L e s s o n 166
I am entrusted with the gifts of God.
1 All things are given you. God's trust in you is limitless. He knows His Son. He gives without exception, holding nothing back that can contribute to your happiness. And yet unless your will is one with His, His gifts are not received. But what would make you think there is another will than His?
2 Here is the paradox that underlies the making of the world. This world is not the Will of God, and so it is not real. Yet those who think it real must still believe there is another will, and one that leads to opposite effects from those He wills. Impossible indeed, but every mind that looks upon the world and judges it as certain, solid, trustworthy, and true believes in two creators or in one, himself alone. But never in one God.
3 The gifts of God are not acceptable to anyone who holds such strange beliefs. He must believe that, to accept God's gifts, however evident they may become, however urgently he may be called to claim them as his own, is being pressed to treachery against himself. He must deny their presence, contradict the truth, and suffer to preserve the world he made.
4 Here is the only home he thinks he knows. Here is the only safety he believes that he can find. Without the world he made is he an outcast, homeless and afraid. He does not realize that it is here he is afraid indeed and homeless tooan outcast wandering so far from home, so long away, he does not realize he has forgotten where he came from, where he goes, and even who he really is.
5 Yet in his lonely, senseless wanderings, God's gifts go with him, all unknown to him. He cannot lose them. But he will not look at what is given him. He wanders on, aware of the futility he sees about him everywhere, perceiving how his little lot but dwindles as he goes ahead to nowhere. Still he wanders on in misery and poverty, alone though God is with him, and a treasure his so great that everything the world contains is valueless before its magnitude.
6 He seems a sorry figureweary, worn, in threadbare clothing, and with feet that bleed a little from the rocky road he walks. No one but has identified with him, for everyone who comes here has pursued the path he follows and has felt defeat and hopelessness as he is feeling them. Yet is he really tragic when you see that he is following the way he chose and needs but realize Who walks with him and open up his treasures to be free?
7 This is your chosen self, the one you made as a replacement for reality. This is the self you savagely defend against all reason, every evidence, and all the witnesses with proof to show this is not you. You heed them not. You go on your appointed way, with eyes cast down lest you might catch a glimpse of truth and be released from self-deception and set free.
8 You cower fearfully lest you should feel Christ's touch upon your shoulder and perceive His gentle hand directing you to look upon your gifts. How could you then proclaim your poverty in exile? He would make you laugh at this perception of yourself. Where is self-pity then? And what becomes of all the tragedy you sought to make for him whom God intended only joy?
9 Your ancient fear has come upon you now, and justice has caught up with you at last. Christ's hand has touched your shoulder, and you feel that you are not alone. You even think the miserable self you thought was you may not be your identity. Perhaps God's Word is truer than your own. Perhaps His gifts to you are real. Perhaps He has not wholly been outwitted by your plan to keep His Son in deep oblivion and go the way you chose without your Self.
10 God's Will does not oppose. It merely is. It is not God you have imprisoned in your plan to lose your Self. He does not know about a plan so alien to His Will. There was a need He did not understand, to which He gave an Answer. That is all. And you who have this Answer given you have need no more of anything but this.
11 Now do we live, for now we cannot die. The wish for death is answered, and the sight that looked upon it now has been replaced by vision which perceives that you are not what you pretend to be. One walks with you Who gently answers all your fears with this one merciful reply: "It is not so." He points to all the gifts you have each time the thought of poverty oppresses you and speaks of His companionship when you perceive yourself as lonely and afraid.
12 Yet He reminds you still of one thing more you had forgotten. For His touch on you has made you like Himself. The gifts you have are not for you alone. What He has come to offer you, you now must learn to give. This is the lesson that His giving holds, for He has saved you from the solitude you sought to make in which to hide from God. He has reminded you of all the gifts that God has given you. He speaks as well of what becomes your will when you accept these gifts and recognize they are your own.
13 The gifts are yours, entrusted to your care to give to all who chose the lonely road you have escaped. They do not understand they but pursue their wishes. It is you who teach them now. For you have learned of Christ there is another way for them to walk. Teach them by showing them the happiness that comes to those who feel the touch of Christ and recognize God's gifts. Let sorrow not tempt you to be unfaithful to your trust.
14 Your sighs will now betray the hopes of those who look to you for their release. Your tears are theirs. If you are sick, you but withhold their healing. What you fear but teaches them their fears are justified. Your hand becomes the giver of Christ's touch; your change of mind becomes the proof that who accepts God's gifts can never suffer anything. You are entrusted with the world's release from pain.
15 Betray it not. Become the living proof of what Christ's touch can offer everyone. God has entrusted all His gifts to you. Be witness in your happiness to how transformed the mind becomes which chooses to accept His gifts and feel the touch of Christ. Such is your mission now. For God entrusts the giving of His gifts to all who have received them. He has shared His joy with you. And now you go to share it with the world.