Miracles News

July-September, 2018

“Yea …But”

by Rev. Stephan Mead, O.M.C.

Stephan Mead“The secret of salvation is but this: that you are doing this unto yourself. No matter what the form of attack, this is still true.(ACIM T-27.VIII.10:1-2)

15 years ago, these two sentences were my introduction to A Course in Miracles. Like so many others, I found ACIM during a time of personal crisis. The ideas presented were so revolutionarily different from my belief system, yet they made so much sense as I read them, I couldn’t put it down.

I joined an ACIM study group, I purchased many, many books from authors “Google” claimed were experts in ACIM, and read them all, cover to cover. I attended workshops and conventions, far and near, with as much open-mindedness as I could manufacture, trying so hard to “get” how I was “doing this unto myself.” Finally, I reached the place on this path I named the, “Yea, … but” delay station.

This place of delay looks like this, “Yea, I totally believe what the Course teaches, “I do it all to myself,” But other people are treating me unfairly.” And, “Yea, I know the Course teaches anger is never justified, BUT wait till I tell you what just happened to me, you’d be angry too!” (Ha, except they weren’t.) And, “yea, I believe Jesus is personally teaching me how to recognize that the truth is always true, BUT in this particular situation, I know what is best.”

Later, I found out I didn’t discover this delay station. Many Course students stopped there and journeyed beyond it, and some were still visiting. Not everyone called it the, “Yea, … But” station. It was also referred to as the place where “theory and practice” are desperately trying to keep from ever meeting. Even while writing this it seems so insane that one (I?) would ever hesitate to eagerly put into practice the principles that Jesus Himself guarantees will erase the hell I have created and replace it with a joy that is all but indescribable, right now!

There is a list of promises in Alcoholics Anonymous often quoted by alcoholics seeking a spiritual awakening. They say it happens, “sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but will always materialize if we work for them.” Maybe it’s like that with the Course too. What does it really look like to get past the, “Yea, … Buts?”

Interestingly, I first had to experience I could not get past them. No matter how hard I tried to believe that I was creating all my experiences, something would come up in my life where I thought “blame” as in, “this isn’t my fault, it’s because of you I am now suffering,” was appropriate. Why couldn’t I get past this, “Yea, … But” place? Because the “I” that was trying was the problem.

I live on a million dollar property, waterfront (of course) on Whidbey Island in Washington State. My view is westerly, across Puget Sound to the Olympic Mountain range. For almost three years I’ve been here, rent free and, mowing the lawn (with a new riding mower) has been pretty much my only duty.

A couple of weeks ago my brother told me he was going to sell the place and he thanked me for always keeping the lawn looking nice. I thanked him for the time he has let me stay, and wished him well on a quick and very profitable sale.

“Yea, …But” now what? What about me? I don’t want to move. Why doesn’t he just keep the property and let it appreciate? Why am I afraid I will be in real trouble if the place actually sells? How am I “doing this” to myself?

The thoughts I shared above are not the problem. The thoughts, “What about me?” and “I don’t want to move,” are thoughts of form with a content of fear and lack, and, when believed, my experience is a fearful one.  The situation shows me how I “do this” to myself.  The “I” that believes that form is content has it all backwards. This “I” believes that if things were different “I” would be okay. Seeing this is where I begin to bring these thoughts to Holy Spirit and accept the atonement for myself. Seeing this is where salvation, the promise made to me by God that I would find my way to Him at last, is kept. (ACIM W-pII.2)

Is there room for more healing in my mind? I think, “Yes.” I am learning to bridge the gap between theory and practice. So now where am I? I am joining those who are finding atonement. “Yea, … But” more work is needed to root out beliefs that aren’t true, though I still believe are true.

Thank you, Pathways of Light, for all the help you have provided me!

Rev. Stephan Mead, O.M.C., is a Pathways of Light minister living in Seattle, Washington.
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