Form vs Content

This will be my last post in 2008, so I’d like to close out the year with one more entry on ACIM.

“Take not the form for content, for the form is but a means for content. And the frame is but a means to hold the picture up, so that it can be seen. A frame that hides the picture has no purpose. It cannot be a frame if it is what you see. Without the picture is the frame without its meaning. Its purpose is to set the picture off, and not itself.” (ACIM, page 485 of text)

The distinction the course makes between from and content is significant. This distinction has dramatically altered the effectiveness of prayer for me. For instance, instead of praying that God guide me to a new job, I pray that God guide me to find peace and joy through the work I do in the world. Sometimes this has led me to a new job, sometimes this has led me to experience my current job differently.

According to the teachings of ACIM, the content here is peace and joy, or you might say my desire and willingness to find peace and joy in my life. Whether or not I get a new job, the circumstances of my current job change, or simply something in my perception about my current job changes, is about form. The course teaches me to focus on content; to attach to content, but not form. Rather than decide on form and then ask God to deliver peace and happiness to me in a certain way, I cultivate my willingness for peace and joy, and then follow where my heart leads me. The same thing applies to relationships, how and where I live … to every aspect of my life.

This understanding of form and content has also opened me up to new possibilities, and deepened the gratitude I feel for the blessings in my life. By focusing on the content and recognizing that God knows what form is best for me, I have been able to embrace opportunities I would have never noticed before. I have also experienced a renewed appreciation for things already in my life. An instantaneous miracle occurs when I suddenly see and embrace what is in my life right now.

We may say that we believe in the power of love, a limitless God, an ever abundant Universe, and yet we limit our opportunities for fulfillment because we fixate on the form of how that fulfillment is supposed to look. No matter how perfect a particular form of your dreams may seem to you, consider the possibility that God holds even bigger dreams for you and knows exactly how to shape the form of that dream to bring you the most peace, joy & contentment.

Daily Meditation: Today I surrender all my desires to God, and open myself to His perfect gifts for me.

Copyright © 2008, Lisa Wagner

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