There’s a lesson in the Course in Miracles workbook which goes, “Truth will correct all errors in my mind.” (w-107) What are the errors in my mind? The thinking that I am separated from God, from having all my needs met forever. Errors in my mind tell me that in order for me to be happy, I must seek happiness outside myself, finding peace and excitement in others, in things, in travel, in attainment of more and more financial security. Errors in my mind tell me that I am guilty for my short comings toward myself, for lack of correct knowledge and information, and how I think and use others around me. Errors in my mind basically just leave me a lonely, frustrated, searching-but-never finding person. Truth reminds me again I am complete, that I am not this body, but I am Spirit, forever united with God my Source. Truth reminds me that my body can turned into a medium and instrument of teaching peace.
Last Saturday was a mostly happy day for me, again. Naomi and I had driven to Sherman the day before, bringing my older sister back with us after she had spent a week caring for my parents. After lunch with her Saturday, two of my daughters and their families came to our house to be reunited with their Aunt Peg, and just have some time together at Papa and Grandma’s house. The sun was shining bright and one grandson asked if I could get my basketball out, pump it up, and shoot some baskets with him. Gladly I found an old ball, given to my son with the signature on it of a Stan Dunbar, a Harlem Globetrotter’s player. We pumped it up and began to shoot games of “Pig”, “21,” and “Around the world.” Shortly the rest of the grandsons came out to join us and we had a good time. I got chilly so returned inside the house to visit with the others. Soon all the grandsons also back inside and after goodbyes, they were in their vehicles heading back home.
Later that evening, after taking my sister out to eat and to the airport, I watched some of the Master’s Golf Tournament. Noticing Tiger’s bad putting, I decided to get my putter out of the bag in my car. Reaching the garage, I was quite taken back to notice the garage window smashed through with what looked to be a basketball hole in the middle. Looking through the hole, I saw the trunk and roof of my car layered with shattered glass. Removing some of the loose jagged pieces from the door window, I opened the door high enough to walk in. Glass was laying everywhere with the basketball stuck beneath my wife’s car. “Oh, I thought, a little dispute among the grandsons with a thrown ball, someone ducking, and then the smash of breaking glass!” “Why,” I asked, “didn’t anyone tell me before leaving?”
My mind spun a few minutes searching for optional choices. One extreme was the idea of “calling and giving a scolding diatribe” and the other was “just forget it, fix it, and act as if nothing ever happened.” I finally decided to wait for someone to call and apologize, perhaps from a cooler perspective, albeit tainted with some guilt. I did not want to drive any of my grandsons away from visiting. I wanted this to be a lesson in love and forgiveness. I wasn’t sure how.
Yesterday Naomi and I decided to visit Wayside for the 9:00 morning service in which many of the musically talented youth were being featured. We had mentioned it to our family and two daughters came, one with her family. We enjoyed the service and decided to eat out afterwards at the nearby Perkins’s Restaurant. After visiting with our friends and purchasing some extra frozen leftover Lenten fish, we met there. While eating, I mentioned something to my daughters about the broken garage window. One daughter said she had noticed it when leaving Saturday, but none of her sons said anything. She said she would ask them when returning home. I told her I didn’t want to make a big fuss, but try to show whoever that I was a forgiving grandfather and would love them all to return for more games.
Later yesterday afternoon, I noticed a phone message left from a grandson. He apologized for “overreacting” while shooting baskets. Apparently, he stayed along after his other brothers and cousin went inside, and became so disgusted in missing the basket, he hurled the ball in anger at the door, missing the door, but getting the window! He told me he was sorry. I called and he had gone to bed but I said I wanted him to know he was forgiven and maybe we could replace it together and shoot some more games. My daughter agreed and said he would even pay for the new window. Case closed except for the expected fun and excitement of being with him on the project later this week.
How then does “Truth set me free and correct all errors in my mind?” Because a broken window, even a burned down house, doesn’t affect the truth of whom I truly am, an eternal Child or Son of God. The error would allow me to forget and go after the perpetrator with guilt and anger, determined to “teach him a lesson he would never forget” meaning by anger and scolding. What would happen in this reaction? In actuality, such actions merely ventilate or project my own anger onto the grandson, or another, as a scapegoat, further strengthening my own guilt as well as his. The lesson following the above one goes, “To give and receive is one in truth.” The Bible puts it as “Whatever we give comes back to us in abundance, running over.” If we give anger, guilt and fear, we get these back in exchange. If we give love, forgiveness and kindness, these return in abundant measure as well.
In this world, nothing is done right. Nothing is complete. Nothing is perfect. Everything is a work in progress and knowledge is never complete. Everything this side is seen through a darkened glass, at best. In the Spirit world, God the Creator is complete and beyond knowledge as we think of it here. God is often called the “Unknowable” because God is beyond perceptions of human minds. God just is. We can understand ourselves as part of this Eternal Spirit and experience it in times of meditation and remembrance. If you practice meditation in sitting, walking, and stillness, you will experience what I mean. Breathing in quietly, allowing the mind to be still, in time you will “know” God, as the Bible verse goes. If we always keep talking, doing, making, thinking, figuring things out, we cheat ourselves of the experience of who we truly are.
I look forward to repairing the window with my grandson. Mostly, I am looking forward to the rewards of love, which even now I feel, by giving back forgiveness and love for an anger attack which got out of hand. Who has offended you? Who seems to have violated your boundaries, your properties, your body? What did they really break or take? In this world, a part of what little we might temporarily have. In the Eternal world, nothing happened, nothing was lost, taken, or violated. We remain free. Truth, then, corrects the errors of loss in my mind. Truth, the Truth of Spirit, makes us free indeed.
A broken window, a broken body, a broken life, death itself….all these are part of the journey on the earth walk. They must be endured. Remembering the truth of Whom we truly are, One with God’s Spirit, can and will give perspective, freedom and a deep sense of joy and peace. It will set you free.