My part is essential to God’s plan for salvation.
I watched a movie last night that had me reflecting on what turned out to be today’s theme: joy and happiness. In the movie, A Little Bit of Heaven, the main character played by Kate Hudson, Marley Corbett, is a twenty-something who has everything. She has a great job, good friends, great place to live, steady dating life based on her terms, and an all around great life, until she gets the diagnosis that she has colorectal cancer. The backstory of the movie is her pursuit to overcome her fear of falling in love. This not only means in a special relationship but also with her current friends and family. In a way, she always held a part of herself back from being loved or from loving anyone, in fear of getting hurt or not being enough for the other person.
It was a light-hearted movie but contained some great points for reflection. I was struck at the happiness of Marley’s character. She had fulfilling relationships and an overall jovial, fun life. This made me reflect on my level of happiness in my life. I have a magnet on my fridge that says, “Are you waking up happy and going to bed fulfilled?” It is a rather powerful, and accountable, question to ask yourself daily. One could also phrase it as, “Are you waking up feeling the joy that you are One with God and going to bed knowing that you are fulfilling your part in God’s plan for salvation?” On a good day, I could say yes to this but on a mundane, run of the mill day, I’m not sure I could, to be honest. And most days are ho-hum, run of the mill, but remembering the joy of God’s plan for salvation does add a spark of rejuvenation to it, doesn’t it?
We are all walking billboards for God’s plan. I recently had a friend tell me that while she was at an event with various acquaintances, some folks asked her, “How is it you are so happy? How can you be so happy?” They were asking her about her secret for happiness in her life and in her current relationship. Just being around her, they could see that she was thriving in life and, thus, they were curious about her secret. The secret is simple; as we have been learning through our lessons, just remember You are the Light of the World. My friend is what the Course is talking about in today’s lesson. She, as we all are, is the inspiration to others to wake up and take part in God’s plan for salvation.
“Your joy must be complete to let His plan be understood by those to whom He sends you. They will see their function in your shining face, and hear God calling to them in your happy laugh” (ACIM Lesson 100 2:5-6).
“You are indeed essential to God’s plan. Just as your light increases every light that shines in Heaven, so your joy on earth calls to all minds to let their sorrows go, and take their place beside you in God’s plan” (ACIM Lesson 100 4:1-2)
Often we may ask ourselves, “How can I make a real difference in the world? How can I save the world? How can I complete my part in God’s plan for salvation?” Those are very noble questions, as is the pursuit in figuring out the answers. Yet the answers are always so simple and staring at us in face. There need be no sacrifices, no grand gestures, and no grandiose plans; actually the answer is in the ease of being rather than doing.
“You have indeed been wrong in your belief that sacrifice is asked. You but receive according to God’s plan, and never lose or sacrifice or die” (ACIM Lesson 7:6-7).
After I watched the movie last night, I shed a few tears not only for the main character but also for the main character in my life, me. I wondered if I was as happy as God had intended for me to be. Where was I letting fear hold me back from shining my light? When we choose to play small and don’t let our light shine, it can make us unhappy and sad. And sadness means separation has occurred.
“Sadness is a sign that you would play another part, instead of what has been assigned to you by God” (ACIM Lesson 100 5:3).
I didn’t realize I had been a little sad about my life recently. I didn’t realize the low-grade volume of judgement that was playing in my head. I didn’t realize that, like Marley, I wasn’t feeling enough. I was very grateful that the movie unexpectedly brought up those emotions.
I sat on the couch for a while and thought about if the protagonist in my life were given a terminal diagnosis, would I feel happy and complete in my life? Or would I have this feeling that there was more to prove that I was enough? I realized this is usually our barometer for happiness, that word “enough.”
I will be happy when I have enough money.
I will be happy when I have enough time to meditate more.
I will be happy when I have enough sex.
I will be happy when I have lost enough weight.
I will be happy when I have run enough miles.
I will happy when I have traveled the world enough.
Enough of enough, right? It is another carrot on a string situation that the ego will happily continue dangling in front of us. But, enough. As I sat with my emotions last night, I went into my practice period for that hour and repeated, “Salvation is my only function here” (ACIM Lesson 99). Right away I felt lighter, happier, more peaceful, and blessed. In that moment, the world faded away and all my thoughts of how I wasn’t enough faded too. When I remember my one function and know that one function means loving myself, what roles I do or do not have in the world do not matter. What matters is the happiness I feel in my being. The happiness I feel at just being Me, a Child of God. That Being is always enough. That Being is always courageous. And that Being is always genuinely happy as there is no reason not to be. How can one not be happy as an eternally loved, limitless Child of God?
Thus, our journey, our part in God’s plan for salvation is vital. It is the joy I find in my Self that I share with others. It is that happiness, the one that God Will’s for us, that is contagious to the entire world, like the example of my friend who had others asking her about her “secret” to happiness. The secret is simple, love yourself. Love your Light. Love that you are a Child of God. Love that you have a key role in God’s plan where all that is required of you is to just BE.
As we close today, I live you with a wonderful song. When I was younger I used to have a t-shirt with the title of the song, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. It sounded so simple to my young mind. On my walk with God, I once again see the ease and instinctive resonance this has with my BE-ing. Just Be…Happy! It is essential to God’s plan for salvation.