God is my strength. Vision is His gift.
The idea for today combines two very powerful thoughts, both of major importance. It also sets forth a cause and effect relationship that explains why you cannot fail in your efforts to achieve the goal of the course. You will see because it is the Will of God. It is His strength, not your own, that gives you power. And it is His gift, rather than your own, that offers vision to you.
God is indeed your strength, and what He gives is truly given. This means that you can receive it any time and anywhere, wherever you are, and in whatever circumstance you find yourself. Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts.
We will have two three-to-five-minute practice periods today, one as soon as possible after you wake, and another as close as possible to the time you go to sleep. It is better, however, to wait until you can sit quietly by yourself, at a time when you feel ready, than it is to be concerned with the time as such.
Begin these practice periods by repeating the idea for today slowly, with your eyes open, looking about you. Then close your eyes and repeat the idea again, even slower than before. After this, try to think of nothing except thoughts that occur to you in relation to the idea for the day. You might think, for example:
Vision must be possible. God gives truly,
God’s gifts to me must be mine, because He gave them to me.
Any thought that is clearly related to the idea for today is suitable. You may, in fact, be astonished at the amount of course-related understanding some of your thoughts contain. Let them come without censoring unless you find your mind is merely wandering, and you have let obviously irrelevant thoughts intrude. You may also reach a point where no thoughts at all seem to come to mind. If such interferences occur, open your eyes and repeat the thought once more while looking slowly about; close your eyes, repeat the idea once more, and then continue to look for related thoughts in your mind.
Remember, however, that active searching for relevant thoughts is not appropriate for today’s exercises. Try merely to step back and let the thoughts come. If you find this difficult, it is better to spend the practice period alternating between slow repetitions of the idea with eyes open, then with eyes closed, than it is to strain to find suitable thoughts.
There is no limit on the number of short practice periods that would be beneficial today. The idea for the day is a beginning step in bringing thoughts together, and teaching you that you are studying a unified thought system in which nothing is lacking that is needed, and nothing is included that is contradictory or irrelevant.
The more often you repeat the idea during the day, the more often you will be reminding yourself that the goal of the course is important to you, and that you have not forgotten it.
“You will see because it is the Will of God. It is His strength, not your own, that gives you power. And it is His gift, rather than your own, that offers vision to you.”
I know that above all else I want to see, and this lesson assures me that this is possible at any time anywhere. It also explains why this is so. Vision is God’s gift to me It is God’s Will that I receive it. Therefore, I cannot fail. I do receive His vision often. I will lose my peace because I got entangled in an ego story and then I remember that the peace of God is all I want. With this goal in mind, I can ask for another way to see, and suddenly, there it is. Each of those moments of vision is leading me to the day that Christ Vision is how I see everything.
“Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts.”
This is one of my favorite passages. I have a purpose while I am here. That is the reason I always look at whatever is happening in my life as part of that purpose. It can be something that feels big, a problem with one of my children, the death of a loved one, a crisis of faith. Or it can be something that is seemingly small, I gained five pounds, I spent too much money at the mall, I know I need to exercise more and yet I don’t. Each of those issues has the same purpose. I am here to awaken and to help others to awaken.
It’s funny, but sometimes the little stuff is what trips me up. I can recognize my purpose in the death of a loved one, and I will not hesitate to look at my thoughts and feelings with the Holy Spirit. I will not hesitate to ask for vision in this case. But when step on the scale, I tend to do it alone. I look for solutions in a different diet. I hesitate to ask what it is for and I hesitate to ask for vision. Weird behavior.
But my passage through time and space is not at random. Each of these situations is purposeful. Each one is an opportunity for me to ask for another way to see. Each is equally important because each situation is an opportunity for me to undo the ego and accept the gift of God. There is no doubt that I can accomplish this because I am not depending on my own strength to do so.
God’s gift is vision, and so is His strength. It was a gift in my creation. So if I fail to ask what it is for and if I fail to receive vision, it is only because I choose not to do so. Weird and crazy behavior. It is important that I accept that God does not fail me, but that I fail myself. From there, I can choose again and choose in perfect confidence that I will be answered and I will succeed.
God is my strength. I cannot fail in my purpose because I am not depending on the ego’s strength. I am using the strength of God which is truly mine because He gave it to me in my creation. There is a passage in the Course that says God gave all of Himself when He created us, and so we have both strength and vision, the same strength and vision that God has. This can be hard to believe when we are operating from the ego thought system. It helps me to remember that we designed the ego thought system to give a feeling of being separate from this power and this strength. It was designed to give us perception in place of vision.
Under those very deliberate circumstances, of course, we will feel vulnerable and small. We are the universe and instead, we are pretending to be a speck in the universe. Of course, we have trouble believing we are strong enough to move from this place of smallness to our magnificent Selves. We have trouble even envisioning what that might look like, much less believing we can do it. But as we continue with these lessons, we feel a stirring within, a thought arising in the mind, an ancient memory. Our job now, our holy purpose, is to follow that thought and recover our full memory. We can do this and we will do this because we do it through the strength of God. We see because Vision is His gift to us, given us in our creation and so given truly and eternally.
Strength and vision are in me in spite of the appearances otherwise. I am learning to disregard those appearances because they are illusory. They are just images I have made to have an experience. I wanted perception so that I could decide what things meant instead of accepting the unchanging truth. I suppose when I found myself in the experience of it I must have felt guilty and afraid that I had deliberately decided to choose my own meaning thus usurping God as creator. Only in the amnesia of separation could I ever believe that I was guilty of playing in the field of infinite possibilities, but never the less, here I am. Here we all are.
Fortunately, though I give everything all the meaning it has for me, I actually change nothing and so these images are meaningless along with the feelings of frailty and rage and depression that inevitably follow from the stories that make up this life. This is what I will remember today as I practice the idea that I am not this body and these stories. I no longer seem so deeply asleep. Today I practice the idea that God is my strength and Vision is His gift so that the awakening becomes imminent. As I have accepted this more fully, the question, “how can I do this?” evolved into “how could I not?”