Lesson 153

“In my defenselessness my safety lies.”

You who feel threatened by this changing world, its twists of fortune
and its bitter jests, its brief relationships and all the “gifts” it merely
lends to take away again, attend this lesson well. The world provides
no safety. It is rooted in attack, and all its “gifts” of seeming safety are
illusory deceptions. It attacks and then attacks again. No peace of
mind is possible where danger threatens thus.

The world gives rise but to defensiveness. For threat brings
anger, anger makes attack seem reasonable, honestly provoked, and
righteous in the name of self-defense. Yet is defensiveness a double
threat. For it attests to weakness, and sets up a system of defense that
cannot work. Now are the weak still further undermined, for there is
treachery without and still a greater treachery within. The mind is
now confused, and knows not where to turn to find escape from
its imaginings.

It is as if a circle held it fast, wherein another circle bound it, and
another in that one, until escape no longer can be hoped for nor
obtained. Attack, defense; defense, attack, become the circles of the
hours and the days that bind the mind in heavy bands of steel with
iron overlaid, returning but to start again. There seems to be no break
nor ending in the ever-tightening grip of imprisonment upon
the mind.

Defenses are the costliest of all the prices which the ego would
exact. In them lies madness in a form so grim that hope of sanity
seems but to be an idle dream, beyond the possible. The sense of
threat the world encourages is so much deeper and so far beyond the
frenzy and intensity of which you can conceive that you have no idea
of all the devastation it has wrought. You are its slave. You know not
what you do in fear of it. You do not understand how much you have
been made to sacrifice who feel its iron grip upon your heart.

You do not realize what you have done to sabotage the holy
peace of God by your defensiveness. For you behold the Son of God
as but a victim to attack by fantasies, by dreams, and by illusions he
has made; yet helpless in their presence, needful only of defense by
still more fantasies and dreams by which illusions of his safety
comfort him.

Defenselessness is strength. It testifies to recognition of the Christ
in you. Perhaps you will recall the course maintains that choice is
always made between His strength and your own weakness seen apart
from Him. Defenselessness can never be attacked because it
recognizes strength so great attack is folly, or a silly game a tired child
might play when he becomes too sleepy to remember what he wants.

Defensiveness is weakness. It proclaims you have denied the
Christ and come to fear His Father’s anger. What can save you now
from your delusion of an angry god whose fearful image you believe
you see at work in all the evils of the world? What but illusions could
defend you now, when it is but illusions which you fight?

We will not play such childish games today. For our true
purpose is to save the world, and we would not exchange for
foolishness the endless joy our function offers us. We would not let
our happiness slip by because a senseless fragment of a dream
happened to cross our minds, and we mistook the figures in it for the
Son of God; its tiny instant for eternity.

We look past dreams today, and recognize that we need no
defense because we are created unassailable, without all thought or
wish or dream in which attack has any meaning. Now we cannot
fear, for we have left all fearful thoughts behind. And in
defenselessness we stand secure, serenely certain of our safety now,
sure of salvation; sure we will fulfill our chosen purpose as our
ministry extends its holy blessing through the world.

Be still a moment, and in silence think how holy is your
purpose, how secure you rest, untouchable within its light. God’s
ministers have chosen that the truth be with them. Who is holier
than they? Who could be surer that his happiness is fully guaranteed?
And who could be more mightily protected? What defense could
possibly be needed by the ones who are among the chosen ones of
God by His election and their own as well?

It is the function of God’s ministers to help their brothers
choose as they have done. God has elected all, but few have come to
realize His Will is but their own. And while you fail to teach what
you have learned salvation waits, and darkness holds the world in
grim imprisonment. Nor will you learn that light has come to you,
and your escape has been accomplished. For you will not see the
light until you offer it to all your brothers. As they take it from your
hands, so will you recognize it as your own.

Salvation can be thought of as a game that happy children play.
It was designed by One Who loves His children, and Who would
replace their fearful toys with joyous games which teach them that
the game of fear is gone. His game instructs in happiness because
there is no loser. Everyone who plays must win, and in his winning is
the gain to everyone ensured. The game of fear is gladly laid aside
when children come to see the benefits salvation brings.

You who have played that you are lost to hope, abandoned by
your Father, left alone in terror in a fearful world made mad by sin
and guilt, be happy now. That game is over. Now a quiet time has
come in which we put away the toys of guilt, and lock our quaint
and childish thoughts of sin forever from the pure and holy minds of
Heaven’s children and the Son of God. We pause but for a moment
more, to play our final happy game upon this earth. And then we go
to take our rightful place where truth abides and games are

So is the story ended. Let this day bring the last chapter closer to
the world, that everyone may learn the tales he reads of terrifying
destiny, defeat of all his hopes, his pitiful defense against a vengeance
he can not escape, was but his own deluded fantasy. God’s ministers
have come to waken him from the dark dreams this story has evoked
in his confused, bewildered memory of this distorted tale. God’s Son
can smile at last, on learning that it is not true.

Today we practice in a form we will maintain for quite a while.
We will begin each day by giving our attention to the daily thought
as long as possible. Five minutes now becomes the least we give to
preparation for a day in which salvation is the only goal we have. Ten
would be better; fifteen better still. And as distraction ceases to arise
to turn us from our purpose, we will find that half an hour is too
short a time to spend with God. Nor will we willingly give less at
night in gratitude and joy.

Each hour adds to our increasing peace, as we remember to be
faithful to the Will we share with God. At times, perhaps, a minute,
even less, will be the most that we can offer as the hour strikes.
Sometimes we will forget. At other times the business of the world
will close on us, and we will be unable to withdraw a little while and
turn our thoughts to God.

Yet when we can, we will observe our trust as ministers of God
in hourly remembrance of our mission and His Love. And we will
quietly sit by and wait on Him and listen to His Voice, and learn what
He would have us do the hour that is yet to come; while thanking
Him for all the gifts He gave us in the one gone by.

In time, with practice, you will never cease to think of Him, and
hear His loving Voice guiding your footsteps into quiet ways where
you will walk in true defenselessness. For you will know that Heaven
goes with you. Nor would you keep your mind away from Him a
moment, even though your time is spent in offering salvation to the
world. Think you He will not make this possible for you who chose
to carry out His plan for the salvation of the world and yours?

Today our theme is our defenselessness. We clothe ourselves in it
as we prepare to meet the day. We rise up strong in Christ, and let our
weakness disappear as we remember that His strength abides in us.
We will remind ourselves that He remains beside us through the day,
and never leaves our weakness unsupported by His strength.

We call upon His strength each time we feel the threat of our
defenses undermine our certainty of purpose. We will pause a
moment, as He tells us, “I am here.” Your practicing will now begin
to take the earnestness of love to help you keep your mind from
wandering from its intent.

Be not afraid or timid. There can be no doubt that you will
reach your final goal. The ministers of God can never fail, because the
love and strength and peace that shine from them to all their brothers
come from Him. These are His gifts to you. Defenselessness is all you
need to give Him in return. You lay aside but what was never real, to
look on Christ and see His sinlessness.

Britney Shawley added:

"It is the function of God's ministers to help their brothers choose as they have done. God has elected all, but few have come to realize His Will is but their own. And while you fail to teach what you have learned, salvation waits and darkness holds the world in grim imprisonment. Nor will you learn that light has come to you, and your escape has been accomplished. For you will not see the light, until you offer it to all your brothers. As they take it from your hands, so will you recognize it as your own." 

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