Manual for Teachers: Section 16 . . HOW SHOULD THE TEACHER OF GOD SPEND HIS DAY? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 40 paragraph 3

Section 16


page 40, paragraph 3




3. At the beginning, it is wise to think in terms of time. ²This is by no means the ultimate criterion, but at the outset it is probably the simplest to observe. ³The saving of time is an essential early emphasis which, although it remains important throughout the learning process, becomes less and less emphasized. ⁴At the outset, we can safely say that time devoted to starting the day right does indeed save time. ⁵How much time should be so spent? ⁶This must depend on the teacher of God himself. ⁷He cannot claim that title until he has gone through the workbook, since we are learning within the framework of our course. ⁸After completion of the more structured practice periods, which the workbook contains, individual need becomes the chief consideration. (ACIM, M-16.3:1-8)

Course Text

I think I was the most resistant person ever to complete the workbook; however, I read the text like a good novel and could hardly put it down. Sometimes I was thrilled with what I read. It was like it told me stuff I knew, but until that moment, didn’t know I knew. Sometimes it scared me. Sometimes I would stop in wonder that I believed all that I read. Why would I? And yet, I did.

Course Workbook Lessons

The lessons, on the other hand, were a stumbling block. Or a stumbling boulder, maybe a stumbling mountain! I would do the lessons without understanding; nonetheless, until I got to a certain place and then I would stop. I did this repeatedly and I would stop for reasons I didn’t really understand such as:

  • I didn’t do it right.
  • I kept forgetting.
  • I don’t have time.
  • It’s not really important.

I often felt shame because I couldn’t seem to do this, and guilt because deep down I knew I didn’t want to do them.


I had been studying the Course for many years before I finally made the choice to give my focus to the Course. It was funny, really. There was no plan in the mind about how this would happen, no big moment in which I suddenly realized that I was no longer afraid to do the lessons, and that I was ready to truly become a teacher of God. It was quite un-dramatic, more like a switch being thrown. The mind made up stories about it, reasons for picking up the Course and choosing to study in a new way, but I feel strongly that it happened the way it did because it was time, that I was on a schedule completely outside the thinking mind.

I began studying the Course in 1981. I studied it and tried to live it, but, jeez, it was hard. Only once in a while did I have anyone to share it with and there were not the wealth of books and groups that we have today. The internet was not something we had at first, and even when we did, I was ignorant of it. It was very slow going for me, but when I made that choice, sometime in 1999 I think, to give my devotion to the study of the Course, I picked up the workbook, and for the first time ever, I went all the way through it.

Other Students

I had discovered the internet, and that there were lots of other fellow students available to me now with whom I could study. There was a forum on Pathways of Light website and a small group of us studied together, sharing our daily struggles as we went through the workbook. It was the help and encouragement I needed to get through the lessons, and getting through the workbook changed everything for me. 


I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone, but based on my own experience I can understand why Jesus says that we need to do the lessons. The text made me want to change, but doing the workbook lessons made this change possible. It was like up until I finished the workbook, I had been struggling uphill. I was changing, but very slowly and inconsistently.


Once I finished the workbook, the changes really picked up momentum. I was a snowball plummeting downhill! So, how much time do I spend with the Course now? All my time. In the morning, I study, write with the Holy Spirit, and share what I write. The rest of the day is spent in living the Course. I watch my mind and release what is not true. I live it to the best of my ability and purpose spending several hours a day every day sharing with others through Pathways of Light courses and  study groups. It is a lovely way to spend this life.

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