by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff
“You’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off!” Remember that old saying? The fact is we have probably felt like that poor old chicken at one time or another. We have all had so much to do and couldn’t figure out what to do first, so we attempted to do everything at the same time and accomplished nothing! Our lives seem so busy and complicated: work, family issues, personal relationships, health challenges, politics, the environment, and the list goes on and on. What should we do first? There’s so much to do — can it all be done?
A Course in Miracles says, “In any situation in which you are uncertain, the first thing to consider, very simply, is ‘What do I want to come of this? What is it for?’ The clarification of the goal belongs at the beginning, for it is this which will determine the outcome.” (T-17.VI.2)
Many of us try to figure out what we should do about a situation before we know what’s really going on or what we really want to have happen. Comedian Rodney Dangerfield once quipped, “My wife and I have separate bedrooms, we eat apart, we take separate vacations, we’re doing everything we can to keep our marriage together!” We may laugh at this reasoning, but it is the reasoning of the world.
The ego does not want us to look at our goal or purpose in a situation, it wants us to look at all its contrived solutions that have nothing to do with the problem or real issue and will certainly not help us achieve our goal. “The ego does not know what it wants to come of the situation. It is aware of what it does not want, but only that. It has no positive goal at all.” (ibid)
The ego does not want peace, for it only knows conflict; it does not know solutions, for it only knows problems. Therefore, the ego will always show you the opposite to peace — it will always show you the obstacles — the negative side of a situation, a future of failure based on the past, etc. But, when you decide with the Holy Spirit and set your goal first, you define your purpose and now have a focus to make it happen. “The value of deciding in advance what you want to happen is simply that you will perceive the situation as a means to make it happen. You will therefore make every effort to overlook what interferes with the accomplishment of your objective, and concentrate on everything that helps you meet it.” (ibid)
Back in the days of sailing ships, two traveling shoe salesmen landed on a remote island. As they descended the ship, they saw that the natives were all barefoot. They both ran to the telegraph office and one sent a message back to his main office saying, “Coming home – Can’t sell shoes — No one wears them!” The other sent this message: “Send more shoes – We’ll sell a million — No one has them!” One had decided his goal and saw everything as an opportunity; the other saw only the obstacles.
We must clarify our purpose in all of our life situations if we ever hope to feel peace and direction. “What do I want to come of this? What is this for?” Allow the truth to come forth. Let your mind be open to God’s direction and step back and let Him write His purpose on your heart and in your mind. Set your goal for peace in every situation of life and feel what it is like to decide with God.