day guilt, I find it easier to free myself from any fear of the future. For instance, there is a lot of talk and confusion about the variants of Covid right now. My children and I share a group text, and they were spending a lot of time talking about this, reporting what they are reading about it, and worrying about how it will affect them and our communities. I mentioned a few things I had first-hand knowledge of, but I could see that this conversation was causing more harm than good.
Finally, I responded by saying that I can’t control what happens in the world but that I can control how I react to it. My peace of mind is important to me, and I’m not giving it up. No one was particularly interested in this, as was evident when they went right back to their conversation after a brief respite. But who knows, maybe one of these days, they will put two and two together and realize that my happiness has something to do with how I choose to react to the world.
The Future without Fear
I used to worry all the time about the future, and sometimes I fall into that trap now, but not often. When I do, I notice right away because I lose my peace. I accept responsibility for my choice to do this rather than trying to justify it by blaming it on the situation. Once I accept responsibility, it is easy enough to ask the Holy Spirit for another way to see it. I remind myself that the present moment is my point of choice and that I can safely leave the future in the Hands of God and be free of fear.
I do what seems reasonable about the virus, and without fear of the future clouding my mind, it is open enough to be aware of guidance. This is good because I am not depending on the thinking mind to make my decisions. As I told my daughter when I was visiting her, I will if I can do anything about this or any other situation. But if I can’t do anything about it, I would be foolish to give too much of my attention to it and just cause myself a lot of anxiety.
I think that it makes sense to leave the future in the Hands of God, or more accurately, I am not asking the ego anything about it; I am turning to the Holy Spirit as my adviser. The Holy Spirit works in the present moment as that is the only moment there is, and so if there is something I need to do now, I will be told. And if I need to do something later, I will be told then.
Being in the Present
Another thing I do is to consistently practice being in the present moment. I do this during the day when I notice that I am lost in my thoughts. I bring my mind back to what is actually going on, even if it is not much. For instance, if I am sitting quietly on the sofa, this would normally be when the ego-mind would catch my attention with thoughts of the past or future.
I turn my attention back to the experience of sitting quietly, listening to the sounds around me. Surprisingly, there are a lot of them. Or, I might notice the sensations in my body. Sometimes, I just notice the thoughts that come up and gently dismiss them, placing my attention on the stillness that is always there, waiting for me to notice it.
Lazy Mind Syndrome
This is important because if I am worried about what might happen, making plans, or deciding what must be done to assure an outcome that I think I prefer, I am not living at all. Living requires I be in this present moment without the intrusion of something that is not happening. When I am in the past or future, I am nowhere since the past and the future do not exist. When I notice this is happening, I return to the present. Sounds simple, but is remarkably difficult to sustain this.
Most of us have developed lazy mind syndrome. We let the mind wander off in idle fantasies so much that it happens all the time. I remember as a child being completely absorbed at the moment, seldom thinking ahead or behind, so I know it can be done. What is needed is to become as a little child again. I think the reason I love this time with Spirit every morning, listening and writing, is because I am completely in the present moment.
In the Hands of God Is Where the Future Belongs
The result of consistent practice is that I am much more aware of the present moment than I used to be. I have noticed that thinking about the past and the future is not as compelling as it used to be. This is still very much a work in progress, but what I have achieved thus far has made a big difference in my life.
I read this lesson reminding me to place the future in the Hands of God. I realize that this is what I have been doing. As I keep my attention on the present moment, I watch my thoughts without judgment. I am not planning my future. I fill out my calendar and maybe make a list of what needs to be done.
Bbut I hold it loosely and don’t obsess about it. The future is in the Hands of God, and that’s good; that’s where it belongs.
God gives only the good. He gives peace, joy, and certainty. When I am experiencing anything else, I know it was not given by God. I give myself guilt, fear, anger, jealousy, and other disturbing feelings. I did this, and I must undo it. Living in the present moment and placing the future in the Hands of God is the way. My consistent practice has proven to me that I can have God’s gifts if that is my only desire.
We play God when we try to force or control circumstances to make them go ‘our way.’ Can our limited point-of-view know what is in the best interest of everyone? And yet, whenever we tamper with what is occurring, we affect ones we will never meet. No interference goes without effects we will never be aware of.
Isn’t it better to trust the benevolence of truth, to leave all things in its Hands, and practice forgiveness on circumstances that upset us? Until we know we have fully merged with God, and we have no thought or will that is apart from God, let’s leave all things to God. Let’s not entangle the unfolding with our limited and selfish ideas of what should be.
The idea of non-interference in life can be a hard pill to swallow. When things were not going my way, I used to have this knee jerk reaction of trying to control the outcome. Especially when things were going badly for one of my children, I would pray for a better outcome. Now, I tend to pray for understanding, for peace of mind, for another way to see the situation.
Here is part of a message I received from Holy Spirit
As you learn to let go of control of the situation, what was seen as a stumbling block becomes a stepping stone. The future does not need your attention. Leave it in God’s Hands and allow your focus to be on Now. Embrace the moment and accept what is with love for the gift it brings you.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 214 click here.
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