God is my strength. Vision is His gift.
W-pI.42.1. The idea for today combines two very powerful thoughts, both of major importance. 2 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. 3 You will see because it is the Will of God. 4 It is His strength, not your own, that gives you power. 5 And it is His gift, rather than your own, that offers vision to you.
W-pI.42.2. God is indeed your strength, and what He gives is truly given. 2 This means that you can receive it any time and anywhere, wherever you are, and in whatever circumstance you find yourself. 3 Your passage through time and space is not at random. 4 You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. 5 Such is the strength of God. 6 Such are His gifts.
W-pI.42.3. 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. 2 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.
W-pI.42.4. Begin these practice periods by repeating the idea for today slowly, with your eyes open, looking about you. 2 Then close your eyes and repeat the idea again, even slower than before. 3 After this, try to think of nothing except thoughts that occur to you in relation to the idea for the day. 4 You might think, for example:
5 Vision must be possible. 6 God gives truly,
7 God’s gifts to me must be mine, because He gave them to me.
W-pI.42.5. Any thought that is clearly related to the idea for today is suitable. 2 You may, in fact, be astonished at the amount of course-related understanding some of your thoughts contain. 3 Let them come without censoring unless you find your mind is merely wandering, and you have let obviously irrelevant thoughts intrude. 4 You may also reach a point where no thoughts at all seem to come to mind. 5 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.
W-pI.42.6. Remember, however, that active searching for relevant thoughts is not appropriate for today’s exercises. 2 Try merely to step back and let the thoughts come. 3 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.
W-pI.42.7. There is no limit on the number of short practice periods that would be beneficial today. 2 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.
W-pI.42.8. 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.
There have been many times during the years I have studied and practiced the Course in which I thought that I would never succeed. This, of course, was the ego part of the mind that didn’t want to succeed and used discouragement as a way to distract me from the practice. It didn’t work because this is what I came to do. As Jesus says, my life is not at random; it is perfect for my purpose.
The reason we cannot fail to awaken is that it is God’s Will that we do so and it is His strength that upholds us and His gift is vision. During those times when I was discouraged, I leaned on that strength and it never let me down. There were times when I was afraid and times when I couldn’t figure out how to release a grievance.
There were days when I would do the lesson in the morning, excited by the lesson and anticipating a day of repeating it many times only to reach the end of the day and realize I had completely forgotten to do the lesson. I wondered how I could ever succeed. And yet, I kept trying, trusting in the strength of God when I couldn’t trust in my own strength to get me through.
When my son injured his back and was in so much pain that I could hardly stand to see it. My heart ached for him. When he had surgery for it and the pain was even worse and I was so afraid for him that I couldn’t even think what to do with the fear. I couldn’t even remember how to pray. The only thought that came into my mind was to call His name and it was enough. God was my strength.
I was embroiled in difficult relationships, personal and work related, and I wanted to see them differently, but all I seemed to do was to become more miserable. I wanted to forgive and to love but I also wanted to be right. But I kept calling on His name. I kept asking the Holy Spirit to heal my mind. Some of those relationships took years to heal but eventually, in each case, I accepted His gift of vision.
Life is very different now. Through these years of practice and trust, my mind is clearer and my faith has been made strong. I went through some very rough patches but I went through it supported by the strength of God even when it seemed I was alone. I don’t regret a moment of it because it brought me to this peaceful happy place in my life. Vision is truly His gift and it is certain.