Giving Up What Was Never Real

I can give up but what was never real.
I sacrifice illusions; nothing more. And as illusions go I find the gifts illusions tried to hide, awaiting me in shining welcome…. And every dream serves only to conceal the Self which is God's only Son, the likeness of Himself, the Holy One Who still abides in Him forever, as He still abides in me.
– A Course in Miracles Lesson 322

Every Sunday at Unity of Santa Barbara, we affirm our statement of faith, an uncompromising, absolute assertion, that there is but one Presence and One Power in the universe, the Infinite, living loving Presence of God. If we could fully realize and accept this truth, allow its vast, limitless implications to overtake all our perceptions and misperceptions, all seeking, all yearning, all attempts to awaken would cease. We could call off the search, accept the reality of our Oneness with all that we have ever wanted, and yearning would dissolve into the knowing and the being of Love, Peace and Happiness.
At the core of us, in our soul self, we know this truth. What limits us is everything we have piled on top of this pure knowing, that has become a false identity.  Jesus tells us we are the Light of the World, and we obscure the Light of our true nature with a mind made self, believing we are merely a body and a mind with its endless needs and vulnerabilities.  If we are to awaken we must see through and abandon this false notion, and this is the only sacrifice that Spirit invites us to make.
One of the classic stories of faith from Judeo Christian scripture is the story of Abraham who is asked by God to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as proof of his unyielding faith in God.  While that story may offend some people who could not fathom a Loving God demanding sacrifice of a child to test one's faith, or for any reason, it is useful as a metaphor in understanding what faith asks of us.  
The predominant day-to-day challenge of living the spiritual life is having a deep and abiding faith that God is present, active and with us all the way, no matter what is going on with us circumstantially. Our very human tendency to evaluate life based upon appearances and to see only the conditions of our life as our reality, belies the abiding, ever present, omniscient, all-loving presence that is our true nature, our actual reality.
We cling to our picture of reality (our ego tells us is the real scenario) and cleave to this perception like it was our beloved child.  In a sense, it is our offspring.  We conceived it, raised it up from a tiny mad idea, fed it similar ideas, and grew it into the full-fledged ego child that it is.  It is this progeny of our delusion that a Loving God would ask us to sacrifice, to give up, to let go of, that we might be free of what keeps us from knowing God and Truth and Wholeness as the true and legitimate offspring of Spirit that we were created to be and know.
Peace and blessings,
Rev. Larry