Friendship

C.S. Lewis, in The Four Loves, wrote: “… friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties in all the others.”

It’s an intriguing idea, to me, that the friendships that happen in our lives are not as self-selected as we might like to think and, in any case, are not coincidental. There have been some that I knew at the time they were strongest in my life that they were gifts from God, but even then I didn’t see them exactly as God’s instruments – tools God was using to work toward an end.

Lewis continues his theme: “… At this feast it is He who has spread the board and it is He who has chosen the guests. It is He, we may dare to hope, who sometimes does, and always should preside.”

Here, every responsibility for the creation, continuation, constitution, and orchestration of the friendship is placed outside our own hands and directly into God’s. This makes me remember the times when I felt that I had to work to keep a relationship on an even keel – and I wonder whether my efforts only hindered things, or if that, too, was part of God’s administration.

Do you see a Divine hand in your friendships?

           

Peace

We are a week into the E-course on A Course in Miracles and I am finding it a useful addition to my spiritual practices. In the first week, a very helpful lesson was the reminder from the ACIM Workbook (Lesson 34), entitled “I could see peace instead of this.”

The text from the Workbook encourages the reader to “search your mind for fear thoughts, anxiety-producing situations, ‘offending’ personalities or events, or anything else about which you are harboring unloving thoughts.” Then as each one arises in your mind, you are to repeat: “I could see peace in this situation instead of what I now see in it.” With that, you let go of whatever thought was troubling you.

Unless you’re a hermit in a remote desert (and maybe even then), you’re going to have situations arise in the course of day-to-day interactions with people that irritate you, frustrate you, annoy you, frighten you, disgust you, or upset you in some other way. As your normal, usual reactions occur, you can put the brakes on immediately with the thought from Lesson 34: “I could see peace instead of this.”

Another expression for the same rethinking is: “I could experience peace in this situation instead of what I am experiencing now.”

God be with you in increasing the peacefulness of your life.

           

A Course in Miracles

I am stoked! On Sunday, August 4, I am starting a 28-day E-course entitled “The Wisdom of A Course in Miracles with Diane Berke.” I’m excited at the prospect of again focusing on love, forgiveness, peace, gratitude, joy, etc., as only A Course in Miracles can do.

Years ago these books were my main source of spiritual nourishment for an entire year, and they were definitely up to the task. The result was that I created a quarterly spiritual newsletter that I ended up sending to a mailing list of 700+ recipients – and this was all postal service, before the days of email transmissions.

What I most look forward to for the upcoming month is to see the texts through someone else’s eyes. What will she choose to emphasize? What gems have struck her as important enough to bring to everyone else’s attention? Maybe it will be one like this: “Every loving thought is true. Everything else is an appeal for healing and help, regardless of the form it takes.” Or how about these:

“Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?”

“What you perceive in others you are strengthening in yourself.”

“You are altogether irreplaceable in the Mind of God. No one else can fill your part of it, and while you leave your part of it empty your eternal place merely waits for your return.”

Lovely! Maybe you should think about signing up for this E-course too!