by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of”
These words from Jackie DeShannon’s 1965 hit song seem to be a needed message today. We definitely need an answer to a world in conflict, and A Course in Miracles responds with love — not a love to be given to us but a love to be fostered within us.
This Workbook Lesson 189, “I feel the Love of God within me now,” from A Course in Miracles offers us much understanding and insight as to how we can feel and experience God’s Love.
It tells us there is a way to see this world in light and love rather than remain in darkness and only experience malice and fear. In truth, there is only the world of light, where its inhabitants feel only God’s love in them. But “those who see a world of hatred rising from attack, poised to avenge, to murder and destroy” cannot see “a world in which forgiveness shines on everything, and peace offers its gentle light to everyone…” It therefore becomes our choice which we would see, as we read, “The choice is given you. But learn and do not let your mind forget this law of seeing: You will look upon that which you feel within. If hatred finds a place within your heart, you will perceive a fearful world, held cruelly in death’s sharp-pointed, bony fingers. If you feel the Love of God within you, you will look out on a world of mercy and of love.”
Okay, the choice seems pretty clear. No one would truly want the bony finger of death guiding their life and yet fear, anger, and judgment seem almost unavoidable at times. What do we do?
This lesson offers us a way. “Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.”
In this lesson, we are being counseled and guided to live from the present moment, knowing that as we live in the present we cannot help but experience God’s Love. The lesson goes on to offer us three steps to help us achieve this experience.
l) “We do not choose the way in which we go to Him [God].” Realize that you don’t have to know the way to God – He knows how to find you! It is arrogant to think that the Creator of all life could misplace a part of His Creation or care for some parts more than others. God knows how to find you and wants to welcome you home since you have really never left Him. Find peace in this truth and release your worries and plans. “God knows His Son, and knows the way to him. He does not need His Son to show Him how to find His way.”
2) “Your part is simply to allow all obstacles that you have interposed between the Son and God the Father to be quietly removed forever.” Even this step, which requires us to bring our judgments, fears, concerns, and worries to light, is handled for us by God. All we are asked to do is bring them to our awareness and then allow them to be healed for us. “God will do His part in joyful and immediate response. Ask and receive.”
3) “The way to reach Him is merely to let Him be.” Much like the first point in which we trust
that God knows how to find His Creations, we must trust that God knows how to heal our lives far better than we can. The things that we may think will bring us happiness, love, and peace may not be the way to the lasting joy and serenity that God has in store for us. And so, “…do not make demands, nor point the road to God by which He should appear to you.” Leave your mind open and your heart quiet and “His Love will blaze its pathway of itself.”
So we have been given a clear path once again to return our minds to God and to feel His Love. Let us come “with wholly empty hands” and take the steps together of releasing our demands and judgments by allowing God to step into the most uncomfortable areas of our lives and thereby transform them. We know that as we call, He will answer. We will not interfere as we are willing to let love (our answer) lead the way.
“Salvation’s ways are not our own, for they belong to You [God].”