“Accept today’s idea, and you have passed all anxiety, all pits of hell, all blackness of depression, thoughts of sin, and devastation brought about by guilt. Accept today’s idea, and you have released the world from all imprisonment by loosening the heavy chains that locked the door to freedom on it…” ACIM, Workbook page 370, Lesson 194.
The ego often encourages us to make plans for the future. We look ahead and make plans related to family matters, to career, to financial affairs, travel, etc. The future can, indeed, be a concern if we are worried about insecurity or lack, which are common concerns in our world. Of course, they stem from the ego because its whole thought system is based on guilt, fear and lack. It does not want us to recognise that we are holy sons of God, powerful, unlimited and free, as we were when He created us.
Lesson 194 asks us to forget the ego and rely solely on God. Actually, this lesson deals with forgiveness—releasing illusions. Fear is a form of a lack of forgiveness because it means we have identified with an illusion. If we have, for example, fearful thoughts about a lack of money in the future, we are identifying with lack and perceiving ourselves as limited. In reality, we are as God created us, which is holy, eternal and unlimited. Therefore, we need to find a way of releasing our belief in lack and limitation and, in this way, release our fear and anxiety about the future. In doing so, we place the future in the Hands of God and, at the same time, we experience one more holy instant of release through forgiveness (forgiveness of illusions.) Also, the more we focus on lack, the more we are likely to experience it. The more we focus on abundance, the more we are likely to experience abundance, sooner or later.
Whenever we feel anxious about the future, we are asked to call upon the Holy Spirit (our Higher Self) and ask Him for guidance. Then we have to be still and listen to His reply. By trusting in the Holy Spirit—the Voice for God—we are going a long way towards remembering our true Identity as eternal spirit, which is one with God. Not only will we benefit, but this will have an impact on the whole world because all minds are joined.
It is important to remember that A Course in Miracles is concerned mainly with getting us to change our thoughts and perceptions. It is a course in mind-training; it does not really deal with behaviour at all. So, in our dream it is all right to plan our daily lives in a sensible manner, and this could involve making plans for the future, such as saving money, getting a good education, etc. But, at the same time, it makes sense to realise that all these things are part of our dream world and our most important goal of all is to awaken from the dream. And if we can trust in God, then we don’t have to worry about whether our material plans are successful or not. Many people have thrown caution to the wind and followed their hearts instead of their heads. At times, this may be the wisest thing to do.
Jesus reassures us in Chapter 20 of the Text and says that if we can try to be at peace and trust in God, then we will receive the help of the Holy Spirit. The spiritual teacher and mystic, David Hoffmeister, said he followed Jesus’ instructions as he travelled around the USA and Canada sharing his knowledge of ACIM. He gave up his job and became totally dependent on the Holy Spirit for food, shelter, money and transportation. He said that he learned through his experiences that he could totally trust the Holy Spirit to provide for him and to guide him. Everything he needed was given to him effortlessly!
“What worry can beset the one who gives his future to the loving Hands of God? What can he suffer? What can cause him pain, or bring experience of loss to him? What can he fear? And what can he regard except with love? For he who has escaped all fear of future pain has found his way to present peace, and certainty of care the world can never threaten…” W371.
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