May 2014 – “I place the future in the Hands of God.”

“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. The ego wants to show that it is in control, believing that it has defeated God. But, as it is impossible to control future events in this world, if we rely on the ego, we will inevitably feel insecure, anxious, concerned or worried about the future—all of which are fear-based thoughts.

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, maybe because we haven’t saved enough, 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.)

Jesus is asking us to live in the present and not base our future expectations on past events. He says, in reality, there is no linear progression of time and, if we can rely on God and not worry about our future, we will experience holy instants in the present and we will escape from the bondage of time. “You are but asked to let the future go, and place it in God’s Hands. And you will see by your experience that you have laid the past and present in His Hands as well, because the past will punish you no more, and future dread will now be meaningless.” W370. If we can release the fear and guilt that we associate subconsciously with the apparent separation from Heaven, then we will be able to free ourselves from the past and it will punish us no more. Similarly, if we can accept that the separation did not happen, then we will have no worries about the future, because we will stop identifying with the physical body. Therefore, there will be no more “future dread.” It does take a great deal of trust in Jesus and in God to loosen our identification with the body and try to remember that we are eternal spirit. But that is what this lesson is asking us to do.

Whenever we feel anxious about the future, we must call upon the Holy Spirit 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. “Place, then, your future in the Hands of God. For thus you call the memory of Him to come again, replacing all your thoughts of sin and evil with the truth of love…” Not only will we benefit, but this will have an impact on the whole world because all minds are joined. “Who entrusts himself to God has also placed the world within the Hands to which he has himself appealed for comfort and security. He lays aside the sick illusions of the world along with his, and offers peace to both.” This means as we overcome our own illusions, we help the world to do the same.

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 for a rainy day or getting a good education so that one improves one’s chances of employment. 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.

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. “You may wonder how you can be at peace when, while you are in time, there is so much that must be done before the way to peace is open. Perhaps this seems impossible to you. But ask yourself if it is possible that God would have a plan for your salvation that does not work. Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfil, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. He will go before you making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way. Nothing you need will be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. You need take thought for nothing, careless of everything except the only purpose that you would fulfil…”T434.

The previous quotation is actually talking about forgiveness, when it refers to our one function. When we forgive others because we know that they have done nothing to us, what we are experiencing is simply projections from our own minds, then we are fulfilling the function God has given us. As we experience more and more of these “holy instants” of forgiveness, God’s memory will return to us and we will be able to trust in Him and the place the future in His Hands. And the Holy Spirit will go before us and remove obstacles and difficulties.

The Holy Spirit is there to help us trust in the future. He will teach us not to worry about the future because we are safe, regardless of what is going on in our dreams. We have not separated from God and, therefore, we cannot come to any harm. If what is going on in our world is frightening, we must remember that this world is just a dream. But even though it is just a dream, the Holy Spirit will provide for us, when we follow the teachings of Jesus and practise forgiveness.

The spiritual teacher and mystic, David Hoffmeister, who has studied A Course in Miracles and is now a teacher of God, 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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