Together, We Light the Way

Click link to go to:
Previous Article Next Article
Together We Light the Way Index

Little Easy Steps

Little Easy Steps

There is a song I like a lot. It?s called Little Easy Steps. I like this song because it reminds me of my spiritual practices. Each practice is a process made of many little steps. I told you about my grandson’s experience at his school in my last entry. With help from the Holy Spirit, I was able to forgive myself and the school. That forgiveness process is a good example of how I can take many little steps and finally get where I want to be. When I first heard about Julian?s problem at school, I got angry. I knew that wasn?t where I wanted to stay, but I couldn?t just move from anger to forgiveness in one giant step. My legs aren?t long enough, so to speak. So, I took it one small step at a time. I started with a willingness. True, it wasn?t much of a willingness at first, but it was all I had. God doesn?t need much. He just needs for me to offer Him what I have. Remember, he only needs faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains. My anger felt like a mountain, that?s for sure. It felt like a mountain sitting on my chest. That?s why I had to get rid of it.

So I offered God my willingness to see the situation differently. Pretty soon I was entertaining thoughts that maybe the teacher wasn?t a demon from hell. I considered that a good start. It was a tiny step, to be sure, but a step in the right direction. When I got comfortable with that new idea, I moved on to the next step. Next, I decided to reconsider the conspiracy theory I was working on. Maybe the entire school wasn?t ganging up on my darling grandson. This step didn?t take as long. All this time I?m gaining spiritual strength through prayer. I am asking the Holy Spirit to heal my thoughts. It has become something of a mantra for me.

Anytime I am practicing forgiveness, I am doing God?s work and He sends me all the help I need. I have the Holy Spirit which God placed in me to be His Voice. I have His angels who look after me and cherish me. I am heartened by these thoughts.

Another tiny step brings me closer to forgiveness. The Holy Spirit whispers in my heart that my grandson is in His care and that he is invulnerable and so am I. This, He tells me, is my lesson and what I am to teach, not through words, but with my actions. And so I understand that by showing others I am invulnerable, I am teaching them that they are invulnerable. This kind of invulnerability comes only through Love, which is another name for God. I cannot express my invulnerability through fear because fear is not of God.

Another small step takes me nearly to forgiveness, as I receive the vision of all the people involved as little children striking out in terror, trying to defend what they think they need to feel safe. Then the Voice for God gently reminds me that everything is either love or fear. If it is not love, it is fear no matter what it seems to be. In my heart He said to me, ?This is your brother calling out for love. Can you respond with anything but love??

And finally, the last tiny step brings me to forgiveness. After much healing, the Holy Spirit is able to show me the face of Christ in each of my brothers. Now I understand that I don?t have to grapple with their behavior, trying to make sense of what is nonsensical. I was never going to succeed at that. I don?t have to look at what they did and see that they were wrong and then give them forgiveness they didn?t deserve. I am simply going to look past all of that and see that the teacher is not what she did. Behind the mask of what she did is the child of God, perfect as He created her. And, that is forgiveness.

It took me a while to get there one small step at a time. But I noticed that after the first step, each step got easier and as each step brought me closer to forgiveness, my steps quickened in anticipation. I think the next time, I won?t take quite as long. One thing I learned during this process is that if I hold someone prisoner to guilt, I, who am their jailer am prisoner with them. I had been saying to the school, you are guilty of making me miserable and of making me afraid for Julian. In order to keep them guilty though, I had to be constantly on guard with new accusations or they might escape their just rewards, which meant I had to be constantly miserable and afraid or they wouldn?t be guilty of anything. Good grief, no wonder I felt so good when I forgave.

I was thinking of another spiritual process where I used the one tiny step method; praying. I pray differently now than I used to. I started out like a child asking a favorite uncle for a gift. I would tell God what I needed to make me happy and ask Him to supply it. If it didn?t fall in my lap, I would try to wheedle it out of Him. If that didn?t work I would try making bargains with Him. If I didn?t get what I had asked for I would feel bereft and wonder why God didn?t love me when it seemed He loved others.

My first step past this childish attitude toward God was to understand that you cannot bargain with God and that you do not need to beg. God does not want our subservience. He wants only our love. But there were still times when my prayers seemed to go unanswered and I still felt afraid that there must be something wrong with me.

I took another small step which brought me a little closer to real prayer. I lost a lot of my fear of God. I began to believe that God really did love me and that He never wants sacrifice from me. He doesn?t think I ask for too much, but rather, too little. Also, I began to realize that often I was asking for things when what I really wanted was love and comfort.

My next small step showed me that I could trust God. I began to believe that when I learned how to ask for what I needed, it would be provided. I saw this happen, though not consistently, and I yearned to know why it wasn?t consistent. I knew it had to be something I was doing. I knew that God wasn?t inconsistent because, well, because He?s God.

Finally, I took one more tiny step and understood that I was asking God to fix things for me and then telling Him how to do it. I was telling Him I was lonely and then telling Him who to send me. I was telling Him I was needy and then telling him how to fill that need. And I wasn?t doing a very good job either. Sometimes I would get what I asked for, but I know it wasn?t from God, because God gives perfectly. Now when I pray, I bring my needs to God and lay them at His feet. I trust that He will provide exactly what I need. I trust that He doesn?t need my advice. I don?t believe God deals in form. He is not Santa Clause. I would wake up every morning and check my desk and, no, there wouldn?t be a laptop there. But, when I laid my need at His feet, sans advice, He gave me a terrific idea and now I have a laptop. God deals in ideas and inspirations.              .

It was important that I take it one step at a time because I was not ready for the last step until recently. Before that, I did not trust God enough to just turn things over to Him. I was still too full of fear. But, each small step I took, brought me closer to that truth. I can trust God. Which reminds me of another spiritual practice where I had to take small steps. I had to learn where to look for answers. Like most people, I was taught as a child to look to myself for answers. I was encouraged to become independent and to be careful not to depend on anyone else. As I grew older and matured, I learned to follow this advice. Like some other lessons I learned as a child, this was not helpful.

I had to unlearn some things. I associated maturity with independence. Now I had to learn to become as a little child and turn to my Father for guidance. He meant for me to have His guidance in all things, and so placed His Voice in me as the Holy Spirit so that I would always have access to It. It took many small steps over many years before I would return to my natural state and become as that little child again.

My first steps were all about coming to realize that I wasn?t ever going to make consistently good choices. It finally dawned on me that I would have to know everything there was to know about all facets of every situation. And further, I would have to know how any action I chose to take would affect every person involved now and in the future. It?s truly amazing that it took me so long to figure out I couldn?t do this.

My next steps were all about finding an alternate plan. I knew that I wasn?t doing a very good job of making decisions, but I didn?t know what to do about it. I tried giving the job to a variety of persons that, for some reason, I felt were better equipped for the task, but found they tended to fall into one of two categories. Either they were willing to make my decisions for me and were not any better at it than I was, or they were too wise to take on the job.

When I finally figured out that God had this covered with a plan of His own, I was more than ready to listen, but I had forgotten how. These were my next small steps. I had to relearn how to hear the Voice for God. This was pretty frustrating at first. I spent a lot of time asking God why He made it so hard. I understand now that He didn?t make it hard; why should He? He wants me to succeed. It was my stubborn resistance to giving up my pitiful independence that was making it seem hard.

I am still taking small steps in this direction. I have gotten much better at remembering to turn to the Holy Spirit and much better at listening to His answer, but I have a ways to go yet. The Holy Spirit is very patient and very gentle with me. If I am resisting His help, He waits until I am ready to listen. If I don?t understand what He is trying to tell me, He finds another way to get the answer to me. He sends His answer in a comment on a forum, or through the Course or, through a group discussion,  or a book or even a movie.

I remember a friend telling me once about his frustration at not being able to figure out God?s Will in a particular situation. He had asked and absolutely knew that God answers all His children when they call. But some part of him must have been resisting the answer because he wasn?t getting it. ?Finally,? he said, ?I just told God that I wasn?t doing anything until I heard from Him.? He then got into his car and took a ride hoping the solitude would break something loose. He stopped at a red light and there on a bumper sticker on the car in front of him, was the elusive answer to his quandary. He had to laugh out loud at the beautiful absurdity of it all.

I know how he feels because I can be just as dense and Spirit doesn?t seem to mind. He works with me where ever I am. He uses whatever is available to answer my questions. All I have to do is ask, and give Him whatever willingness I have, to hear His answer. He will work out the details. It?s very simple really, no matter how complicated it may seem. I have only two choices. I can choose to follow my own ego or I can choose to follow Christ. Once I make that choice, the rest will work itself out.

I had been thinking that my strength lay in my independence, in relying on my small self. That is false independence, weak and unsure, built on unreliable sources. What I am learning now is that my strength lies, not in separation, but in unity; unity with my God and unity with my brothers. I can choose my teacher and I choose the Holy Spirit.

Intellectually, I accept that I am a Holy Son of God. I accept my unity with all that is. I accept that I am not my ego and that my seeming life in this body is an illusion. Intellectually, I am glad of it. But, it is taking many wonderful, easy little steps to reach an awareness of all this that goes beyond the intellectual. I am on my path. I am taking those steps. I am grateful for all the help I am given. I am grateful that my destination is inevitable. I am grateful.


© 2004, Pathways of Light.
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, provided this notice is included.

Tell a friend about this article.
Printable Page

<< Back to main page of Together, We Light the Way

Has this page been helpful to you?
Your contribution to support this site is greatly appreciated. To make a tax deductible contribution with a credit/debit card, click here.
Click here to donate from your PayPal account.
Or send a check to Pathways of Light, 12530 Lions Chase Court, Huntley, IL 60142.

Free Online Resources

Electronic "Magazine"Sign up to receive periodic emails with thoughts to ponder, inspirational articles and the latest news.

Subscribe to daily emails of Workbook Lesson Insights.

ACIM Text Made Simple — answers to hundreds of questions about the Text. Click here.

Daily Inspiration Blog — Thoughts to inspire your day. Click here.

Inspiring journals by Pathways of Light ministers applying the principles of ACIM. Click here.

Miracles News — hundreds of inspiring miracle stories. Click here.

We'd Like to Hear from You

Request Free Printed Program & Product Catalog

Or call 1-800-323-7284 (US & Canada) or 386-615-7284.

Click here to email your questions.

United Kingdom: Click here to email your questions about Pathways of Light in the UK or call +44 (0) 207 7262 0209.

Give us your feedback or report site problems.

Featured Store Items

Spiritual Counselor Training — based on principles of A Course in Miracles, including ordination. More….

24 ACIM Practitioner courses including 50-page study guide, CD's or MP3s, with facilitator. More….

Listen & Receive 30-Day Home Study Listen & Receive 30-Day Home Study Learn to receive insight for your life in a form that is perfect for you …heal fears, find joy & peace. Learn more.

Hey, Holy Spirit, It's Me Again by Rev. Myron Jones. An indispensible guide for anyone on the path of ACIM with insights on the 1st 90 lessons. More…

True Forgiveness True Forgiveness by Rev. Jennifer McSween. The Proven Path from Pain to Power and personal happiness in 5 Simple Steps. Learn more.

From the Christ Mind From the Christ Mind scribed by Darrell Morley Price. A simple, yet profound message that you can immediately apply to current circumstances. More….

Eternal Life and A Course in Miracles Eternal Life and A Course in Miracles by Jon Mundy, Phd. A Path to Eternity in the Essential Text. Sale, 32% discount. Learn more.

Forgiving KevinForgiving Kevin Audio book by Rev. Larry Glenz. A moving and inspiring true story of a father/son relationship that withstood seven years of addiction, recovery, and relapse. More….

Healing Family RelationshipsHealing Family Relationships Applying the Principles of A Course in Miracles 6 CD audio book by Rev. Myron Jones. Learn how family relationships offer fertile grounds for forgiveness and healing your judgments of the world. More.