Miracles News

July-September, 2017

What Does Being a Teacher of God Mean?

by Rev. Linda Wisniewski, O.M.C.

Rev. Linda WisniewskiEver since I got ordained as a minister of Pathways of Light in 2005, I thought of myself as a teacher of God. But I was really focusing on the form and not on the true content.

I thought being a teacher of God meant having students and teaching them about the Course or teaching them about the Pathways of Light Practitioner courses. I thought being a teacher of God meant preparing others to become ministers.

I thought being a teacher of God meant having my own ministry or giving workshops about Course related topics. I love facilitating these programs but does this give me the title of teacher of God?

Well, this summer was very quiet. I didn’t have a lot of students to work with and initially I became saddened because I thought I had failed at being a teacher of God. So, I used the time to go to Holy Spirit and ask, “What does it mean to be a Teacher of God?” Holy Spirit led me to the Introduction of the Teachers Manual plus the section: Who Are God’s Teachers?

As I read, I began to realize how upside down my thinking was and how I was thinking of teaching as the world thinks of teaching.

“The role of teaching and learning is actually reversed in the thinking of the world. It seems as if the teacher and the learner are separated, the teacher giving something to the learner rather than to himself. Further the act of teaching is regarded as a special activity, in which one engages only a relatively small proportion of one’s time. The Course, on the other hand, emphasizes that to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same. It also emphasizes that teaching is a constant process; it goes on every moment of the day, and continues into sleeping thoughts as well.” (M-Intro:1:1,3-6)

Wow! Have I been mistaken? Seeing myself as a teacher of God was really seeing how the ego interprets this important spiritual lesson. Thinking with the ego, I saw myself as separate from those with whom I was joining. I saw myself as having a special role that gave me special value and a special title. I also thought of it in terms of putting special times on my calendar in which I would be engaged in “teaching.” And what about the rest of the time? Was I not teaching?

The second paragraph of the Introduction to the Manual for Teachers goes on to say:

“To teach is to demonstrate. There are only two thought systems and you demonstrate that you believe one or the other is true all the time.” (M-Intro:2:1-2)

“This is not done by words alone. Any situation must be to you a chance to teach others what you are, and what they are to you.” (M-Intro:2:9-10)

So what am I demonstrating? Am I demonstrating love or fear? If I’m coming from fear when a person comes for support for help with an illness, if I get sucked into their story and focus on their symptoms, then I am teaching that their illness is real and they have something to fear.

A teacher for God teaches only love. I would demonstrate God’s teaching by seeing all my brothers despite their appearance as whole and perfect and guiltless.

In the Manual for Teachers Section 1, Who Are God’s Teachers? it further states that even though the form of the teaching might vary greatly, “the content of the course never changes. Its central theme is always, God’s Son is guiltless, and in his innocence is his salvation.” >(M-1.3:3-6)

The Manual for Teachers also tells us that we teach what we need to learn, so in teaching that God’s Son is guiltless and innocent, we are teaching ourselves that we are guiltless and innocent. This is our salvation and the salvation of the Sonship. Another way the Course puts it is teach only Love because that is what you are. And how we live our lives demonstrates this.

The Course further talks about this in the Manual for Teachers Section 4: What are the Characteristics of God’s Teachers?

“God gives special gifts to His teachers, because they have a special role in His plan for Atonement. Their specialness is, of course, only temporary; set in time as a means of leading out of time. These special gifts, born in the holy relationship toward which the teaching-learning situations is geared, become characteristic of all teachers of God who have advanced in their own learning.” (M-4.1:4-7)

So what are the characteristics of a teacher of God? This too is laid out in the Manual for Teachers on pages 9-16: They are: Trust, Honesty, Tolerance, Gentleness, Joy, Defenselessness, Generosity, Patience, Faithfulness and Open-Mindedness.

So these questions kept whirling around in my mind:

Am I demonstrating these qualities in every encounter I have? Do I demonstrate patience in the line at the grocery store? Do I demonstrate Open-Mindedness if someone has a different opinion than me? Do I demonstrate Trust in Holy Spirit’s guidance? Am I honest with myself or do I pretend to be more ‘spiritual’ than I am when I really don’t feel spiritual and am sucked into ego thinking? Do I demonstrate peace and trust when things don’t happen in the time I want them to?

So as a teacher of God, my own mind has to be healed; otherwise that is what am I teaching. It’s not that I have to be completely healed before I join with others, but I have to be honest about what needs healing and not be ashamed to share where I need healing for fear that others won’t ‘see me as a teacher.’

So, who are teachers of God? The Manual for Teachers states: “A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else’s. Once he has done that, his road is established and his direction is sure. A light has entered the darkness…  He has entered an agreement with God even if he does not yet believe in Him. He has become a bringer of salvation. He has become a teacher of God.” (M-1.1:1-4, 6-8)

I thank Holy Spirit for straightening out my upside down thinking of what I thought was a teacher of God. Now, I ask that I be shown how to demonstrate this moment to moment and, with Holy Spirit’s guidance I will be shown. I see myself more as a mind-healing partner where we join and share what we need to learn to awaken from the illusion and return to Love.

Rev. Linda Wisniewski, O.M.C., a Pathways of Light minister, passed on last November. She lived in Plymouth, Wisconsin with her husband David Wisniewski.

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